In the past two years, stock picking has turned into the most popular sport on Main Street and Wall Street alike. Explosive growth in one dot-com stock after another has taken some of the luster off Microsoft's remarkable record of growth. Still, most investors would gladly build their portfolio around one stock they can count on to go up 50 percent every year for the next decade, as Microsoft did throughout the 1990s.
With that goal in mind, we began working the phones and hitting the pavement on Wall Street, where we asked analysts to pick companies that have the potential to dominate the world of business for the next 10 years.
The fastest-talking bull on Wall Street thinks Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is ideally positioned to win the next big technological battle. James J. Cramer, cofounder of TheStreet.com and manager of a prominent Wall Street hedge fund, thinks Cisco will "take huge market share away from everybody in the networking of computers—and computers hooking to other computers is all that matters. I don't see anybody challenging Cisco. Nobody. All they seem to do is get sharper, not weaker."
Cramer is also bullish on Nokia (NYSE: NOK). "Wireless is the way of the future for every man, woman, and child on Earth," he says. "If you believe in the wireless world, Nokia is going to dominate."
He gives America Online (NYSE: AOL) a shot at the top spot, if the company can successfully complete its acquisition of Time Warner. "If AOL is able to get its arms around Time Warner and run the company in an aggressive fashion, that could be the other horse that I would bet on. But it's too in-transition right now, too hard to call."
In the Microsoft vs. Linux death match, Cramer is firmly on the side of Microsoft. Linux, he argues, is "just a fad." Will Linux stocks ever make money? "No."
Top Pick: Cisco Systems|
James J. Cramer, TheStreet.com –
Arguably the Net's preeminent voice on tech investment, James J. Cramer founded TheStreet.com, cofounded SmartMoney magazine, and frequently contributes to Time. His top pick: Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), which he believes is set to steal market share from virtually all other companies in the networking space. Another favorite: wireless leader Nokia.