Friday, August 31, 2007

Time to switch from tampons to bullets

A few weeks ago I came across a link for the 2007 IED Symposium & Expo, which drew attendees from the defense industry as well as military and government personnel "engaged in the ongoing response to defeating IEDs."

It also drew protesters from the Westboro Baptist Chruch's God Hates Fags brigade, but that's for another post.

I get all geeky about any kind of industry trade show and maybe with a little luck, I'll get to attend the 2008 IED Symposium & Expo. They do some incredible live demonstrations involving o Bomb Response Equipment o Chemical Detection o De-Mining Operations o Energetic, Toxic and Destructive Materials Mitigation o Detection/Response/Disposal of Explosives o Force Protection o IED/EOD o Mine Sweepers o Mine Warfare o Radio Frequency/Jamming Technology o and Robots.

Who knows, maybe R. Lee Ermey will be there, signing autographs and bombing watermelons.

Anyway, I started to follow up on some of the companies and the equipment and services they provide. And by "follow up on" I mean reading their annual reports and tracking their movements on the stock market.

Usually I favor investing in consumables/disposables with strong brand loyalty, the modern tampon serving as the idealized widget here. But Heavens to Murgatroyd!—You should see the profits for these defense and security companies. One company has a YTD return of 34%.

Take that Procter & Gamble, and that Johnson & Johnson.

Just for the fun and horror of it, pretend you own a modest stake in some of these companies and track them on the stock market for a few weeks. After awhile, long, pointless, and unwinnable wars won't seem like such a bad thing. Even Iran starts to look very tempting at a 34% ROI.

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