Private Investor: Bargain shares to be found in US technology companies

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The Independent Online

I don't suppose he is truly the son of God in terms of investment, with the ability to work miracles on money, but his $3 million personal portfolio and success in calling markets speaks for itself. He got oil right most recently and I was intrigued to hear him telling viewers to sell shoes and buy "sox" (the name the semiconductor share index goes by in America). This was on the grounds that the shoe manufacturers, such as Nike, are suffering from some excessive inventories while semiconductor firms are in the opposite position. One of Cramer's favourites is Marvell.

I'm not much good at tech speak so I offer you the summary of this California-based company's activities: "A global semiconductor provider of complete broadband communications and storage solutions. The Company's product portfolio includes switching, transceiver, wireless, PC connectivity, gateways, communications controller and storage solutions."

That's a little dry. Cramer understandably advises that you ought not buy or hold stocks in companies you don't understand, but I have at least grasped the fact that Marvell makes the chips that go into virtually everything you're going to be buying for Christmas this year and next: the Apple iPod, Sony's brand-new-this-week portable PlayStation - the PlayStation 3, Microsoft's new Xbox, and also various printers, PDAs, mobile phones and wireless networking stuff. The products, in other words, that excite those "I want one of those" hormones in the average human being. Not only that but the form; recent results showed excellent growth n sales and profits and some incredible margins.

Marvell, in other words, is about as far away form those fairy-tale dot coms that blew the last tech boom apart. This time the tech really will be different - much more firmly based on stuff that you can actually hold in your hands.

However I haven't got around to buying Marvell yet because I've been quietly topping up a couple of holdings that I also think will make some progress: mobile phone outfit O2 and William Hill. I've also been buying back into the posh estate agents Savills.

As luck would have it the shares rose sharply just after I bought them, so I'm already in the money. The bid talk about O2 never seems to recede, and there is yet more gossip surrounding the group this week. A couple of years ago I bought quite a few tranches in O2 every time I registered a new low in the great tech and telecoms sell off, so I've already more than doubled my money (on paper at least) on the existing shares.

As if that wasn't enough, to make me feel extra smug, Savills is close to marking yet another all-time high, and William Hill ticked up slightly.

I'm waiting for a weakness in Marvell before I pile in and load up the truck with the company's shares. It's especially tempting round now because of the dollar's continuing frailty.

Just as I found that shopping in New York's wonderful stores and eating in their superb delis is a surprisingly cheap affair for Europeans just now, so is buying shares in quality, world-class, American companies. Such an opportunity will not last forever. "Boooyya!" as Mr Cramer always says.

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