The GTI Post-GG
(Excerpted from the GTI of November 30, 2007)

When I started the GTI in January of 1999, my
purpose was to assess the performance of Gilder
stocks, in order to decide whether or not to invest
in them, and if so, to what extent.

The charts that resulted were so formidable that
before long I was 100% in Gilder stocks.  And my
portfolio was almost a mirror of the GTI. My money
started out being divided quite evenly among
almost all of the GTI stocks.

That was not an uncommon approach at the time.
Since almost every Gilder pick was proving to be
a winner (see Gilder Effect) many of us at the old
forum tended to spread our money around, lest
we miss something.

As a result, the performance of the GTI gave a
pretty good indication (see Is It Accurate?) of
how the typical Gilder portfolio was faring. 

Over time, this has changed. The research coming
out of the GTF nowadays has led to concentrated
investing in only a handful of stocks, as opposed
to the full spectrum of GTI companies.

A typical investor at the GTF today may own only
a half dozen or so of the GTI stocks. Many intrepid
souls own even fewer, such as only EZCH and
SIGM, with perhaps NETL and CAVM as well.

Another change is that with the demise of the GTR,
the GTI list is now frozen. No new companies can
come in, and none can go out.

So the GTI no longer mimics our portfolios.

Nor does it include all of the Telecosm companies
in which we are interested. For example, Cavium
Networks has been attracting considerable attention
of late. If the GTR were still around, it might well have
been added to the list by now.

And who knows what companies might have
been banished from the list?

Given all this, my question is, does the GTI
continue to serve a useful purpose? Should I
keep doing it?

I hope the answer is yes, because I enjoy it.

It seems to me that we do need the GTI, for the
same reason we need any index. It gives us
something against which we can measure our
individual investment performance.

We always know how our portfolio is doing in
absolute terms. But we also want to know how
we are doing in relative terms. Are we beating
the indexes? Are we adding value to what
George left us?

The GTI includes 31 companies. That is not the
entire Telecosm. Nor is it the list that each of us
would come up with on our own. But it is a large
enough, and representative enough, sample to
produce meaningful results. Making it a little
larger or a little smaller, or adding or subtracting
a few companies, would not materially change
its results. 

If you were beating the GTI before, you would
still be beating it, and vice versa. And if you are
beating the GTI, you know you are outperforming
the Telecosm.

That seems to me a useful piece of information.
But tell me what you think.

In the meantime, the GTI's not going away.