Ecommerce

In the first quarter of 2020, consumers spent $146.47 billion online with U.S. retailers according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is up 14.5% from $127.89 billion for the same period in 2019.

Naturally, the fact that millions of Americans were sitting at home during the COVID-19 pandemic in Q1 had a lot to do with this, but those big numbers were already trending higher. From Amazon, to Ebay, to Shopify, more people than ever are buying and selling online than ever before.

Most consumers know all too well that buying in an instant is easier than ever—from essentials like paper towels to novelties like birthday gifts to splurges like home décor and clothes. And, it seems one purchase always leads to the next, especially because of the carefully curated advertisements and reminders that are automatically triggered by online retail platforms to pop up on our screens. 

Here is the short story of how the ecommerce we know on our screens today came to be in a relatively short period of time and why it’s both ever improving and here to stay.  

What is ecommerce?

Electronic commerce, typically known as ecommerce, refers to the “buying and selling of goods, products, or services over the internet.” It extends beyond the transaction of money to funds and data. Think software subscriptions, streaming services, and data storage, to name a few.

Online shopping as we know it was later thought up by Michael Aldrich in the United Kingdom in 1979.  Aldrich dreamed of buying his weekly groceries remotely (something that is all too familiar now) while on a walk with his wife. He accomplished this in a way by connecting a television to a transaction processing computer with a telephone line. He called it “teleshopping,” which referred to shopping at a distance.

Still, the first secure, official online retail transaction didn’t take place until in 1994 when a group of cyberspace entrepreneurs sold a Sting CD from one member to another. The transaction successfully utilized data encryption software to ensure data privacy, which was crucial to the adoption of online shopping.

That same year, in 1994, ecommerce giant, Amazon, launched. Since then, the “e-tailer” founded by Jeff Bezos has grown into the world’s largest online retailer; one that currently dominates B2C ecommerce. Originally selling only books, Bezos’s operation was doing $20,000 per week in sales within 30 days of launch. 

Since then, the security, ease of use, and convenience, safety, and user experience of ecommerce have all improved exponentially. These improved factors have made ecommerce a viable and profitable new frontier for businesses large and small.  

There are generally four types of ecommerce models. These include direct sellers, which operate similar to a physical store for customers but with transactions taking place online (Amazon and Wayfair); marketplaces, which offer platforms for buyers and sellers to connect (think Etsy); software providers, which sell subscriptions to cloud-based software; and logistics, which deliver goods (like UPS and FedEx). Within these four types, ecommerce generally happens one of six ways— Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C), Consumer-to-Business (C2B), Business-to-Administration (B2A) and Consumer-to-Administration (C2A). 

Why invest in ecommerce?

Purchasing habits are changing with more Americans making purchases online than ever before. And, companies are listening by continuing to expand their technology budgets, which are up 4.2% in 2020 over 2019, in part with the shared goal to improve ecommerce sites and boost online sales.

More than ever, consumers are comfortable using their payment information in secure online platforms. According to a study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, more than half (51%) of respondents paid bills and invoices online in 2018, demonstrating an increasing comfort level with buying and completing transactions online.

Sellers aren’t shying away from the internet either, with numerous benefits for new ecommerce-based entities and traditional brick and mortar establishments alike. From the ability to be open for business and thereby make money 24/7 in an online platform, to providing an online space to accurately describe products in detail, to using SEO to attract consumers, selling online is giving retailers the opportunity to communicate better with customers, reach more people, sell more products, and be more successful.  

In other words, the technology that facilitates the buying and selling of goods online, not to mention the companies selling more than ever online, offers extensive investment opportunities. Rest assured, online retail, and business generally, is poised to continue its pattern of growth and innovation.

How to invest in ecommerce

Naturally, in something as broad as ecommerce, investing isn’t as simple as choosing a few companies. In order to reach the full scope of this trend it’s important to invest broadly in all of the different sectors and niches that are shaping and being reshaped by this shift. Fortunately, a search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of ETFs and mutual funds that cover ecommerce.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today. 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]


mobile technology

Mobile Technology

Mobile technology is an integral part of our lives. Picture it: you get up, check your messages/emails, check-up people you love and work with, catch up on the news and other developments, and do much more on your mobile phone. And these are just some basic things people do on their phones, laptops, and other mobile devices.

Mobile technology’s key components include general packet radio service (GPRS), short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), global positioning service (GPS), and WAP, among others.

[Invest in 5G: What every investor needs to know.]

But “mobile” is a broad term. It essentially covers all hand-held mobile devices: mobile phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and virtually any mobile device that can communicate with other devices.

Mobile technology, as mentioned, is shaping many aspects of human life: how we communicate, work, and live! The concept was mostly theoretical about three decades ago, but we now live in an age where our lives are heavily dependent on this technology.

Why Invest in Mobile Technology?

According to Morgan Stanley there have been four major computing cycles thus far: mainframe computers in the 60s, minicomputers in the 70s, personal computers (PCs) in the 90s, and desktop internet in the 2000s.

One eye-catching finding of this study is each of the subsequent computing cycles grew by a successive, continuous rate of 10X – the minicomputer cycle grew to ten times the size of the mainframe cycle and so on. The world is past the desktop internet cycle, and all focus now is on mobile technology.

The mobile technology cycle is expected to experience a boom ten times bigger than the desktop boom experienced in the 2000s – this is immeasurable, considering how big the 2000s boom was. The desktop cycle, however, was not as versatile and entrenched as the mobile technology cycle is. As such, we will likely see exponential growth as the world becomes more and more digitized.

Internet & Smartphone Penetration: There are about 14 billion mobile devices in use around the world today, according to Statista. 5.28 billion of these devices are in people’s hands, which accounts for about 68% of the world’s population.

Over half of the world’s population (about 3.5 people) is active online. 80% of internet users (about 2.8 billion people) own at least one smartphone – a sizeable fraction of this population owns more than one smartphone, which is especially well documented across Asia.

Internet penetration by mobile phone was about 48% in 2014. It grew to 61.2% in 2018 and reached 63.4% in 2019. It is estimated that mobile phone user internet penetration will be over 80% by 2022. The average mobile internet user spends about 3 hours online per day.

Smartphones are driving mobile technology. Their small size makes them convenient and hence more preferable to laptops and other larger devices.

Smartphone manufacturers have been recording increases in the number of devices they make, and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Apple, which is one of the largest smartphone makers, sold more than 210 million iPhones in 2016 alone. It is now the first trillion-dollar company in the world, and it still plays second to Samsung.  

The world aims to achieve close to 100% internet penetration in the coming decades. The internet is also expected to grow larger and more dynamic over the coming decades. 

Currently, about 1.56 billion smartphones are sold to end-users annually. This number has been growing steadily over the past two decades, and it is expected to grow exponentially as the smartphone market expands.   

Cloud Computing: The cloud has proven invaluable in more ways than one. Most notably, it is one of the few avenues left for businesses and people to use following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global cloud computing market is currently worth about $236 billion, up from $87 billion five years ago. The market is expected to grow to about $623 by 2023, which would signify a CAGR of 18%. Its uses are also expected to expand over time, and they will overlap with the new opportunities brought about by 5G technology.  

5G Networking: The mobile technology revolution is just beginning. It promises great things, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) – IoT will also contribute to an exponential growth of mobile technology as it will connect virtually everything to the internet. 5G networking has emerged as the answer to bringing these innovative technologies to fruition.

5G technology is expected to be more than 100 times faster than the current 4G technology – to put this into perspective, 5G supports download speeds of up to 1.4GB per second. This will revolutionize technology across industries such as education and healthcare. For instance, hospitals will transmit large MRI files instantly, and surgeons can perform surgeries in virtual presence from anywhere in the world.  

Mobile technology will help shape the future of mankind. Billions of people around the world are already dependent on mobile technology for their day-to-day living, and billions more are catching up. Soon, it will become necessary to join the grid just to keep up with the human race.

How to Invest in Mobile Technology

However, like many types of new technology, investing in mobile technology does come with potential risks. mInvesting in the sector via an ETF or mutual fund, however, is a good way to counter these risks while still gaining exposure to this high-potential segment. A search on Magnifi indicates there are a number of ways for investors to access mobile tech this way.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today. 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]


telecommunications 5G

5G

Although 5G appears to be a relatively new trend, it has been in the works for much of the last decade. This new type of internet access, which is anticipated to potentially replace in-home WiFi in the near future, is beginning to emerge among a few select carriers. Verizon, T-Mobile, and other popular carriers are making it easy for their current customers to transition from 4G LTE to 5G mobile internet, which is a stepping stone for applying the technology to other Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the future. 

[5G is Just Part of it. Invest in Mobile Technology as a Whole.]

But investing in 5G while the concept is still relatively new, you can gain an edge over the competition by being one of the first to support an up-and-coming service that is likely to have a strong impact on the future of mobile internet.

What is 5G?

Although some people may simply think of 5G as a replacement for WiFi, the overall potential of the technology is much more complex. First and foremost, 5G is beginning to replace the 4G LTE connection that most cell phone carriers currently use to provide internet access when a reliable WiFi connection is not available. 4G, which came out approximately a decade ago, was a modern replacement for the primitive 3G and 2G mobile internet of early cell phones. Each version made new features possible, increased the speed and capability of cellular data, and boosted the range at which cell phones could get a reliable signal. Like previous upgrades, the widespread release of 5G technology is expected to increase our ability to immediately access the information we need from anywhere in the world. 

[What will 5G mean for the future of video streaming?]

5G coverage is divided into three groups: low-band spectrum, mid-band spectrum, and high-band spectrum. High-band spectrum, which is the classification that most major carriers are currently focusing on, generally provides the strongest and fastest signals. However, this type of spectrum has a much more difficult time reaching through buildings than low-band and mid-band spectrum. For this reason, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each type of spectrum to get an idea of which is likely to be the most successful in your area before choosing one to purchase or invest in. 

Why invest in 5G

Although the 2020 5G market is expected to be in the range of $5 billion, 5G technology is anticipated to grow exponentially over the next five years, reaching over $650 billion by 2026

The reason for this is the fact that widespread 5G coverage has not yet replaced 4G LTE and WiFi, in part because of regulatory hurdles and delays. Once those issues are resolved, it is expected that 5G adoption will take off nationwide, but it’s still not clear what that timeline will look like and how soon all of this will happen. Still, that explosive potential is why this up-and-coming form of mobile internet is an important area for investors that are interested in the latest technology to keep their eyes on.

After all, like many emerging industries, 5G technology is being pioneered by a handful of standout companies, both large incumbents and fast-growing startups. And it’s still early in this cycle. Investors who get in on 5G now will have far more upside to ride up than those that wait until the technology is fully rolled out and in broad use.

How to invest in 5G 

However, like many types of new technology, investing in 5G does come with potential risks. Although 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and other older signals have been studied in-depth as far as both immediate and long-term safety, not as much is currently known about the impact of long-term exposure to 5G’s electromagnetic fields. What’s more, it’s not yet clear how soon the national 5G roll-out will actually happen nor which companies will take the lead. 

Investing in the sector via an ETF or mutual fund, however, is a good way to counter these risks while still gaining exposure to this high-potential segment. A search on Magnifi indicates there are a number of ways for investors to access 5G this way.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today. 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]


internet of things iot

Internet of Things

If you were among the lucky attendees to the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, you likely would have noticed that “connectivity” was one of the show’s most prominently featured trends

CES bills itself as the “world’s largest and most influential tech event,” and many companies at the show chose to display “smart” products that feature internet connectivity as a means by which the product becomes more useful to the consumer. For instance, Weber, the company famous for its round, charcoal kettle grills, featured its new “Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub,” which promises to serve as a kind of “step-by-step grilling assistant that sends notifications directly to your smart phone on everything from a food readiness countdown, to when it’s time to flip and serve.” 

Kohler, the company primarily known for its plumbing fixtures, featured its new voice-controlled “Moxie” showerhead/wireless speaker, which “lets you stream your favorite music, news or talk radio right in the shower with you.” 

Smart devices like these are becoming increasingly popular as daily life becomes more connected to and shaped by the internet. The interconnection of our devices via the internet is often referred to as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT for short.

An entrepreneur named Kevin Aston first coined the term “Internet of Things” back in 1999 in an attempt to describe the connection between physical objects and the internet. At the time, Aston was working on linking Procter & Gamble’s supply chain to the internet through RFID tags. 

These days, IoT encompasses the vast, interconnected ecosystem of devices, sensors, computers, and networks that communicate with each other and with us. There are more than 20 billion devices with internet connectivity in use today, and there is enormous value in the data that these devices generate. 

This value extends well beyond the realm of consumer electronics. For instance, IoT is considered the driving force behind Industry 4.0, a term described by Deloitte as the “new industrial revolution—one that marries advanced manufacturing techniques with the Internet of Things to create manufacturing systems that are not only interconnected, but communicate, analyze, and use information to drive further intelligent action back in the physical world.”

For those interested in the investment potential of this innovative technology, there are a few important points to understand.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? 

According to research and advisory firm, Gartner, IoT is the “network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.” The overarching purpose of IoT is for physical objects to sense and report information in real-time so that a process can be made more efficient, convenient, or safe.

The practical applications of IoT are vast, and faster, more affordable technology is driving innovation across very different industries. 

Let’s start with the problem of traffic safety. The City of San Jose, California, is currently integrating IoT solutions in order to make intersections safer for pedestrians. For instance, IoT sensors communicate with traffic signals when someone crossing an intersection may require a bit more time before the signal turns green. 

Another problem IoT is helping to address is that of food waste. According to the UN, roughly one-third of the world’s food production is lost or wasted every year. The Danish supply company, Globe Tracker, is working to fix that by offering IoT solutions that keep a close eye on food as it moves around the world in shipping containers. Globe Tracker’s sensors continuously record and transmit data on the container’s location, temperature, humidity, etc. 

This kind of data is highly valuable in all supply chains, but it is especially valuable in perishable food supply chains. Innovators in business and government are going to increasingly adopt IoT solutions to address the complex problems of the 21st century, and providers of such solutions will increasingly innovate and drive IoT technology forward.

Why Invest in the Internet of Things (IoT)?

By all accounts, the IoT market is thriving, and there is good reason to think that even greater growth may be on the horizon.

According to a 2019 report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), global IoT spending in 2019 was forecast to reach $745 billion, a 15.4% increase over the $646 billion spent in 2018. IDC also projected that global IoT spending would surpass $1 trillion in 2022, with manufacturing, consumer, transportation, and utility industries accounting for a significant portion of the spending increase. 

Adoption of IoT is happening worldwide and across industries at a rapid pace. Mordor Intelligence projects that the compound annual growth rate of the IoT market is 21% between 2020 and 2025. Internet-connected devices are also getting cheaper to produce and are becoming more widely available. McKinsey & Company projects that the number of internet-connected devices will increase to 43 billion by 2023, a nearly 300% increase from 2018 numbers. 

Underlying all these positive numbers is an enormous potential boost that is somewhat difficult to quantify: 5G. Mobile carriers are currently in the process of deploying 5G (the fifth-generation wireless network) across the U.S. and around the globe. 5G provides considerably faster mobile connections and will, according to Qualcomm, “seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power and mobility to provide extremely lean/low-cost solutions.” 

The 5G rollout will take time, and as with current data coverage, not every location will get lightning-fast speed. Those locations that do benefit, however, are in for a potentially transformative period of IoT innovation.

How to Invest in the Internet of Things (IoT)

Despite all of this growth and potential, the Internet of Things remains a developing, high-volatility sector, meaning that it can make for a risky investment when bought directly. Rather, a search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of other ways to profit from IoT innovation via mutual funds and ETFs that cover this fast-growing sector.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today. 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]  


blockchain

Blockchain

It seems as though every time we turn on the news there are new stories about enormous data breaches. 

There was the massive 2013 Yahoo breach in which all 3 billion user accounts were compromised, and then there was the 2017 Equifax breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. 

Data breaches are becoming more widespread and impactful, with 2019 set to be the worst year on record. It is perhaps not surprising that, according to the Pew Research Center, 70% of Americans feel that their personal information is less secure than it was just five years ago. Businesses and governments are tasked with securely storing mountains of complex and highly-personal data, and they are beginning to turn to a novel technology known as “blockchain” to help.

[With new technology comes new risks. Here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity]

Blockchain is a technology solution that solves some of the problems associated with data storage and security. When an organization is solely responsible for maintaining its database, valuable information may be lost in the event of a breach or disaster. A freak hurricane could damage vital data centers (as happened in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy), or an adept hacker could detect a vulnerability in a government’s website and hold critical data hostage (as happened in 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland). With blockchain, data is securely shared across a distributed network in which all parties have access. The nature of the technology is such that damage to one part of the network does not compromise the rest. For this reason, among many others, businesses and governments are turning their attention – and investments – to blockchain.

For those interested in the investment potential of this innovative technology, there are a few important points to understand.

What is Blockchain?

According to the software company SAP, blockchain is most simply defined as a “reliable, difficult-to-hack record of transactions – and of who owns what. Blockchain is based on distributed ledger technology, which securely records information across a peer-to-peer network.” 

The “block” in blockchain describes the data that is entered into the network, while the “chain” in blockchain refers to the chronological sequence in which blocks are entered. Data is approved for entry via consensus of other network participants, and once entered it cannot be changed. In this way, there is a complete, sequential, and verifiable recordkeeping of the network’s data that is available to all participants.

At first glance, this may not seem like a revolutionary concept, but it is important to note that the decentralized nature of blockchain is highly novel and has far-reaching applications. 

An unknown person (or persons) going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto invented the blockchain concept and shared it with the public in a groundbreaking 2008 paper about a proposed digital currency system. That currency system became known as Bitcoin, and the spread of blockchain technology gave rise to a vast ecosystem of other cryptocurrencies. 

While most people only associate blockchain with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, the technology has much broader applications across a variety of industries. For instance, logistics firms are turning to blockchain technology to modernize their supply chains. Danish shipping company Maersk recently launched a blockchain-powered logistics platform called TradeLens, which it says will provide improved visibility into the movement of shipments around the world. 

Healthcare is another sector that stands to benefit tremendously from the adoption of blockchain technology. As any adult in the U.S. can attest, healthcare records are notoriously scattered from provider to provider. Implementing blockchain technology has the potential to make critical health data more accessible and secure while eliminating barriers that currently stifle communication between doctors, patients, and insurers. 

Data is at the core of any modern organization, and it seems likely that blockchain will be an increasingly important tool in the modernization of data management practices.

Why Invest in Blockchain?

Blockchain is an extremely valuable technology with significant investment potential. 

As noted by James Wester, Research Director at International Data Corporation (IDC): “Blockchain is maturing rapidly, and we have reached an inflection point where implementations are moving quickly beyond the pilot and proof of concept phase.” 

IDC estimates that global spending on blockchain solutions will reach nearly $2.9 billion in 2019, an increase of nearly 88% from 2018. IDC expects annual spending to climb to $12.4 billion by 2022, with a 76% annual growth rate between 2018 and 2022.

Investment in private blockchain companies is also quite robust. In the U.S., for instance, investments reached about $1.1 billion in 2019 – a healthy figure considering recent corrections in cryptocurrency markets.

Big technology companies understand blockchain’s potential and are adjusting their services accordingly. Companies such as IBM, SAP, and Oracle offer blockchain-as-a-service to help businesses create their own blockchain networks. Companies that are prepared to offer innovative blockchain solutions are well-positioned for the coming changes to the data management landscape, and startups researching blockchain solutions are likely to garner significant interest from established companies. These market dynamics are likely to create a rich environment for outside investment.

Governments around the world are also taking notice of blockchain’s enormous potential. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investing heavily in blockchain startups because of the technology’s cybersecurity advantages in making digital systems more resilient. The Republic of Georgia recently partnered with Bitfury, a Netherlands-based blockchain technology company, to digitize and migrate the country’s land registry onto a blockchain-based network. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently announced that China will make blockchain a top priority in the country’s new innovation push, a move that may galvanize more investment and research in the West.

In this space where both business and government recognize blockchain’s potential, savvy investors are well-positioned to capitalize on novel applications of this innovative technology.

How to Invest in Blockchain

But, despite all of this potential and recent growth, blockchain remains a very early-stage technology. It has only existed in its current form since 2008, and the industry that has sprung up around it is even younger than that. With that youth comes volatility, which investors are seeing in the prices of pure-play blockchain stocks. However, investing in a mutual fund or ETF that offers exposure to blockchain can be a way to temper some of this volatility. A search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of funds available today for those investors interested in investing in blockchain technology without buying shares in the associated companies themselves.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]  


netflix

Netflix (NFLX)

It wasn’t long ago that in-home entertainment was limited to whatever was on broadcast TV or what was available at your local video rental store. That all changed in 1997, when Netflix (NFLX) came on the scene, offering a new DVD-rental-by-mail service that eliminated the drive to the video store and opened up a vast library of new and old titles to subscribers for a flat monthly fee. In 2010, Netflix took things a step further, introducing a new streaming media service that, for a flat monthly fee, would allow customers to directly stream content to their homes without having to even get up off the couch. 

Today Netflix operates a trio of businesses: it’s streaming services, DVD and Blu-ray rental by mail, as well a production and distribution for its own series of films and television series. As of 2019, the company had more than 60 million paid subscriptions in the U.S. and a total of 148 million worldwide, where it is currently available in just about every country.  

Netflix reported nearly $16 billion in revenue for 2018 and currently employs about 5,400 people in its offices around the world.

Rationale 

As one of the so-called “FANG” stocks – a list that also includes high-growth stocks like Facebook, Amazon and Google – Netflix has been a darling of many investors in recent years. The most direct way to gain exposure to Netflix is to buy its listed shares, of course, but there are reasons for investors to reconsider that approach, despite its popularity. For one thing, Netflix’s rapid expansion is beginning to slow now that it is available worldwide. It is simply running out of new customers to fuel its growth. What’s more, the company’s push to produce new content and secure rights for existing content around the world has been piling it under a mountain of debt, more than $21 billion as of 2017. That debt load will eventually serve as a drag on its upside potential. 

However, for investors interested in gaining exposure to the streaming media sector, rather than buying NFLX shares themselves should consider buying funds that provide exposure to Netflix and other media firms like CBS, HBO and others. After all, the return drivers that will benefit NFLX might also benefit other similar companies. As investment management is gradually moving to the construction of portfolios using ETFs and mutual funds in addition to single stocks, investors would do well to consider gain exposure to firms like Netflix through these types of funds.

Investing in NFLX 

A search on Magnifi suggests that investors can gain access to Netflix via a number of different funds and ETFs, including those shown below. 

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]       


google

Alphabet (GOOG)

You know you’re one of the largest, most successful companies in the world when you can change your name and still not miss a beat in terms of investor interest. But that’s exactly what the conglomerate Alphabet (GOOG) did in 2015 when it was created as part of Google’s corporate restructure. Today, Alphabet is the parent company of Google as well as a number of its subsidiaries. The idea was to create a structure with “greater autonomy” and allow Google to expand into other businesses beyond simply internet services.

In addition to Google, Alphabet’s subsidiaries include Calico, DeepMind, GV, CapitalG, X, Google Fiber, Jigsaw, Makani, Sidewalk Labs, Verily, Waymo, Wing and Loon. It also oversees former Google projects such as YouTube, the Android mobile operating system and more.

Alphabet reported more than $110 billion in total revenue in 2017, 86% of which comes from advertising via Adsense and Google’s AdWords products, 53% of which operates outside of the U.S. 

Rationale

The most direct way to gain exposure to Alphabet is to buy its listed shares. But investors have good reason to reconsider that approach given GOOG’s long-term growth prospects and its current price. What was once a high-growth internet startup is now a well-established digital enterprise, and the creation of Alphabet as the Google holding company only solidified that fact. GOOG itself is no longer a growth holding. 

However, for investors interested in gaining exposure to the internet sector, rather than buying GOOG shares themselves should consider buying funds that provide exposure to Alphabet and other and other similar firms. After all, the return drivers that will benefit GOOG might also benefit other similar firms in internet services. As investment management is gradually moving to the construction of portfolios using ETFs and mutual funds in addition to single stocks, investors would do well to consider gain exposure to firms like GOOG through these types of funds.

Investing in GOOG

A search on Magnifi suggests that investors can gain access to Alphabet via a number of different funds and ETFs, including those shown below. 

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]      

 

 

 


Facebook (FB)

Founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, Facebook (FB) has in the intervening years become one of the major companies of our time. Far from the first social network on the internet, Facebook has however established itself as the most successful, boasting more than 2.4 billion active users worldwide and 85 offices spread across 35 countries.

As of 2019, Facebook has a market cap of more than $460 billion, and the company reported total revenue of nearly $56 billion in 2018, mostly generated from online advertising. That figure was up 37% from the $40 billion in revenue the company reported in 2017. The company has been actively acquiring other companies since its founding and currently owns Instagram, WhatsApp, Occulus VR, FriendFeed and adtech company LiveRail among its total 79 businesses.

Facebook’s 2012 IPO was the largest tech IPO in U.S. history, with more than 421 million shares priced at $38 per share raising roughly $16 billion.

Rationale

A direct way to gain exposure to Facebook is to buy the listed shares. But, despite its growth, Facebook remains a volatile and uncertain company. It is still only 15 years old, so it continues to experience growing pains in its new industry. What’s more, potential government regulation of the platform could slow its growth going forward. 

A solution that can dampen some of that volatility is to buy funds that provide exposure to Facebook and other similar firms, rather than FB shares themselves. After all, the return drivers that will benefit Facebook might also benefit other similar firms in online advertising, digital media, and hardware. As investment management is gradually moving to the construction of portfolios using ETFs and mutual funds in addition to single stocks, investors would do well to consider gain exposure to firms like Facebook through these types of funds.

Investing in FB

A search on Magnifi suggests that investors can gain access to Facebook via a number of different funds and ETFs, including those shown below. 

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.]