Millennials — love them or hate them, they are the crux of the workforce. Since the spring of 2015, those who are aged roughly 20 to 36 years have become the largest working demographic. Millennials are no longer the future of our society. The eldest of the group are the front face of our nation. Yet when it comes to investing, too many are suggesting stock picks that are awful for this generation.
Do an internet search for “stock picks for millennials.” Time and again, you will come across the same old names. A popular suggestion are the so-called “FANGs” — Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL). Wow, how original! Others will suggest stalwarts like Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM).
In this case, analysts are confusing millennial stocks with AARP stocks.
So many of these demographic-centric stock picks have it absolutely wrong. They are ignoring the fundamental advantage that millennials leverage — time! That means millennial stocks need to dial up the speculation factor. They have the luxury of time should things go awry. But in the opposite case, they will enjoy explosive growth in their money that simply won’t happen working a “nine-to-fiver.”
In order to fully extract the benefit of more time, stock picks for millennials need vision. Listen, I love me some XOM stock just like the next guy. Big oil is big business and they are seemingly invincible.
But how sure are we that oil will continue to be regarded as “black gold?” Already, we are seeing technology firms like Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) radically change our society. Oil could be dead by the time millennials hit retirement age.
Finally, there’s the issue of price. It’s not the most important consideration, of course, but let’s be real — millennial stocks have to be reasonable. I don’t see the point of hawking expensive stock picks when the majority of college grads struggle to find jobs. Paying the rent and getting acclimated to a new life are more important than plunking over $800 for AMZN.
With all these things considered, here are three relevant stock picks that are perfect for millennials!
Stock Picks for Millennials: Rocket Fuel (FUEL)
Next-generation advertising firm Rocket Fuel Inc (NASDAQ:FUEL) represents what millennial stocks should be — innovative, disruptive and downright cool.
Contrast this with antiquated firms like Yellow Pages Ltd Com NPV (OTCMKTS:YLWDF). They may have been dominant in the era before the internet, but that was also when dinosaurs ruled the earth. And yes, they have a digital presence, although it really just seems like an afterthought.
FUEL is a different animal altogether. It’s a company that fuses an ageless disciplines like sales and marketing with state-of-the-art intelligence algorithms. Instead of drafting an advertising campaign and hoping that it resonates with potential consumers, FUEL eliminates the guessing game. Their advanced and in-house technologies actively seek and identify viable markets. This way, a company isn’t spending unnecessary time and resources reaching out to disinterested clients.
What makes FUEL especially enticing among stock picks for millennials is its entry point — shares are less than $3. Since launching its initial public offering in late September of 2013, FUEL has lost 95% of market value. But just like a typical millennial, it has learned from its past hubris. Now, FUEL is working on being a reliable company and the results are certainly endearing. Year-to-date, shares are up over 70%.
Admittedly, FUEL isn’t appropriate for older investors. But for a younger crowd, they can afford to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Stock Picks for Millennials: Johnson Controls International (JCI)
Anytime I see an oil company pitched in a stock picks for millennials story, I cringe. It’s more than just a personal grievance. I just find it to be a lazy idea. Crude oil isn’t just old — it’s a throwback to the late 19th century. For all the talk about millennials being hip and trendy, adding oil to the mix is like trying to explain the former popularity of an eight-track disco album.
This is why I love Johnson Controls International Plc (NYSE:JCI).
First, JCI is a San Diego-based company. After losing our beloved Chargers, it’s my obligation to raise our city’s profile.
More importantly though, JCI is on the cutting edge of technology. This is best demonstrated in their lithium-ion division, where they focus on building batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. JCI batteries produced significantly higher efficiencies than their counterparts, and this is only the beginning.
As more industries make the switch to cleaner energy, JCI will become one of the elite providers of next-gen solutions. I’m really digging the fact that Johnson Controls has a very diverse business, which includes “cyber-smart” buildings and energy storage systems. This is a company with which millennials can grow. This compares favorably to oil stocks, which they will probably need to bury.
And I know it’s unlikely to happen, but should cryogenic technology fail and millennials become — gasp! — older, at least they would have made a smart call on JCI stock.
Stock Picks for Millennials: Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC)
I’ve saved the best for last in Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCMKTS:GBTC). It’s not that I’m a particular fan of GBTC. What I am a fan of is bitcoin and the concept of open-source finance.
At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, bitcoin is the future. Think about this — almost every facet of our lives has been improved by technology. The Japanese take this concept to a whole new level. So why are we stuck with the same old fiat currency system that’s been around for centuries?
The mistake people make about bitcoin and derivative investments like GBTC is that they focus on the intricacies. You could invest hours learning about the “blockchain” but why bother? Here’s what you need to know. Bitcoin, through its internal intelligence, eliminates the need for third-party verification in financial transactions. Wouldn’t it be great to just invest in a stock without having to deal with New York brokers under New York rules?
Bitcoin breaks down walls — it literally is the anti-Wall Street. I trade bitcoin whenever I want to, not when New York says it’s okay. So if that means three in the morning on the Fourth of July, so be it. Open-source currencies have no consideration for time, tradition or borders. In other words, it’s the most beautiful thing that man or the Masons have ever created.
GBTC of course is a fund that’s subject to market procedure. However, if there’s some reason why bitcoin doesn’t work for you, GBTC is the next best thing.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto conducted business in bitcoin.