Given the sector’s intensity, the idea of buying anti-metaverse stocks seems completely ludicrous.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the metaverse—the phenomenon that represents the next evolution in internet connectivity.
While technology experts have been raving about this development, Facebook offered the biggest catalyst, changing its corporate brand to Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB).
To be completely fair, you might be better off just going with the crowd on this one. While the contrarians do have legitimate arguments, the capital markets have become the playground of groupthink on an unprecedented scale.
At this juncture, it doesn’t really matter whether an idea makes sense or not. If it has a good narrative, it will rise, presenting huge challenges for anti-metaverse stocks.
Nevertheless, a danger exists in betting on the same horse that everyone else is. For one thing, it’s important to point out that not everyone can benefit from the metaverse, which typically involves a higher degree of connectivity through virtual and augmented reality devices.
VR in particular is a problem because it can make many people sick. Thus, the idea of buying anti-metaverse stocks isn’t totally crazy.
Further, medical experts have long warned about the problems associated with too much internet usage. Some of the symptoms include depression and anxiety, sleep deprivation, procrastination, social isolation and mood changes, among several other issues.
Factor in the sensory overload associated with the metaverse, and the movement may contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. Considering the weight gain associated with the pandemic, anti-metaverse stocks have their place.
As well, society must think about their most vulnerable demographic, children. As things stand now, we already have too many problems associated with excessive internet use among kids. More than likely, the metaverse will only exacerbate this crisis, thus bolstering the case for anti-metaverse stocks to buy.
- Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO)
- Camping World (NYSE:CWH)
- Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS)
- LVMH (OTCMKTS:LVMUY)
- GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO)
- Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI)
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
Finally, the novel coronavirus pandemic itself might lift anti-metaverse stocks. As you know, retail revenge isn’t just a financial concept. Rather, it’s a social one, especially since government mandates denied normal mobility.
Therefore, it might be a wise idea to hedge against some of the mania toward the metaverse, especially since the concept has gone well into overdrive.
Anti-Metaverse Stocks to Buy: Vista Outdoor (VSTO)
Back in 2019, BizJournals.com reported that Vista Outdoor sold its firearms business, but held onto its ammunition division.
In hindsight, that was a very wise move. Well, to be fair, it would have been nice if Vista held onto both, but in the new normal, bullets have been all the rage.
Let’s back up for a moment. When the Covid-19 crisis rapidly transitioned from an exotic foreign problem to a microbiological threat in our backyard, people panicked. While toilet paper represented one of the retail memes of 2020, firearm sales skyrocketed due to fears of social chaos. Given some of the wild events that took place, those folks weren’t exactly wrong.
Of course, with rising demand for firearms came interest in something to shoot with. Easily one of the most in-demand products next to semiconductors, manufacturers are racing to address a record flood of orders.
Personally, I couldn’t think of a more contrarian idea among anti-metaverse stocks. Digital wealth can only mean so much when you’re faced with a threat to your person.
Camping World (CWH)
On Black Friday, retail stores weren’t the only entities providing a discount.
Indeed, Wall Street was busy slashing prices, with the benchmark S&P 500 shedding 2.3% on the day. Still, some investors are a bit leery about taking advantage of the fire sale. That’s because the world is on high alert to contain the new Covid threat: the omicron variant.
While most publicly traded securities tumbled on the news, Camping World was one of the few that went against the grain. Granted, it wasn’t by much, just a few ticks shy of 1%.
Nevertheless, the blip into positive territory for the day epitomized the concept that humans are social creatures. We were never meant to live our lives with a giant sensor strapped to our heads.
Further, CWH stock was one of the post-pandemic period’s biggest winners. While shares initially fell into the abyss during the spring doldrums of 2020, they went on a remarkable rally. It turned out that people don’t like to be cooped up at home. With another, potentially more problematic variant on the way, CWH might swing higher again.
If you’re looking for anti-metaverse stocks, do some due diligence on Camping World.
Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS)
Dick’s Sporting Goods might be a victim of investor irrationality: it happens sometimes. On Thanksgiving week, the sporting goods retailer delivered outstanding results for the third quarter.
Adjusted earning per share came in at $3.19 against a consensus target of $1.97. As well, its reported revenue of $2.75 billion beat expectations of $2.50 billion. Yet DKS stock slid, perhaps due to investor fears that these results were not repeatable.
You just never know with the present market environment. The naysayers could be right. On the other hand, the latest concerns over the omicron variant could see a repeat of certain conditions that last year led to DKS becoming one of the top pandemic plays.
According to an AP report citing the World Health Organization, “Omicron’s actual risks are not understood. But early evidence suggests it carries an increased risk of reinfection compared with other highly transmissible variants.”
If the worst fears about omicron are realized, we could see more mitigation mandates. In turn, that will probably lift DKS along with other outdoors-related anti-metaverse stocks.
On the surface, the inclusion of LVMH on this list of anti-metaverse stocks to buy appears odd.
Known throughout the world for premium luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Hennessy, it doesn’t exactly strike you as an anti-virtualization name. Also, LVMUY took a sizable beating on Black Friday, shedding 4.4%.
However, the nature of premium luxury makes it one of the distinct anti-metaverse stocks to hedge against rising digital connectivity.
For instance, mainstream reports have consistently decried that millennials don’t care about name brands. Yet younger generations largely embrace the metaverse. So, what could be more anti-virtualization than a company that’s steeped in traditional luxury brands?
While the red ink that LVMH absorbed isn’t exactly encouraging, some of its products cater to the pandemic should the omicron variant make quarantines great again. For instance, LVMH owns Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, which has been busy manufacturing its popular Connected smartwatch.
Not only is the Connected a sleek timepiece that integrates the best of digital and analog components, but it also brings features that encourage physical fitness — a perfect attribute of anti-metaverse stocks.
You have to go back to 2016 when GoPro shares were consistently and frequently trading in double-digit territory and back to 2017 when they did it at all.
Since mid-September of the aforementioned year, however, GPRO has trended inside an ugly bearish channel. When the equity unit slipped into $2 territory during the doldrums of last year, many analysts viewed it as an acceleration of the inevitable.
Well, GoPro eventually became one of the least-celebrated pandemic winners. That’s somewhat of a shame.
Sure, it’s a relief to the company that it’s finally gained traction. On the other hand, meme stocks and cryptocurrencies have dominated headlines, leaving the action camera manufacturer to trudge on a relatively lonely path.
But with the omicron variant seemingly poised to cause havoc on the international community, GPRO could enjoy a second wind. As I mentioned in my interview with CGTN America, the tremendous demand for physical and social activities suggests that people are perhaps tired of virtual interactions.
Also, GPRO is emblematic of anti-metaverse stocks in that its products facilitate the broadcasting of real events, not virtual ones.
Robert Half International (RHI)
Staffing agency Robert Half International took a nearly 3% hit on Black Friday, which is understandable.
If the omicron variant is as worrisome a threat as experts fear, we could see a return back to remote operations. While Robert Half has done a great job pivoting to the new normal of corporate America, other platforms offer a superior edge regarding attracting gig workers.
Nevertheless, Robert Half could be one of the surprising anti-metaverse stocks to buy because it’s basically a twofer.
First, even if the interviewing and recruiting process occurs online right now, the processes still require social skills — and that only can be accrued through actual interactions, not virtual ones.
Second, remote workers may find themselves vulnerable. That’s because corporations might use the pandemic as cover to outsource jobs to other countries, something I mentioned multiple times last year. If your work can be done in your living room, it can be done in India for pennies on the dollar.
Therefore, panicky worker bees might seek out employment agencies like Robert Half as more jobs move overseas, making RHI one of the longer-term anti-metaverse stocks to consider.
As one of the biggest names in the metaverse, the inclusion of Microsoft among anti-metaverse stocks to consider seems utterly ridiculous. I mean, this is the company that’s bringing avatars into the realm of virtualized meetings. It’s the gamification of the cubicle, which for many is an absolutely frightening concept.
But here’s the reality about MSFT stock: it caters to both the metaverse and the anti-metaverse crowd. Personally, I find the implementation of virtual social interactions ridiculous — why not just have them in real life? As others have pointed out, virtual meetings cannot replace the deep nuances you get from the analog experience.
Despite the momentum toward the metaversing of everything, I think the sector will hit a roadblock in the professional realm. Simply put, there are many managers that don’t trust their workers to operate remotely. And why should they? In 2019, the American Management Association reported that workers goof off more than two hours a day.
But somehow, they’re not going to goof off at home? Give me a break!
And that’s exactly what corporate higher-ups are saying, omicron be darned. A full return to the office will bring a quick end to the metaverse, at least as the professional sector is concerned. But MSFT will likely keep on ticking as the rest of its business software applications are simply indispensable.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.