Behind the Wall: A Holiday Investing Special! How Tech Execs Are Spreading the Yuletide Cheer


Editor’s Note: This article is part of Joanna Makris’ Behind the Wall series, where she provides retail investors with the insider scoop on the hottest technologies and trends from today’s business leaders, industry experts and money managers. Today’s discussion of holiday investing and stocks to buy for 2022 comes courtesy of a number of our past interviewees.

A toy train in front of a Christmas tree.
Source: Juliya Shangarey /

It’s been an exciting few months Behind The Wall here at InvestorPlace. We remain laser-focused on our mission here: to bring retail investors an up-close look at the key trends shaping the markets — straight from cutting-edge business leaders, money managers and industry experts. And today, those disruptive pioneers are bringing that same spirit of innovation to your holiday lists, whether last-minute gift shopping or New Year’s stock picking.

2021 was the year of electrification, and we worked hard to give our readers a closer look at the future of electric vehicles and related technologies. Conversations with Mark Frohnmayer, CEO of electric three-wheeler Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV) and Andrew Fox of Charge Enterprises (OTCMKTS:CRGE) gave us a fresh look at micromobility and showed how the future of electric vehicles could come in smaller packages.

And to make sense of market momentum, we got the hot takes straight from sell side analysts and portfolio managers. Garrett Nelson of CFRA research told us why he’s still bullish on Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) and Taylor Ogan of Snow Bull Capital gave a compelling argument for why Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is still in the early innings of a multi-decade growth story.

Another important tectonic shift for tech-focused investors? Autonomous driving. We sat down with the leading innovators in lidar technology, including sector darling Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR),  905nm evangelist Innoviz (NASDAQ:INVZ) and the ever-so-elusive Microvision (NASDAQ:MVIS). With opinions heated, suffice it to say, things got salty.

Despite some regulatory wrist-slapping from the SEC, SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) remain one of the most popular ways for retail investors to participate in early-stage growth. But ongoing market volatility combined with a lack of transparency on financial projections, means that investors need to do some extra homework. So, to make sense of what’s going on, we sat down with some leading SPAC investors and experts.

Kris Tuttle of investment advisor SPACVest shared his favorite stock picks. David Sherman, CEO of investment advisor CrossingBridge Advisors, gave us the scoop on his latest SPAC ETF and how to invest in predictable market “pops.” Finally, securities law expert William Birdthistle gave us a firsthand look at the legal brouhaha facing SPACs.

One of the best ways to get ahead in investing is to take a closer look at what the next-generation of technology disruptors is up to. We took a closer look at some interesting private companies that are poised for a breakout. Next-gen EV battery maker Addionics gave us a great insight on innovation in the electric vehicle battery space. Neha Palmer, CEO of Terawatt Infrastructure, opined that there is much more work to do to electrify our commercial fleets. Finally, we got a deep dive into the future of psychedelic stocks from Dustin Robinson, veteran psychedelics legal expert and investor.

2021 has been a blast. And as the year winds down, we reached out to some of our previous guests for their thoughts on holiday investing. Read on to hear what’s on their wish list, how they’re spreading the yuletide joy and who’s on their naughty list. Happy holidays from InvestorPlace and best wishes for lucrative investing in 2022.

What’s One Gift You Hope to Receive this Year?

Tom Fennimore, CFO, Luminar Technologies 

I’m an avowed minimalist, so my ideal gift would be nothing material. Instead I would like a donation made in my name to a charity that supports education access to underprivileged students or animal rescues. Other than that I’m a big Philadelphia sports fan so an Eagles or Sixers championship would be nice.

Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz

A PS5.

Taylor Ogan, CEO, Snow Bull Capital 

Anything that isn’t an air fryer. I’m asking Santa for skis.

What’s the Best Gift You’re Giving This Year?

Luminar CFO, Tom Fennimore

I’m still hoping to track down the new OLED Nintendo Switch for my six year old. If anybody has one, please contact me!

Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz

I got my new son a toy Porsche to get him into cars early. And I got my staff Hannukah and Christmas days off.

Taylor Ogan, CEO, Snow Bull Capital 

We have a flight simulator hooked up to one of the power computers in our office, so I’m giving the office a Meta (though the receipt still says Facebook) Oculus Quest 2 VR headset to make the flying feel more realistic. Hopefully none of my colleagues get sucked too deep into the metaverse.

What’s Your Business-related Holiday Message to Your Company Employees This Year?

Luminar CFO, Tom Fennimore

History favors the bold and the patient. Changing the world is going to take time. Thank you for being a valuable part of Luminar and helping us to radically improve transportation safety and paving the way for the autonomous future.

Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz

Nothing matters more than family.

Taylor Ogan, CEO, Snow Bull Capital 

Keeping up with the trends is more difficult when we can’t travel as much and be introduced to as many emerging technologies and teams as were possible before COVID-19, so you need to be that much observant and hungrier for the next big trends. Assume COVID-19 will be a big part of our lives for at least another year. What investment areas has COVID-19enabled, accelerated, or slowed, and what is here to stay? Now is the best time to think outside the box, and always, always zoom out so we don’t miss something.

Moshiel Biton, CEO, Addionics 

This holiday season, I’ve been expressing gratitude to my team for their commitment to our company’s mission and journey. It’s not always easy to make real change. In order for it to stick, something big has to happen. It could be a natural disaster or someone who dares to break rules or paradigms – and all this can come at a cost. In our view, technology can bring the change our world currently needs. It can accelerate electrification, improve our society and quality of life, and secure the future of the planet. I thank my colleagues for standing by me and our company’s vision, and for being brave enough to fight for this change.

What’s Your Favorite Stock for 2022 and Why? 

Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz

Twitter (NASDAQ:TWTR). With Jack out and their valuation versus other social platforms, I think they are ripe for a pop or an acquisition. Plus, it’s fun.

Taylor Ogan, CEO, Snow Bull Capital 

When I think of what will be the big trends of next year, I think of what industries/technologies most investors have never heard of today, but with which they’ll be fully familiar this time next year, i.e. electric cars in 2018, plant-based meats in 2019, telemedicine and mRNA in 2020, the metaverse in 2021, etc. I think 2022 is going to be autonomous trucking, robotaxis, and neuromorphic computing. I’m most excited for the LiDAR market to hit its stride in 2022, specifically LAZR.

What’s Overrated?

Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz


Taylor Ogan, CEO, Snow Bull Capital 

Gambling/casino (sin) stocks and NFTs. They aren’t making our lives any better and are a tremendous drain on too many people.

Who’s Been Naughty or Nice and Why?

Luminar CFO, Tom Fennimore

Our employees, customers, and investors have all been nice! My naughty list is not too specific, but I would say anyone who doesn’t believe that our lidar is the future of autonomous driving.

Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz

Nate on Ted Lasso was pretty naughty. Nice… I’d say Bond, James Bond.

Taylor Ogan, CEO, Snow Bull Capital 

Tim Cook tops the nice list this year. He has been flying under the radar this year more than ever, making some game-changing decisions behind the scenes that we won’t see for years. Anne Wojcicki is right up there, too. BGI’s founder and president Wang Jian became the oldest person on Earth to summit Mount Everest, dive 10,000 meters below sea level, and explore both poles, and his company has been monumental in helping scientists understand COVID-19 on a much deeper level. I don’t know on which list Dorsey belongs…Some of the Chinese CEOs need to shake their obsession with making rideable robot unicorns. It’s like the billionaires competing with their rockets. I’ll throw Musk onto that list with his Tesla Bot.

Moshiel Biton, CEO, Addionics 

Although he is a controversial character, I put Elon Musk on the nice list this year for continuing to drive innovation in EV battery development and production. His recent decision to shift to lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries has helped inspire investor and auto industry confidence in this chemistry, which will alleviate strained supplies of in-demand battery materials such as nickel and cobalt. LFP batteries are also cheaper and safer, which can support broader EV adoption. I think Musk deserves a lot of credit for galvanizing electric transportation and making it his mission to secure the future of our planet (and beyond) by advancing other climate tech solutions like carbon capture as well.

Joanna Makris is a Market Analyst at A strategic thinker and fundamental public equity investor, Joanna leverages over 20 years of experience on Wall Street covering various segments of the Technology, Media, and Telecom sectors at several global investment banks, including Mizuho Securities and Canaccord Genuity.

Click here to follow her Behind the Wall series, where she provides the insider scoop on the hottest technologies and trends from today’s business leaders, industry experts and money managers.

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