The metaverse. Peruse the internet long enough and you’ll be inundated with stories about how it’s the future of connectivity, solving everything from enhancing telecommuting productivity to social isolation to possibly curing uncurable diseases. But sometimes, things can get overhyped, leading to severe disappointment. If you’re the skeptical type, perhaps it’s time to consider anti-metaverse stocks to buy.
Granted, I’m not suggesting with absolute certainty that this next generation of connectivity technologies is due for frustration rather than profitability. I’ve been wrong before (many times, in fact) and regarding anti-metaverse stocks to buy, it won’t be the last. Instead of berating you with a specific talking point, though, I’m just here to consider the other side of the story.
Primarily, what gives me pause about the metaverse is the necessity of equipment to provide the full immersion of the application; namely, virtual reality headsets. But as a small study sample reveals, a difference in simulator-related sickness may exist for different age brackets. To be crystal clear, the sample is small. Still, that’s a possible factor to consider for anti-metaverse stocks to buy.
Further, it’s not entirely apparent what problem the metaverse solves. For instance, multiple advocates point to the connectivity and immersion angle; that is, you can now upload your personality to the internet. But here’s the kicker for anti-metaverse stocks to buy: why not just pick up the phone? Or better yet, just visit the people you want to interact with?
Even some of the heavily advertised “practical” features about the metaverse appear ludicrous if I’m being honest. Who the heck wants to wear a VR headset to attend a meeting with work colleagues? I’d rather just attend the darn meeting or have them Slack me whatever needs to be done. Therefore, these anti-metaverse stocks could be surprisingly relevant.
I said it above and I’ll say it again: I’m not making any guarantees of profitability for these anti-metaverse stocks. Rather, if you feel skeptical about being gaslighted about the metaverse, these ideas may be of interest to you. However, your own due diligence is your best friend.
- Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)
- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
- Thor Industries (NYSE:THO)
- American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOUT)
- Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX)
- ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN)
- Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
Anti-Metaverse Stocks to Buy: Verizon Communications (VZ)
Admittedly, Verizon Communications is an awfully strange choice to bet against the metaverse, at least on paper. On one of the company’s news pages, Verizon mentioned that the concept of the metaverse has existed for decades. However, it wasn’t until the advent of 5G technology that the ideation could really grow legs.
As one of the leaders in the 5G rollout, you’ll often see VZ listed as one of the stocks to buy for the metaverse, not its antithesis. I get that. However, I believe the metaverse is more of an ancillary business rather than the whole enchilada; that is, Verizon’s integration of 5G networks will certainly boost the profile of this next-generation connectivity platform.
But if it doesn’t? Does it really matter?
Verizon will still make heaps of money through its core telecommunications business, which primarily occurs between two or more people in the real world picking up the phone. In 2021, the company generated $133.6 billion in revenue, more than 1% greater than the pre-pandemic annual high.
Southwest Airlines (LUV)
To be quite frank, I go back and forth with the airlines industry. At first, the initial intrusion of the coronavirus pandemic caused the sector to nosedive. During those dark days, it was a fair question to wonder whether some of the major participants would survive. Fortunately, it seems that somehow, we’re going to get through by the skin of our teeth.
But that doesn’t mean companies like Southwest Airlines have an easy ride ahead. Yes, on the positive side, the company generated $15.8 billion in revenue for 2021, up about 75% from the year-ago comparison. However, this tally is also down nearly 30% from 2019’s result. In fact, sales haven’t been this low for Southwest since 2011.
Still, if you’re an optimist, you might want to consider LUV as one of the anti-metaverse stocks to buy. Sure, VR headsets can bring us closer together. But as I’ve mentioned in prior analyses, the demand for real-world experiences — experiences which the Covid-19 crisis denied — is immense. Thus, it’s not unreasonable for LUV to move higher from here.
Anti-Metaverse Stocks to Buy: Thor Industries (THO)
One of the big pandemic winners, Thor Industries — which specializes in recreational vehicles — enjoyed a counterintuitive catalyst. When Covid-19 went from a foreign crisis to a domestic one, government agencies immediately imposed mitigation protocols, including temporary shelter-in-place orders. You’d think that would have killed the desire to go out and vacation.
However, those that thought that — including yours truly — were wrong. Americans love their vacations. But they’re not stupid either (well, at least the vast majority of us are not). In other words, they wanted to have their time away from the office but do so safely. Enter Thor Industries.
But now that society is acclimating to the new normal, the RV manufacturer has lost some of its thunder. Over the trailing year, shares are down almost 25%. Thus, I wouldn’t jump on THO right away, considering major issues such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine weighing on the global economy.
Nevertheless, because Americans have had a taste of the outdoor lifestyle, it’s possible that THO could make a comeback as an anti-metaverse play.
American Outdoor Brands (AOUT)
I’m going to warn straight off the bat that American Outdoor Brands is speculative. On a year-to-date basis, AOUT has dropped nearly 18%. To be completely transparent, it’s not the most intuitive idea for stocks to buy if the global economy falters. While I hope it doesn’t, especially based on present realities, we must acknowledge that a doomsday scenario features a non-zero probability.
However, if you’re dead set on anti-metaverse stocks to buy, American Outdoor could be interesting — so long as you’re patient enough to ride the volatility. Here’s my thinking. During the early days of the pandemic, people desired to leave the house after merely a few months of quarantining.
Why is that? According to various experts, humans are hardwired for nature. Indeed, one of the criticisms about the metaverse is that it’s unnatural. By going outdoors and reconnecting with all the physical elements of the world, we are practicing something that every person born has enjoyed.
You probably couldn’t pick a more anti-metaverse idea than AOUT; hence its inclusion here.
Anti-Metaverse Stocks to Buy: Raytheon Technologies (RTX)
This is going to be a difficult transition but if you know me, that’s what I do — difficult transitions. Unless you have decided to insulate yourself from all media — mainstream, alternative or Fox News — you’ll know that the Kremlin made what experts termed a reckless decision to invade Ukraine.
As promised, President Joe Biden unleashed a wave of sanctions in response to Russia’s belligerence. But it’s quite possible that these economic penalties won’t do a darn thing. Back in 2021, an op-ed from The Guardian argued that sanctions against Belarus for violating various democratic principles would achieve nothing. Instead, engagement is necessary.
It’s an old argument too. Even back in the 1990s, geopolitical experts argued that, whether we’re talking China or Cuba, sanctions don’t do anything. In a similar vein, metaphorical support means jack to the Ukrainians who are bravely fighting (alone by the way) for their independence.
Instead, they need more of what defense contractor Raytheon Technologies is selling. You see, pointed words don’t mean anything in an armed conflict, which is why RTX is one the most controversial but viable anti-metaverse stocks to buy.
One of the most dramatic changes that the Covid-19 crisis brought on was the nature of the working environment. Suddenly, people got a taste of what it would be like to provide productivity as opposed to hours. Not surprisingly, many clamored for telecommuting to be a permanent fixture of corporate America.
On the other end of the spectrum, employees of lower-income positions temporarily experienced what it was like to earn a real living wage through unemployment benefits and government stimulus checks. Therefore, going back to a menial job for menial pay didn’t make sense. This and the white-collar dynamic contributed to the current massive labor shortage.
Personally, I’m not too sure that work from home will be permanently implemented, mainly because if your work can be done from home, it can be done in India or any other lower-cost labor market. As well, people can’t hold out forever — at some point, most folks will need a job.
That’s why staffing company ManpowerGroup, though a risky idea among anti-metaverse stocks to buy, could be worth consideration for the long haul. With factors like soaring consumer inflation crimping wallets, MAN stock might see demand return.
Anti-Metaverse Stocks to Buy: Home Depot (HD)
As you’ve probably read, one of the core features of the metaverse is the ability to be there without actually being there. For instance, through immersive visualization technologies, it’s possible to tour a new home without leaving yours. As the innovation advances further, the experience could be significantly more realistic.
While an intriguing concept, the bottom line is that people have to build the home or whatever structure being visualized for the experience to make sense. And that brings me to Home Depot as one of the possible anti-metaverse stocks to buy.
Realistically, HD isn’t going to make you rich. Admittedly, with its present choppiness, it’s liable to make you a bit poorer if you get your timing wrong. Therefore, you might not want to jump in right away. But in the long run, Home Depot shouldn’t steer you wrong.
Thanks to the record housing boom, there’s more incentive than ever for companies to build new residential units. In addition, the homebuying surge may lead to a renovation surge, which may bode well for HD stock.
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.