This spiel from Christian DeHaemer touches on many of the “trend” stories that investment pundits have been talking about in recent years, with a pitch about the “new normal” and the five big trends that will make you rich. It’s an ad for his Bull and Bust Report newsletter ($99 for the first year, renews at whatever their price is then), and the headline promises five disruptor stocks that will make the next “Pandemic Millionaires.”
That “new normal” is based mostly on the coronavirus and how that has changed the worlds of work, healthcare, payments and entertainment — so the five basic trends he’s pitching are teleconferencing, telemedicine, touchless payments, 5G networks for faster delivery of all these services, and 3D printing.
So what are the stocks he hints at, and can we name them? Or at least a few of them? Let’s look into the ad and see what he’s talking about… and what clues he drops in the pitch.
Here’s a bit to get you excited:
“Yes, this crisis has decimated the American economy and caused wild market volatility that we haven’t seen since 1929.
“But if you act now, you still have time to prepare yourself for some of the most explosive gains you will see in your lifetime.”
And he uses a chilling comparison to emphasize the scope of the coronavirus impact…
“September 11 hit two cities, shook us to the core, and made huge permanent changes to our daily lives.
“COVID-19 caused an unprecedented global event that has shaken the world.
“Half the world’s population was ordered to stay at home.”
“That didn’t just bring life to a standstill… It brought our economy to a screeching halt….
“Unfortunately, many of these jobs, businesses, and entire industries are never coming back from the dead.
“BUT… this crisis has also created massive opportunities.
“I’m about to show you how you can double, triple, or even quadruple your money right now if you know how to move fast on the winners of the ‘New Normal’ ahead.”
None of us know what the future holds, of course, but I think most of us suspect that some things might be permanently different for a while… maybe a lot more of us will be working from home now that we’ve had this mass global experiment and proven that telework is viable for lots of us, particularly tech workers who were already accustomed to collaborating with coworkers online (Google announced recently that a lot of their 100,000+ employees won’t be coming back to the office for at least another year, and other large players have said similar things).
More from the ad:
“Some of the coming gains could make Netflix, Apple, and Amazon look boring by comparison.
“That means you could easily recoup your recent losses and rescue your portfolio if it’s been through the wringer thanks to the ‘corona crash.’
“The crash wiped out the last eight-plus years of stock market gains in the blink of an eye.
Even with the rebound… most investors haven’t made up those losses.”
Well, they should have been able to “make up those losses” in most cases… the market is now above where it was on January 1, providing a return of 3.2% for the S&P 500 year to date, so even a passive “buy and hold” approach with the broad market index would have you in the green for 2020. And if, like most people, you added a bit to your investment portfolio each month, you’d be having probably an above-average year (because those purchases in March, April, May and June would be looking pretty great right now).
Of course, if you were betting big on airlines or cruise companies or just got unlucky, or panicked out of the market in March as probably a lot of people did, then you could certainly be having a bad year. Certainly there are a few stocks in my portfolio that got clobbered and didn’t bounce back… but that’s why you diversify, some of them also doubled or tripled this year.
A bit more gloom from the ad:
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“Don’t be fooled by the myth that if you just wait long enough, your portfolio or any given stock will miraculously recover…
“Because it won’t….
“… there are dozens of industries now on life support, waiting for their final hour.
“That’s why you simply can’t let your money sit around going nowhere in stocks that will take up to a decade to recover if they ever do!
“A Handful of Industries Will Soar”
I wouldn’t argue against that. The risks to a lot of industries remain huge, I’m glad that I’m not a restaurateur, or a college town landlord, or a cruise ship captain or owner of a movie theatre. Heck, I’m glad to not own Disney (DIS) right now, since that’s the large company that seems most dependent on “social crowding” (though I sold my DIS shares for much less than they’re going for today, and it could be that today’s earnings report will make me feel foolish).
Though I’d be remiss if I didn’t also note that the market knows this. Those industries that are “on life support” have mostly seen their stocks crater and not recover, even as other industries set new records and saw their stocks soar higher, but the companies (department stores, etc.) that are really likely to disappear were in trouble well before the coronavirus. Eventually those things tend to even out, probably this year’s (likely) record number of bankruptcies will lead to some attractive and cheap stocks in the next few years as the economy charts its new course.
But this is certainly not a ‘buy low’ pitch from DeHaemer, and I don’t blame him for that — he’s talking about buying up the beneficiaries of this “new normal,” not the survivors in the rubble, and that means he’s almost certainly talking up stocks that have already soared dramatically this year, an implicit bet that the growth will continue to be remarkable as COVID lingers into the fall and possibly threatens the re-opening steps that have been taken around the world.
More from the ad:
“We’ve just pegged a handful of trends, industries, and companies set to explode as the world adapts to the ‘New Normal.’
“These companies fought tooth and nail for years (some for decades) to break into the mainstream but were only gaining popularity at a snail’s pace.
“Suddenly, these little-known technologies have gone from an ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool’ novelty to ‘We can’t live without this!’
“When you’re lucky enough to catch the wave of a stock just before it breaks into the ‘can’t live without it’ mainstream… that is when you make a small fortune.”
He starts with three examples of “work from home” stocks that soared, particularly thanks to the boom in video conferencing…
“Zoom, Slack, and Citrix.
“Get used to saying these strange new household names as they become just as essential for everyday life as your cellphone and your internet connection.
“Before COVID-19, these little-known companies were strictly reserved for tech-savvy businesses that embraced remote work.
“Their customer bases were growing slower than molasses runs on a winter’s day…
“Then COVID-19 hit.
“Suddenly, knowing how to use these tools was mandatory for anyone working from home.
“Millions of schools switched to teaching classes via Zoom when the pandemic shut everything down. And most colleges will offer students the choice to continue online learning even as schools open back up this fall.
“That’s why I think a 262% gain in Zoom is just the beginning.”
That is the “year to date” return for Zoom (ZM), by the way — or at least, it was a week ago (it’s up to 287% now). And while Zoom was fairly popular among early adopters before February, it’s true that the first nine months of their life as a public company (starting in May of 2019) were a disappointment, with revenue growth of “only” 40-60% failing to drive the stock higher until revenue accelerated in 2020 and it (arguably) became the hottest “story stock” of the pandemic.
But he’s not picking Zoom as his favorite here, nor is it Citrix — it’s something else. More form the ad:
“I want to see you cashing in big on the ‘Remote Revolution.’ That’s why I’m going to reveal my No. 1 top stock pick for you in just a moment.
“And it’s not any of the stocks I just mentioned. I have something that’s a much better buy now. So read on.
“… we see torrential downpours of cash on the horizon for my No. 1 “Remote Revolution” stock….
“The stock I’m going to reveal to you has seen 33% gains, going straight up in just 30 days.
And that’s just the start of the long run I expect ahead!”
With the chart he shows, going from about $120 in early April to above $160 in early May, there are a few candidates who might match reasonably well — including Atlassian (TEAM), which is a collaboration software company more than it is a “teleconferencing” company, but pretty close and clearly exposed to “remote work” trends. That one has been a favori