Lately, I accumulated more US shares I believe will shape the future with inherent higher growth. I took profits from some of my Chinese shares like JD.com and NetEase etc. I also dumped Amazon completely and also let go some Apple shares, after the share price crossed over 3550 and 150 respectively, with all reasons to get profits, before likely buying into the dips again if there are pull backs.
My larger US holdings now are Sea Limited, Tesla, Upstart and Nvidia etc. I also bought into more AirBNB, and enter into novel company like Chargepoint, Virgin Galatics, AppHarvest etc.
Today I will preview Upstart, Tesla and Sea.
UPSTART HOLDINGS (NASDAQ: UPST)
Fintech business founded by ex-Google employees that uses big data and AI to improve consumer lending with fully automated digital loans.
For the loans banks “lose”, Upstart potentially “wins” because their AI system proves to more capable in recording lower defaults even with higher approval rates. The company spend 8 years training its platform with 10million-plus data points, using more than 1000 variables to judge potential borrowers’ credit worthiness. For e.g. Upstart considers the school attended, area of study, and employment history in addition to credit history.
Why borrow from Upstart instead of banks? Banks are “big, bureaucratic and slow”. Upstart funding are fast to approve, no prepayment penalty, flexible in how you spend your loans. However, borrowers incur higher origination fee and annual percentage rate (APR) that benefit the company.
Upstart is not competing but instead collaborating with banks. It is the banks that are using more accurate predictive platform and are actually backing Upstart for the loan and bearing the default risk. More than 90% of Upstart’s revenue are from fees from the banks or servicing with no credit exposure. Refer to Upstart partners here.
The company is in early stage, and only just started Auto loans late last year in addition to personal loan. The addressable market is huge consider other types of loans Upstart haven’t foray into.
Upstart has generated profit in each and every quarter since IPO late last year. The 250% yoy revenue jump yoy and has consistent contributed profit margin of over 40% for all quarters this year. The company has more than US$1 billion of non-restricted cash as of last quarterly result.
Risks: Competition copy AI model. Banks and credit union partners may not want to eventually integrate its technology, stop using traditional credit underwriting methods. Valuation and stock price run up too quickly. Their partnering banks are so far smaller and less than 20 maybe. Bigger banks may be more resistive.
TESLA (NASDAQ: TSLA)
Needs no introduction. No brainer to invest. Stupid not to. The world is going green and EV will be everywhere. Tesla is too far ahead of their other EV competition.
Not only are they like Apple in the late 2000s, they may perform even better I feel. Unlike Apple who sub contract most hardware, Tesla have everything in-house. Just that Tesla battery alone supporting own vehicles, can easily be a company worth many hundreds of billions market cap in my opinion. Furthermore, a car or trucks will have much more After-market business compared to iphone or ipads or iwatches combined. Elon also own SpaceX (rocket science really..) and solar business that can complement to the technology of Tesla.
My ex-colleague who owns a S-model in Europe said this to me:
“once you drive a Tesla, you wouldn’t want to drive other cars … no more!”
Business times newspaper shared an article “How to make a lambo driver cry!”
Below is me and my son few years back in a Tesla showroom. We will definitely not just own Tesla stocks but also Tesla cars in my lifetime at least…
Read an article I wrote about Elon Musk in 2014: Elon Musk – The real Tony Stark (Iron Man)! Unfortunately, I am always late in the party. Imagine I bought into Tesla in 2014. But better late than never. Buffett is late in Apple and yet still earn so much from owning Apple shares.
Risks: Elon’s Musk erratic nature. For e.g he sold US$5 Billions of stocks lately, though retail like me is happy that he sell, because we can buy the dip. Share price quickly rebounded. Musk is also too dominant in Tesla like Steve Job for Apple. Any mishap happen to him can be disastrous for the company. Competition catching up over the years, just like Korean and Chinese phones comparing to Apple. Tesla’s PE is 370 and already grown 10x since the Covid crash.
SEA LIMITED (NYSE:SE)
Again, needs no introduction. It can potentially become bigger than Amazon and Alibaba in terms of Sea’s E-commerce business. My wife who uses Shopee, Amazon, Lazada, Taobao etc and frequently tells me Shopee is the best platform of all. It is the most organised (just like we Singaporeans are) and Amazon too boring, Taobao too messy, but Shopee is just right!
Aside from South East Asia’s market, Shopee already stamped her foot into South America and entered into India and Europe. These markets combined can potentially make Shopee be as big if not bigger comparing individually with Amazon and BABA’s e-commerce.
Not to mention that Sea’s gaming can only continue to dominate globally. Don’t think Singapore government will ban their own biggest company like China did …. hehe.
Risks: E-commerce is still very much loss making, and can continue to do so. Many competitors already in the E-commerce and gaming space.
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