A Safer Way to Invest in 3-D Printing Stocks

For investors with a small appetite for expensive stocks, buying 3D Systems or Stratasys and participating in the long-term-growth potential that 3-D printing offers may not be an option.

May 7, 2014 at 11:03AM

Despite the massive sell-offs that 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) have experienced in 2014, the biggest names in 3-D printing are still very expensive on paper. For investors with a small appetite for buying expensive stocks, buying 3D Systems or Stratasys and participating in the long-term growth potential that 3-D printing offers may not be an option. Investors finding themselves in this predicament should look behind 3D Systems and Stratasys and focus on companies that stand to benefit from implementing 3-D printing technology into their operations.

Companies like General Electric (NYSE:GE) or Boeing (NYSE:BA) have massive manufacturing presences, and over the long term, could benefit greatly from adopting 3-D printing more into their operations. Both General Electric and Boeing already use 3-D printing because it allows for products to be developed faster and more efficiently. General Electric currently has plans to 3-D print 45,000 jet engine fuel nozzles a year for its upcoming leap engine, and the nozzles are expected to take to the skies in the coming years. Boeing already uses 3-D printing for non critical airplane components such as heating vents in commercial planes flying today.

As 3-D printing technology continues to advance, Boeing and General Electric will be able to make better use of it in its operations. Interestingly, General Electric already has a plan for 50% of the products its manufactures to "touch" 3-D printing in the next 20 years. Clearly, there are attractive efficiencies built into how 3-D printed objects are made.

In the following video, 3-D printing specialist Steve Heller and industrials bureau chief Blake Bos look beyond 3D Systems and Stratasys to find alternative ways for investors to get some exposure to 3-D printing. Of course, investors thinking about investing in General Electric or Boeing for the potential that 3-D printing may improve long-term profitability should understand that buying such large companies is likely going to result in more subdued returns than buying 3-D printing stocks outright.

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Blake Bos has no position in any stocks mentioned. Steve Heller owns shares of 3D Systems. The Motley Fool recommends 3D Systems and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of 3D Systems, General Electric Company, Smith & Nephew, and Stratasys. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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