In July 2016, the world and financial markets were still in shock from Great Britain's vote to withdraw from the European Union. It was a watershed moment for the open market -- or perhaps a catastrophic flash flood, and at the time, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner offered listeners to the Rule Breakers podcast a sampler of five stock recommendations that he felt had some Brexit resonance. Two years on, Brexit is barely even a work in progress. In fact, it's a political quagmire with no blueprint close to being accepted by all sides, and based on the latest news, the negotiations are appearing to grow even more tumultuous. However, though there's no clarity in Europe, it is nonetheless time for him to check back in and see how those picks are performing en route to the three-year holding period he originally suggested.
Stock No. 5 was Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), and the reason it made David's list might have been a bit of a stretch: The electric car company was at that point already a leader in the drive toward autonomous vehicles, and the U.K. voters had just demanded more autonomy.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on July 4, 2018.
David Gardner: Stock No. 5 was Tesla, ticker symbol TSLA. The stock was at $223 a share at the end of trading July 13th, 2016. Now, somewhere midday Monday July 2nd as I tape this, it's up to $331.
That's a gain of 48%. Minus 26%. If you've done the math with me -- I realize it's not that easy to listen to math in audio form -- we were minus 22% going into this stock, and we just published a plus 22% on Tesla, which brings us to a grand total of zero points for this stock list!
Amazing that the math would work out that way. We've only ever lost once. We've won every other time until this one, where we've technically tied, leaving things in the balance. You might wonder, is Brexit even a good idea? Is it right there in the middle with this group of stocks? Is it clear whether it will win or lose? We'll have to watch the drama going forward.
Why did I pick Tesla two years ago? I was thinking about that word autonomous. Again, Britain choosing autonomy for its future, more autonomy. I was thinking about autonomous cars and how big Tesla was at the time.
Autonomous cars, as it turns out, are going to come online slower than a lot of people were probably thinking in 2016, me included. Having now a Tesla myself with some autonomous features, I'm reminded every day of just how many more gains truly need to be made before this kind of technology will really be ready for primetime. I realize, every car company and his little sister is out there, pretty much, trying to figure out how to make things autonomous. It's working in some contexts worldwide. I'm a big fan of it. I just think it's going to take a little longer than we were thinking in 2016. Fortunately, Tesla has still done really well, up 48% from two years ago.