We've all heard the old joke: "The fastest to make $1 million in the stock market is to start with $2 million." The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth. Investing in quality companies over time has a well-documented track record of success, and remains the surest way of generating wealth over the long term.
And you don't need to have billionaire-level money like Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffett in order to strike it rich on Wall Street. If you have $1,500 in disposable cash (though any amount will do) that you don't need for immediate expenses or to top off your emergency fund, putting it to work in these three top tech stocks could make you rich over the next decade. Let's find out a little more about these three companies and what makes them such good investments.
While Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) may not be a household name, it's more than likely you've used its technology without even knowing it. The company provides all the tools app developers need to embed communications technology into their customer-facing apps. Its technology works behind the scenes to help process calls, text messages, and video, while also hosting notification and authentication services.
If you've ever received a real-time alert from your food delivery service or rideshare provider, used in-app services to reset a password, or chatted with customer service from within an app, chances are those communications were powered by Twilio's technology. By providing the building blocks that coders need, they don't have to reinvent the wheel, and can accomplish in hours what once took weeks. And business is booming.
In the second quarter, Twilio's revenue grew 46% year over year, on top of 86% growth in the prior-year quarter. The company's knack for adding new accounts was undeniable, as was its ability to leverage its existing customer base. Twilio's active customer accounts grew 24% year over year, edging higher from 23% in the first quarter. Additionally, current customers spent 32% more this year than last, as evidenced by the company's dollar-based net expansion rate of 132%.
Twilio generated just over $1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019, which is chump change in comparison to the large addressable market of $40 billion that management is targeting. If Twilio is able to tap into just a small part of that market, its success will be reflected in a much higher stock price.
2. Zoom Video Communications
While Twilio might labor in obscurity, that's not the case for Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM). The company may have been largely unknown prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but it has since become one of that rare breed of companies whose name becomes a verb: "Let's Zoom!"
The move to remote work and shelter-in-place orders made the company's cloud-based video conferencing services indispensable for business and personal meetings alike. Even after hundreds of millions of daily meetings, many doubters predicted Zoom's growth would flame out as the massive number of free user accounts would fail to translate into paying users.
Those fears turned out to be unfounded when Zoom reported its fiscal first-quarter results for the period ended April 30. Revenue "zoomed" higher, climbing 169% year-over-year, as the number of customers with more than 10 employees grew 354%. Even more importantly for the company's future, its enterprise users also grew at a rapid pace, as customers contributing at least $100,000 in trailing 12-month revenue climbed 90%.
Existing customers are doing their part as well, as Zoom's trailing-12-month net dollar expansion rate stayed above 130% for the eighth consecutive quarter. As a result of that sterling performance, Zoom nearly doubled its full-year forecast.
The company is working on multiple fronts to help ensure its future growth. Zoom announced in mid-June that it had earned the coveted U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization, allowing it to be used by U.S. federal government departments and agencies.
Last month, Zoom launched Zoom for Home, an all-in-one work-from-home hardware device that makes Zooming easy. This came on the heels of the announcement that Zoom would be offering Zoom hardware-as-a-service, allowing business to easily scale their video conferencing capabilities.
With its impressive results and multi-pronged approach to growth, Zoom has a long runway ahead.
PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) is another company that doesn't struggle with name recognition. The digital payment processor has been around since the advent of online retail, but it has grown from a payment button on a website to be so much more.
Digital payments is still the company's stock-in-trade, but PayPal has moved beyond its humble roots. The company partners with all the major credit card companies and payment processors to act as both a gateway and tollbooth, and is expanding to international marketplaces that are sorely in need of its services. Let's not forget Venmo, its peer-to-peer app that makes sending money to friends or splitting a bill a snap.
The onset of the pandemic has affected consumer behavior in a number of ways, not the least of which has been the accelerated adoption of digital and touchless payment options -- playing right into PayPal's wheelhouse. The company recently reported the best quarterly results in its history due to the unprecedented demand for digital payments and e-commerce.
In the second quarter, PayPal delivered revenue of $5.2 billion, up 22% year over year, which is an even more impressive feat given the company's size. Total payment volume (TPV) cleared $222 billion, up 29%, while payment transactions of 3.7 billion increased 26%. This helped push earnings per share to $1.29, up 86%, while cash flow from operations more than doubled to $2.4 billion.
PayPal added a record 21.3 million net new active accounts, climbing 137% year over year, while engagement ticked higher, with the number of payment transactions per active account climbing to 40.7 over the trailing-12-month period.
Given the company's extensive reach and massive adoption, the best days are still ahead for PayPal.
A word on valuation
One of the necessary trade-offs with high-growth stocks is valuation. It's important to note that, as with many high-risk, high-reward opportunities, none of these stocks is cheap -- in fact, quite the opposite. Zoom, Twilio, and PayPal currently trade for 44, 22, and 11 times forward sales, respectively, when a good price-to-sales ratio is generally considered to be between 1 and 2. Additionally, while PayPal and Zoom are both profitable, Twilio has yet to make that leap.
Thus far, however, investors have been willing to pay up for the impressive top-line growth and the potential that each of these stocks could make investors rich over the coming decade.