History is pretty clear: When it comes to the top-performing investment vehicles, the stock market takes the crown. Stocks might not be the best-performing asset every year, but compared to gold, oil, housing, and bonds, none even comes close to the average annual total return of stocks over the very long run.
However, the supremacy of equities is very much being challenged by the rise of cryptocurrencies. The largest digital currency in the world, Bitcoin, catapulted from under $1 to nearly $65,000 in a little over a decade.
But it's not Bitcoin that has cast a spell on cryptocurrency investors. Rather, they've been mesmerized by meme-based crypto Dogecoin (DOGE 20.86%).
The Dogecoin bull thesis is full of hot air
It's no secret that retail investors love chasing high-return momentum assets, and that's exactly what Dogecoin has been. At its peak of $0.73 in early May, Dogecoin had risen more than 27,000% on a trailing-six-month basis. This six-month return outpaced the total return, including dividends, for the benchmark S&P 500 since 1964.
While there's no denying that Dogecoin has been a significant outperformer, there's also nothing tangible in its sails. In other words, Dogecoin is a hype-driven digital currency that's very likely going to implode at some point in the future.
You might be thinking: "What about all the good things I've heard about Dogecoin? Doesn't it have low transaction fees and isn't it being accepted in more places?" The fact is that Dogecoin's transaction fees are significantly undercut by at least a half-dozen other very popular cryptocurrencies, and it is a lot slower at validating and settling transactions than its peers. To boot, Dogecoin has only been accepted as payment by approximately 1,300 businesses worldwide -- and it's taken eight years to reach this mark.
To make matters worse, the bulk of Dogecoin's gains have come on the back of tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. If I go outside and yell "Ford" at the top of my lungs, Ford's valuation shouldn't shoot up 30%. But that's what's been happening with Musk every time he mentions Dogecoin or posts a meme.
The writing is on the wall that this is nothing more than a pump-and-dump scheme.
This trio of stocks could triple your money
Instead of throwing away your hard-earned money on a digital currency that lacks differentiation, I'd suggest putting it to work in stocks that'll give you a real chance to grow your wealth. The following trio of stocks all have the potential to triple your money.
First up is social media up-and-comer Pinterest (PINS -2.06%). Don't be fooled by the company's $41 billion market cap: There's ample upside here for it to grow into megacap status well before the decade is over.
To be up front, Pinterest has certainly benefited from the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. With people stuck in their homes, many turned online for entertainment. Last year, Pinterest's growth in monthly active users (MAUs) catapulted higher by 37%, and as of the end of March stood at 478 million MAUs. Although user growth will probably taper a bit as life in some parts of the world returns to some semblance of normal, let's keep in mind that Pinterest's MAUs were growing by an average of 30% annually in the three years preceding the pandemic. Bringing new users to its platform and keeping them engaged has never been an issue.
Another thing Pinterest is exceptional at is bringing in new users from outside the United States. On one hand, advertisers will pay top dollar for U.S. MAUs. This means the new users Pinterest is adding generate considerably lower average revenue than U.S. MAUs. But here's the catch: There's the potential to double international average revenue per user many times over this decade. As the company adds 100 million or more international MAUs annually, its ad-pricing power with merchants is bound to move higher.
Lastly, don't overlook Pinterest's potential as a major e-commerce destination. Its platform might be about sharing the products, places, and services people like with others, but what it really does is give Pinterest the most targeted audience of shoppers on the planet. If it can connect merchants that meet these interests with its users, the sky is the limit for Pinterest as an e-commerce platform.
Another transformative stock that has the ability to triple your money is insurance products company Root (ROOT 0.92%).
I know what you're probably thinking: "Insurance is a slow-growing, boring industry," and you're absolutely right. That's why I've chosen Root: because it's not your typical insurance company.
Instead of focusing on pre-determined demographic markers and credit scores to come up with monthly premiums for auto insurance customers, Root is leaning on telematics. In other words, it's relying on highly sensitive devices found in people's smartphones that measure factors like G-forces and take into account hard braking. The goal for Root is to price your policy up front based on your actual driving habits, rather than after the fact like all other insurance companies do. It'll also be dynamically adjusting policy prices as policy factors change.
To get the obvious out of the way, Root is losing quite a bit of money as it launches its brand-new pricing model on a mainstream basis. Although the pandemic slowed its marketing expenses, the company is planning to ramp up marketing in 2021 and beyond to get its name in front of drivers.
Interestingly, we've witnessed a positive trend in the company's direct accident period loss ratio. Navigating through the insurance industry jargon, it means the company's telematics-based approach of pricing policies based on how people actually drive seems to be working. The direct accident period loss ratio was 106% (anything above 100% is unprofitable) in the first quarter of 2019 and just 77% in the same period in 2021.
What's more, Root isn't just focusing on auto policies. The plan is to expand into new verticals, which will likely encourage existing auto clients to remain loyal to the brand.
Root will require some patience, but it could pay handsome rewards.
Though cannabis is growing at a pretty healthy clip worldwide, the U.S. is the undisputed No. 1 market for weed. By the middle of the decade, New Frontier Data has forecast, annual sales in the U.S. could top $41 billion. That would be somewhere in the neighborhood of six or seven times the annual sales potential of our northerly neighbor Canada, which legalized recreational pot in 2018.
Jushi is a small-cap multistate operator (MSO). MSOs are companies that control the seed-to-sale process. They have their own cultivation facilities, often process the cannabis into finished products, and retail it in their dispensaries.
What's unique about Jushi is its targeting of three states: Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia. Though it's not the only MSO to have a narrow focus, these three states all share one big distinction: limited retail license issuance. Pennsylvania and Illinois cap the total number of licenses they'll issue, as well as the maximum number of dispensaries a company can open. Meanwhile, Virginia assigns licenses by jurisdiction. What this allows Jushi to do is build up its brand and generate a loyal following without having to face a large number of competitors.
The company hasn't been afraid to use its piggy bank to solidify its position in key states, either. In recent months, Jushi has expanded its medical marijuana cultivation assets in Pennsylvania and scooped up dispensaries in California, the largest weed market in the world by annual sales.
Jushi may well be the fastest-growing pot stock over the next three years.