Investors are always looking for ways to build wealth with minimal risk. For many decades, bonds have filled this role admirably. Whether it's a federally backed U.S. Treasury note, municipal bond, or investment-grade corporate debt, bonds have provided near-guaranteed returns and income for investors.
But with the U.S. inflation rate hitting a 40-year high of 7.5% in January (on a year-over-year basis), the nominal return of most investment-grade bonds is producing a real-money loss after accounting for rising prices. In other words, despite their near-guaranteed returns, bonds aren't helping investors build real wealth at the moment.
If you want to grow your nest egg, the smart move might be to forget about bonds -- at least until inflation calms down -- and instead buy game-changing growth stocks. Although risk goes up when investing in stocks, the return potential catapults higher as well.
All four of the following growth stocks have the potential to double your money by 2025.
Just because a company has a large market cap, it doesn't mean it can't double in short order. E-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN -0.66%) is the perfect example of a megacap company still growing at a lightning-fast rate that could realistically double by mid-decade.
Most people are familiar with Amazon because of its leading online marketplace. According to an August report from eMarketer, Amazon was estimated to bring in a whopping 41.4% of all online sales in the U.S. in 2021.
However, Amazon's online retail margins are nothing to write home about. To supplement these razor-thin margins, the company promotes its Prime memberships. The annual fees paid by 200 million global Prime members help Amazon to undercut brick-and-mortar retailers on price. It's also worth noting that paying members are far likelier to spend more and stay within Amazon' ecosystem of products and services.
But the big opportunity with Amazon is its cloud infrastructure services segment, Amazon Web Services (AWS). Even though AWS accounts for a relatively small percentage of net sales, it's producing the lion's share of operating income. In fact, Amazon's fastest-growing operating segments, such as AWS, advertising, and subscriptions, generate its juiciest margins. As AWS becomes a larger component of total sales, Amazon's operating cash flow will explode higher.
What if I told you that a furniture stock was not only a growth company, but that it could double your money by mid-decade? If you don't believe me, take a closer look at how Lovesac (LOVE -0.35%) is disrupting a stodgy industry.
Traditionally, furniture companies are heavily reliant on foot traffic, and they purchase their products from the same group of wholesalers. Lovesac has differentiated itself in two key ways.
First of all, Lovesac's furniture is unique. Although it was initially known for its beanbag-styled chairs (sacs), approximately 85% of its revenue today derives from its modular couches known as sactionals. Sactionals can be rearranged dozens of ways to ensure they fit most living spaces. They also have around 200 machine-washable cover choices, which means they'll match any color or theme of a home. Perhaps best of all, the yarn used in these covers is made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. That's function, choice, and eco-friendliness, with one product.
Second, Lovesac has impressed with its omnichannel presence. During the height of the pandemic, the company shifted nearly half of its sales online. It's also supplemented sales by forging in-store and online partnerships with major brands, as well as operating pop-up showrooms. The key here is that not relying solely on physical showrooms has reduced its overhead and made the company wildly profitable well ahead of Wall Street's forecast.
Planet 13 Holdings
Another growth stock that can run circles around bonds through 2025 and help you potentially double your money is marijuana stock Planet 13 Holdings (PLNH.F -2.05%).
Some investors have probably avoided putting their money to work in U.S. cannabis companies because weed isn't yet legal at the federal level. What they're overlooking, though, is that more than two-thirds of all states have legalized cannabis in some capacity, and the federal government is maintaining a hands-off approach to regulation (i.e., allowing states to regulate their own pot industries). That's a recipe for a unique multi-state operator (MSO) like Planet 13 to thrive.
Whereas most MSOs have chosen to establish a presence in as many legalized states as is reasonable, Planet 13 only has two operating dispensaries. But the difference is that Planet 13s dispensaries cater just as much to nostalgia and the experience as they do to making a sale. Its Las Vegas SuperStore is larger than the average Walmart, while its Orange County SuperStore spans 55,000 square feet.
In addition to unmatched selection, Planet 13 has embraced technology, personalization, and proprietary products with open arms. Its Las Vegas location is utilizing self-pay kiosks and providing personal budtenders. Meanwhile, the company has introduced its own vape products to boost margins.
With Planet 13 turning the corner to recurring profitability and offering a unique operating approach, it shouldn't have any trouble showing its shareholders the green.
A fourth high-growth stock that'll have you forgetting about bonds is cloud-based lending platform Upstart Holdings (UPST -2.04%).
Traditionally, the lending process for personal loans can be slow and costly. It can take weeks for loan applicants to supply all relevant information and for banks to process that data and issue an approval or denial. With Upstart's platform, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning do the hard work to determine an applicant's creditworthiness. In about two-thirds of all instances, an approval or denial can be issued on the spot. Not only is this saving banks money, but it's actually democratizing the lending process and making it fairer for those with less-than-superb credit scores.
Something investors are really going to appreciate about Upstart is that 94% of its revenue in the latest quarter derived from bank fees and servicing with no credit exposure. This means that as the Federal Reserve tightens its monetary policy, a modest or abrupt increase in loan delinquencies isn't going to hurt Upstart's operating model or growth potential.
Speaking of growth, Upstart has only begun scratching the surface with regard to its total addressable market. It's been primarily focused on personal loans up to this point. But with the acquisition of Prodigy Software last year, it can now tackle an auto loan origination market worth $727 billion (i.e., over 7 times more than the personal loan market). If that goes well, mortgage originations could be the next area this AI-lending platform dominates.
Even following its huge post-earnings run-up, Upstart can double for investors by 2025.