Whether you're a new or tenured investor, you've been given a wake-up call in 2022 that stocks can go down just as easily as they can rise. Since the beginning of the year, the broad-based S&P 500 and nearly 126-year-old Dow Jones Industrial Average have declined by more than 10% from their all-time closing highs. Things have been even more challenging for the tech-driven Nasdaq Composite, which has shed as much as 24% since its November peak and was firmly in a bear market as of early last week.
But where there's short-term pain, there's also an opportunity for long-term gains. That's because every stock market correction and bear market has eventually been wiped away by a bull market rally. When you invest in innovative stocks at a discount and allow your investment thesis to play out over time, there's a good chance you'll build wealth.
The following three surefire stocks are all trading at a discount during the market sell-off and have both the catalysts and intangibles necessary to turn a $200,000 investment into $1 million by 2030.
Auto stocks like Nio are contending with a challenging environment. Semiconductor chip shortages and COVID-19-driven supply shortages have caused most automakers to scale back production on select models. In Nio's case, the company delivered just 5,074 EVs in April, which was less than half of what it was delivering on a monthly basis in November and December. Nio is being hit harder than most automakers given that some Chinese provinces have undergone strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
Although supply chain concerns are never a positive, the important thing to note here is that Nio's near-term struggles have absolutely nothing to do with demand. This means opportunistic investors have the chance to buy this innovative EV maker at a substantial discount to its all-time high.
Nio's innovation comes in two forms. The first is readily apparent: its introduction of new vehicles. For example, the company's ET7 and ET5 sedans offer up to 621 miles of range with the top battery option. These sedans are direct competitors to Tesla's flagship sedans, the Model S and Model 3, and provide superior range (again, with the battery upgrade). China is the world's leading auto market, which gives Nio a large runway with which to gobble up market share with its premium sedans and SUVs.
The other way Nio is innovating is with its service. In August 2020, the company introduced its battery-as-a-service (BaaS) subscription, which allows its EV buyers to charge, swap, or upgrade their batteries. Enrollment in BaaS also provides a discount on the purchase price of a Nio EV. Despite giving up some near-term sales with BaaS, Nio locks in long-term subscription revenue and the loyalty of its early buyers.
Based on Wall Street's fluid forecast, Nio is on track to quadruple its sales by 2024, as well as turn the corner to recurring profitability. By 2023, most of the company's supply chain issues should be in the rearview mirror. That makes it a good bet to turn deliver 400% returns for shareholders by 2030.
A second surefire stock that can deliver jaw-dropping sales and profit growth throughout the remainder of the decade is cloud-based lending platform Upstart Holdings (UPST 3.44%).
The big knock against Upstart is that historically high inflation in the U.S. is coercing the nation's central bank to get aggressive with interest rate hikes. As a lending-based service, there's obvious concern that higher interest rates will dramatically slow loan-processing activity, which would be bad news for the company.
But Upstart has a few tricks up its sleeve. To begin with, its lending platform relies on artificial intelligence (AI). Whereas the traditional loan-vetting process can take weeks, approximately 70% of Upstart's loan applicants are fully automated and approved on the spot. This helps save lending institutions time and money.
What's interesting is that Upstart's AI-powered lending platform is helping to democratize loan access without adversely impacting lending institutions. Even though the average credit score of Upstart's approvals is lower than the average credit score of traditional loan approvals, there's been no difference in delinquency rates. As interest rates rise and the sheer number of loan applications to process declines, it's likely we'll see banks turn to Upstart even more than they are now given the success of its AI-driven lending platform.
Something else investors should note is that Upstart has no credit exposure and generated 94% of its revenue from fees and services. This means if a recession does strike and loan delinquencies rise, Upstart doesn't have to set aside capital to cover loan losses.
Looking a bit further out, Upstart should also benefit from its push into AI-based auto lending. The auto loan origination market is over seven times larger than the personal loan market it's been focused on for years. Upstart is in the very early innings of what should be sustained rapid growth.
The pandemic has sent Pinterest on a roller-coaster ride. It initially soared on big user gains, with people stuck in their homes during the initial stages of the pandemic. But since the end of March 2021, declines in monthly active user (MAU) figures have left Wall Street skeptical of Pinterest's future. To add, there's also concern that Apple's iOS privacy changes, which allow app users to turn off data tracking, could inhibit ad-driven businesses like Pinterest.
However, neither of these near-term headwinds should be fazing long-term investors. For example, even though Pinterest's total MAUs have declined from a peak of 478 million to 433 million over the past year, panning out four or five years shows a steady uptrend in total MAUs. In other words, the MAU decline in recent quarters is simply user growth retracing back to historic norms following the unsustainable pandemic-related boost.
Additionally, regardless of whether MAUs have increased or declined on a year-over-year basis, Pinterest hasn't had any trouble monetizing its user base. The latest quarter, which featured 45 million fewer MAUs than the same quarter last year, saw global average revenue per user (ARPU) climb 28%, with European ARPU up an even more impressive 40%. This demonstrates that merchants are willing to pay a premium to reach Pinterest's user base. It also clearly suggests that international markets are where Pinterest's greatest opportunity lies.
Apple's iOS privacy changes aren't much to worry about, either. While other social media platforms have some guesswork to do in order to help advertisers target users, the entire premise of Pinterest's platform is for users to freely and willingly share the things, places, and services that interest them. This makes Pinterest incredibly valuable for merchants wanting to target specific interests.
Following a nearly 15-month downtrend, Pinterest looks ripe for the picking and fully capable of quintupling investors' money by the end of the decade.