It's no secret that the market is on shaky ground in 2022. We are experiencing wild swings, especially in the tech sector. According to Bankrate, 82% of investors are investing less in 2022 than they did in 2021. We know that buying high and selling low is not the way to generate the best long-term returns, but it's easier said than done.
Luckily, there are a couple of tried-and-true strategies that our future selves will thank us for. First, we don't need to time the bottom; that's nearly impossible. Dollar-cost averaging, or incremental purchasing, is a much better strategy. Next, we look for solid companies in growing industries that may have become undervalued.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging field that many companies are taking advantage of in innovative ways. AI doesn't just mean talking robots destined to take over the planet one day. It's involved in maximizing advertising effectiveness, cybersecurity, cloud services, and a host of other applications.
These companies are harnessing AI and could benefit long-term investors.
1. The Trade Desk
Advertising is undergoing a fundamental shift away from linear advertising on cable and satellite television and more toward targeted digital advertising on connected television (CTV), video, and social media. CTV refers to streaming television like Netflix or Disney+. According to one study, 60% of advertisers are shifting their budgets into CTV.
This is where The Trade Desk (TTD 1.62%) comes in. The Trade Desk is a partner to advertisers that provides a platform where advertisers and their agencies can choose from billions of digital ad opportunities daily. This platform uses AI to generate optimized ad campaigns that maximize return on investment and provide critical insights.
The Trade Desk is growing, reaching $1.2 billion in revenue in fiscal 2021. And Q1 of fiscal 2022 saw this growth continue with a 43% year-over-year rise. The company is also typically GAAP profitable and generating lots of adjusted EBITDA -- a breath of fresh air for growth companies.
Walmart chose The Trade Desk to partner with its Walmart Connect shopper advertising initiative. Netflix will likely be moving to a tiered subscription package that includes advertising at certain levels. Access to Netflix would be gigantic for The Trade Desk, and it just so happens that a former Netflix CEO sits on The Trade Desk's board of directors.
During the tech sell-off, The Trade Desk's valuation has come full circle, and it now trades at a price-to-sales ratio in the range of where it traded in much of 2019. This offers investors the best entry price in some time.
Data breaches and ransomware cost the world economy billions of dollars every year. With so much of our daily lives and economic prosperity tied to computers and cloud infrastructure, it must be constantly protected. CrowdStrike (CRWD -0.83%) uses its AI-powered, cloud-native Falcon platform to do just that.
CrowdStrike provides threat intelligence, endpoint protection, and other cybersecurity services to over 16,325 customers, including 65 members of the Fortune 100. The company's subscription customer and revenue growth have been nothing short of phenomenal in recent years.
Like The Trade Desk, CrowdStrike's stock has lost much of its 2021 premium valuation and may now be approaching oversold territory.
One thing that the rise of AI does is massively increase the amount of data generated. And that data requires a tremendous amount of cloud infrastructure, which is where Amazon (AMZN 0.64%) is making hay. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the clear cloud infrastructure leader, claiming 33% of the overall marketplace.
AWS is highly profitable and multiplying. Recently, this segment has been the company's saving grace as massive headwinds have cut into e-commerce profits. As the chart shows, AWS is becoming more profitable as sales increase.
2022 has certainly been a setback for Amazon, and the share price reflects this. It now trades more than 40% below its 52-week high. While many investors are running away from the stock, this may be the best time to invest in Amazon stock in years. Remember, dollar-cost averaging and a diversified portfolio are critical to managing risk.
Artificial intelligence is a burgeoning technology used in more industries than many of us realize. Investors with a long time horizon can capitalize on this growth with outstanding companies that are building for the future.