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Apple And Microsoft In Race To Be The World’s Most Valuable Tech Company

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Recently, Microsoft [MSFT] overtook Apple [AAPL] in market cap for the first time in eight years. On Nov. 26, 2018, Microsoft briefly clinched a market cap of $812.93B while Apple’s market cap at that time stood at $812.6B.

While Microsoft briefly held the title of the most valuable company in the United States, it is likely that the two companies will trade back and forth for this title, at least in the short term.

Apple overtook Microsoft in 2010

Apple first overtook Microsoft about eight years ago. It was described to be a watershed move, highlighting that “the most important technology product no longer sits on your desk but rather in your hand.”

In 2010, the Apple iPhone was just two years into its launch and was fast gaining traction in the smartphone market. The device, in fact, revolutionized the usage of mobile devices and even compelled mobile heavyweights such as Nokia [NOK] and Blackberry [BB] to exit markets.

The iPhone is still Apple’s flagship product and accounts for almost 60% of company sales. Driven by phenomenal growth, Apple was the first public company in the country to be valued at $1T earlier this year.

Slow iPhone demand 

The global smartphone market is in a cycle of decline. Though Apple continues to outperform the global market, demand for its iPhone has been lower than estimated. Analysts have been concerned for some time over Apple’s slowing iPhone demand driven by supply chain reports.

Apple also stated that it would no longer publish device sales going forward, further adding fuel to fire. The tariff war between United and China might further amount to a short-term weakness for Apple shares.

Microsoft a top performing stock

Microsoft has been a top pick for investors in this extended bull run. Despite the upbeat momentum, Apple’s mind-boggling growth has dwarfed Microsoft’s spectacular returns.

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella was appointed the company’s CEO back in 2014, post which the company upped the ante on the development of cloud products and services. Microsoft overtook Google [GOOGL] in market value earlier this year and surpassed Amazon [AMZN] last month.

As seen below, Amazon overtook Microsoft in market cap early this year before Microsoft returned the favor.

Its diversified business portfolio provides more cushion for Microsoft in a downturn. For example, Microsoft’s sales from Windows, Xbox and Surface verticals accounts for 36% of total revenue. Compare this with Google where advertising accounts for 86% of sales.

Microsoft unsuccessfully tried to enter the smartphone space with the Windows phone. Its now trained its guns on high growth areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud, and cross-platform technologies.

Can Microsoft beat Apple to $1T?

We’ve seen that growth concerns for the iPhone coupled with macroeconomic uncertainty in terms of the tariff war will continue to weigh in on Apple’s stock price. Apple’s sales are expected to rise by 5.2% to $279.3B in 2019 and 4.2% to $291.14B in 2020.

Comparatively, Microsoft’s sales are expected to rise 13% in 2019 and 10.6% in 2020. A higher growth rate might benefit Microsoft’s share price especially when uncertainty looms large over Apple.

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Video: Compound Interest, Explained

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A UPS worker never made more than $14,000 a year but retired with $70 million. How? Compound interest. Here’s how it works, courtesy of Investopedia.

 

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3 Ways To Invest From Your Smartphone For Under $5

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The numbers say 80% of millennials don’t invest in stocks.

Reason? Half say they don’t have money, one-third says it’s too early and another third says they don’t know how.

In addition to that, there’s demographic gap. “The average age of a financial advisor is 55,” said Douglas Boneparth, a New York City-based financial planner. “There are more financial advisors over the age of 70 than there are under 30.”

Despite these beliefs, you don’t really need much money, nor experience, to get started. (Just look at our fearless co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi and what she’s pulled off here)

Be that as it may, here are three ways to get started for $5 or less.

1. Stash

Image result for stash app

What: A micro-investment app (iOS and Android) with over 30 ETFs according to industry, sector and risk tolerance.

How it works: Download the app and choose your investment.

Minimum investment: $5

Cost: Fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.

“We help people who don’t have a lot save money on a weekly basis,” CEO and co-founder Brandon Krieg said in one interview. “Stashers look like America, they look like people you meet every day: they are nurses and teachers and Uber and Lyft drivers.”

2. Acorns

 

What: iOS and Android app.

How it works: Download the app and choose one of six index funds. When you buy, say a cup of coffee for $1.75, it rounds up the change to $2 and deposits the difference.

Minimum investment: $5

Cost: Just like Stash, fees range from $1 a month for accounts under $5,000 to 0.25% a year.

“We’re not trying to preach austerity to the client, because that’s a bummer,” CMO Manning Field says. “Some people will say, ‘Don’t have the cup of coffee.’ We’ll tell you to have the cup of coffee and invest along the way.”

3. Robinhood

What: A commission-free investment app (iOS and Android).

How it works: Download and start buying stocks.

Minimum investment: Whatever stock you want to buy.

Cost: Free.

And by the way, if you want to get a fast start on real estate, here’s Forbes’ list of nine REITs with yields between 8% and 10%.

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CHART: How Blockchain Powers Bitcoin

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Blockchain, Bitcoin. Bitcoin, blockchain.

The two terms go hand in hand—and have become almost ubiquitous with this year’s insane rise (and fall) of Bitcoin.

But what does it all really mean? How does it come together? In this week’s chart, our friends at CB Insights break down exactly how blockchain powers Bitcoin.

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