The FAANGs have been the most popular stocks on Wall Street for some time now and for good reason. Facebook [FB], Apple [AAPL], Amazon [AMZN], Netflix [NFLX] and Google [GOOG] have a total market cap of approximately $3.5 trillion.
To put that into perspective—that’s more than the UK’s 100 biggest companies put together.
They’ve witnessed increases that range between 100-600% over the last three years. If you’re looking to check out how the indices have fared during this period, the numbers played out relatively low in comparison—the NASDAQ Composite generated 67%, while the S&P 500 [SPY] could returned around 40%.
Although the FAANG stocks account for almost half of the NASDAQ index, the massive rise in stock prices have worked in their favor—helping them substantially increase investor wealth and easily beat index returns.
Innovative products and business models
The FAANGs managed to completely disrupt several tech verticals by focusing on innovation and catering to specific needs.
Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 and is now one of the global leaders in smartphone manufacturing. It has managed to compete with other tech giants such as Samsung, comparatively new companies like Xiaomi and disrupt business models that were followed by former market leaders such as Nokia and BlackBerry.
In August 2018, Apple was the first US-based company to reach a market cap of $1 trillion.
The breakout success of Amazon Web Services propelled the firm to profitability and sent its market cap soaring. Amazon recently touched the $1 trillion market cap and is currently valued at a whopping $952B.
Facebook’s biggest bet was on building one of the world’s biggest social media network—and it paid off mighty well. The company’s net profits have risen from $53 million in 2012 to $16 billion in 2017.
Netflix isn’t lagging behind, either. It’s benefitted immensely from the cord cutting phenomenon and the shift towards streaming services. From a DVD rental firm in the 1990’s to the leading online streaming content company, Netflix has delivered significant returns to its shareholders.
Google realized the potential of the internet and created a revolutionary product nearly two decades ago. Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin were willing to sell Google to Altavista for a paltry $1M in 1998 which did not move forward. Yahoo joined the same bandwagon, and turned down an offer to acquire Google for $5B in 2002.
Google has wasted no time in diversifying into multiple revenue streams and briefly overtook Apple as the most valuable company in 2016.
Has the Downturn Started?
The upward spiral of FAANG stocks has been likened to that of the tech bubble during the dotcom crash of 2000. We saw a ton of e-commerce companies blow up and burn cash, eventually leading to a worldwide market crash.
Recently, data revealed that short bets for FAANGs increased 40% year-over-year to a whopping $37B at the end of August 2018, indicating a negative sentiment in the stock market.
Amazon prices slumped lower by 5% last week shortly after the company reached its $1 trillion valuation in intra-day trading.
The sluggish global market environment, trade war tariffs, and other macroeconomic factors have impacted FAANGs stocks this year after a spectacular run in 2018.
Despite these headwinds, Apple is up 32% in 2018, while Netflix, Amazon, and Google have risen 82%, 67%, and 11.3% respectively. However, Facebook’s shares have slipped by 7.6% this year.
Growth story far from over
While there might be a short-term correction in FAANG stocks it will also make them cheaper and more attractive.
Warren Buffett remains optimistic about Apple and has been increasing stake in the company for a few years now.
Apple and Google are targeting new business segments such as autonomous cars. Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook are already banking on the massive potential of emerging markets that open new regions to drive sales.
The FAANGs have massive cash balances that can be used for acquisitions as well as investments in research and development that will result in the product innovation and efficient services.
As long as the FAANGs continue to achieve substantial sales growth and successfully target new growth verticals, investors will remain bullish.
CHART: How Blockchain Powers Bitcoin
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.
This Mogul Became America’s 1st Black Billion-Dollar Businesswoman
Where to start?
She’s the first black billion-dollar businesswoman. Before Oprah Winfrey.
She started as a TV executive, founding Black Entertainment Television (BET), the first TV network targeting African Americans. She then became a real estate mogul.
Oh, she also owns a stake in three major sports franchises, the NBA Wizards, NHL Capitals and the WNBA Mystics, the African American, period, to boast that claim.
In honor of Black History Month, let’s dive into her remarkable career.
- Born Sheila Crump in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Johnson co-founded BET in 1979 with then-husband Robert Johnson. The couple sold it to Viacom in 2000 for $2.9B
- Sheila Crump Johnson became the first African American woman on the Forbes’ Billionaire list in 2000—beating Oprah Winfrey to the distinction.
- Per Forbes, Johnson has an $820M net worth as of 2019
Foray into real estate…
After closing the sale to Viacom, Robert and Sheila pocketed around $1.5B each. Johnson used that windfall as seed money to build a hospitality real estate empire in 2005.
“There’s a disparity in paychecks between whites and blacks,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “I will never forget that.”
As CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, Sheila controls a spectacular portfolio of six luxury hotels in Florida, Virginia and South Carolina. And she’s built it from the ground up—literally—in her own spirit.
“I’ve been to many hotels, not only in the US, but all over the world,” she told Forbes last year. “And I wanted to find something that was going to really make Salamander stand out beyond all of these hotels.”
So what does that mean?
“You have to understand, there are a lot of people, investment companies, with very deep pockets,” she says. “They can do it, but they don’t have the experiences that we’re able to bring. I am constantly trying to find a way to help Salamander Resort & Spa stand out head over heels above any other hotel — not only in the area, but in the nation.
“I want them to leave that resort wanting to come back and not just say, ‘I’ll be back in six months.’ I want them to come back all the time.”
And so far it’s worked. In fact, on Forbes Travel Guide’s 61st list of Star-Rated hotels, Johnson’s Salamander Resort & Spa outside of Washington, DC earned a Five-Star distinction.
Forbes: “Everything [she] touches turns to gold.”
That’s a real quote. From Forbes. Last year. It’s also true.
BET? Billion-dollar exit. Washington Capitals? Stanley Cup.
And Roma. Won 10 Oscars. Who showed it before a single soul started caring? Johnson’s Middleburg Film Festival. (Which, by the way, has 32 films and counting in Academy Award contention.)
Remember her golf resort at Innisbrook? Oh, yeah. Hosts the Valspar Championship, one of the PGA calendar’s most-anticipated tournaments.
Becoming a billionaire comes with a new level of clout as well. “When you don’t have money, you’re not invited to special events; you really don’t matter,” she told WSJ. “It’s a society thing.”
So instead, she’s turned to giving back. Her Sheila Johnson Fellowship’s paid for more then 40 scholarships at Harvard University for students who otherwise wouldn’t afford to attend.
Breaking glass ceilings.
There’s an alarming statistic in business and diversity—especially as it pertains to women. According to research by investor Richard Kerby, 18% of all VCs are women—and only 3% are black. In addition, less than 50 black women ever have raised $1M in funding.
“When I got started,” Johnson says, “I couldn’t get a loan. I had to use my own money to get Salamander Resort and Spa.”
She explained to WSJ last year that men can go to any bank with a bank proposal. And no matter how “wacky” the idea is, she said, “they’re going to get the financing. Women do not have that ability.”
Johnson’s taken it upon herself to do something about that, becoming one of the founding partners of WE Capital, an investment firm that invests in female entrepreneurs.
“I started out in a very unique position where I had my own capital to be able to get started,” she says. “But there have got to be banks and investors that believe in helping women who want to be entrepreneurs in the hospitality business.
“And it’s just really, really important that they really take a look at this.”
VIDEO: How Far Does $150K A Year Get You In New York City?
No matter what metric or list you look at, it goes without saying: New York City is one of the most expensive places in the world to live in.
In this video, CNBC spoke to a Millennial who runs her own brand consulting agency and wants to #WealthHACK her way to retirement by 40.
She makes $150K a year. But how far does that actually get her? Check it out.