For more than a century, the stock market has been the undisputed greatest wealth creator on the planet. Even though certain assets or commodities, such as gold and housing, have had short periods when they’ve outperformed equities, stocks have delivered the greatest and most consistent long-term returns.
Then cryptocurrencies came along about a decade ago and completely turned this thesis on its head. Bitcoin, the largest digital currency in the world by market cap, could once be purchased for less than $1 per token. This past weekend, each Bitcoin would set you back around $58,000. That’s an insane return in just over a decade.
Unfortunately, this mountain of momentum that’s built up in the crypto space has also given rise to some truly awful digital currencies. Dogecoin (CRYPTO:DOGE) is the perfect example.
The Dogecoin bull thesis can be easily debunked
Peruse any of the popular social media boards (Reddit or Twitter), and you’ll get no shortage of reasons why Dogecoin is the greatest possible crypto to buy now. Enthusiasts often cite its lower transaction fees relative to Bitcoin and Ethereum (the No. 1 and 2 in terms of crypto market cap), improving adoption by retailers, and its community as reasons for its current and future success. Unfortunately, every “catalyst” for Dogecoin can be very easily debunked.
For example, Dogecoin does indeed have lower transaction fees than Bitcoin and Ethereum, but they’re far from the lowest. While we’re on the subject of cherry-picking comparison data, Nano, Ripple, Stellar, Dash, and Litecoin are just some of the cryptos that offer lower transaction fees. Nano, Ripple, Stellar, and Dash also validate and settle transactions faster than Dogecoin. In an arena where the barrier to entry is virtually nonexistent, Dogecoin offers no true competitive advantage on fees or transaction speed.
As for adoption, online business directory Cryptwerk suggests that around 1,300 companies accept Dogecoin. Nearly all of these businesses are obscure, and Dogecoin has had eight years to develop a following. Managing to be accepted by 1,300 businesses when well over 500 million companies exist worldwide isn’t exactly game-changing utility.
Lastly, the community aspect looks to be built on hype. Without anything tangible to drive Dogecoin’s valuation, most “hodlers” are waiting on the edge of their seats hoping Tesla‘s CEO Elon Musk will mention Dogecoin in a tweet or say its name on an upcoming episode of Saturday Night Live, which he’s hosting on May 8. These aren’t tangible catalysts. They’re the signs of a pump-and-dump asset.
This trio of stocks would be a much smarter way to put your money to work
Instead of potentially throwing your money away on a digital currency that was created as a joke in 2013, consider putting it to work in the following trio of infinitely smarter stocks.
If growth, growth, and more growth is your thing, you’re going to love Singapore-based Sea Limited (NYSE:SE). Sea is a bit of a conglomerate in that it has three exceptionally fast-growing operating segments.
For the time being, the greatest driver of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) is the company’s digital entertainment division. This segment, which focuses on mobile gaming, had more than 610 million active users in the fourth quarter, 73.1 million of whom were paying customers. With people stuck in their homes in 2020 due to the pandemic, gaming was a form of release and entertainment. As a result, the company’s paying customers grew by 120%.
Arguably the more important operating segment is e-commerce. Sea’s online Shopee platform has consistently been the most popular e-commerce download in Southeast Asia. The combination of people staying home and desiring the convenience of ordering goods online has sent Shopee’s growth trajectory into the stratosphere. The amount of gross merchandise value transacted on its network doubled last year to $35.4 billion, with gross orders rising 133% to 2.8 billion. With Shopee making inroads in South America as well, it has aspirations of becoming Amazon 2.0.
Third, Sea offers digital financial services to largely underbanked countries and communities. Last year, it handled $7.8 billion in mobile-wallet payment volume and counted north of 23 million paying customers.
Sea could realistically quadruple its revenue in four years, which makes it a much smarter bet than Dogecoin.
U.S. marijuana stocks can also be a source of immense gains this decade. Even if President Joe Biden and his administration fail to pass any cannabis reforms at the federal level, state-level legalizations are providing more than enough growth potential for U.S. multistate operators. That’s why Trulieve Cannabis (OTC:TCNNF) could run circles around Dogecoin.
What allows Trulieve Cannabis to stand out from an increasingly crowded field of marijuana companies is its laser focus on a single state. A little over two weeks ago, the company opened its 85th and 86th dispensaries nationwide. And 81 of these 86 retail locations are in the Sunshine State.
Instead of planting its flag in as many legalized markets as possible, Trulieve decided to saturate one of the largest states by annual cannabis sales. By piling into Florida, it’s been able to effectively build up its brand without having to break the bank with marketing costs. Trulieve ended 2020 with a 53% share of the state’s dried cannabis market and a 49% share of its oils market. It’s worth pointing out that oils are a much higher-margin product and less susceptible to oversupply than dried cannabis.
Furthermore, Trulieve was profitable long before its peers. It’s generated a profit for 12 consecutive quarters and should be profitable on a recurring basis moving forward. Being cash flow positive is a big advantage when it comes to opening new locations and attempting to expand its successful Florida blueprint to other legalized states.
A third stock that’s an infinitely smarter buy than the hyped-up cryptocurrency Dogecoin is data-mining company Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR).
Palantir is what you might call a dual threat. It has a platform that’s specifically focused on helping the federal government categorize and analyze data (Gotham), and offers data-mining analytics for businesses, too (Foundry). Gotham is primarily used for defense purposes and military missions, whereas Foundry helps businesses visualize their data to make their operations more efficient.
Last year, Gotham was Palantir’s primarily driver. Big military contract wins helped propel full-year sales for the company higher by 45%. But over the long run, Foundry offers more potential. Palantir has only scratched the surface of its potential customer pool for Foundry, and ended 2020 with 24 customers in the Global 300. There’s work to be done to gain additional enterprise customers, but there’s also a long runway of double-digit growth opportunity.
The thing to understand about Palantir Technologies’ artificial-intelligence-driven platforms is that there’s simply nothing else like them. This may be a controversial company given its tie-ins with certain federal agencies, but it’s destined to be a moneymaker and a business that can keep growing by 30% or more for the next five years. That makes it a good bet to outperform Dogecoin.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.