Many investors have ridden the wave of interest in cryptocurrencies to big gains in 2021. Yet more recently, the price of the crypto token Dogecoin (CRYPTO:DOGE) has fallen dramatically. It is down more than 70% from its highs, and although it’s still up year to date, many investors wonder whether they wouldn’t be better off putting their hard-earned investment capital elsewhere.
The appeal of Dogecoin for many stems from the financial innovation that cryptocurrency brings to the table. Yet crypto is far from the only innovation in the financial industry worth looking at. Below, we’ll look at three stocks that are moving forward with groundbreaking technology to make it easier for everyone to handle various aspects of their finances.
Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ:UPST) has a simple but ambitious business model. It wants to make it easier for those who have gotten locked out of credit to gain access to the loans they want.
Upstart’s lending platform might look similar to what you’d see from other financing providers, but it’s not. Powering Upstart’s model is a cutting-edge proprietary system using artificial intelligence (AI) to consider a far wider array of important variables in deciding whether to recommend that a borrower be approved for a loan. Rather than settling for what traditional credit scoring agencies offer, Upstart’s platform takes other information into account that has a bearing on a borrower’s ability to pay. The net result is that Upstart supports making loans to a much broader set of customers without sacrificing credit quality.
Upstart also brings efficiency to the lending process, with the majority of its credit decisions proving to be fully automated. That has helped Upstart attract more partners interested in lending under its platform.
In the end, a lot will depend on whether Upstart’s AI-driven algorithm makes superior credit decisions. If it does, though, then the stock could have plenty of upside left, especially as it expands beyond personal loans to incorporate auto lending and looks at further expansion into mortgages and credit cards.
SoFi (NASDAQ:SOFI) just came public late last month, having completed its merger with a special purpose acquisition company. SoFi’s app-based platform aims to bring a full range of financial services to customers’ fingertips, including lending, savings, investing, and money management.
SoFi’s earnings report in late May showed that the platform is getting increasingly popular. The company said that member counts more than doubled year over year, with revenue gains weighing in at a greater than 150% annual pace. Moreover, it expects its growth trajectory to remain strong, projecting sales gains approaching 60% for the full 2021 fiscal year.
SoFi isn’t the only company trying to build an all-inclusive financial ecosystem. But the app resonates with its customer base, and cross-selling opportunities abound. All in all, SoFi looks like it’s following the right strategy toward maximizing its business opportunity, and shareholders should look forward to what’s to come from the fintech up-and-comer.
Lastly, Dogecoin lovers can appreciate a pet angle in their investments. Trupanion (NASDAQ:TRUP) offers pet health insurance at affordable monthly rates, making it easier for pet owners to be able to handle unexpected veterinary bills without having to make the tough decision of how to balance finances with love of animals.
Trupanion has seen a growing number of pet owners turn to the company for help. In the first quarter, enrolled pets were up 20% to 610,000, helping to boost revenue by nearly 40% year over year. Other key metrics have been promising as well, including the rate at which subscribers stick with the service and even add on services over time.
Trupanion shares lost 40% of their value between February and March, but they’ve bounced back considerably since then. Even if Dogecoin flounders from here, Trupanion will remain a pet owner’s best friend, and that loyalty to the service should help bring share-price gains in the future.
Go with proven winners
Crypto might well disrupt financial technology as we know it, but it’s not the only way investors can make money from innovation. Growth investors should look more closely at Trupanion, SoFi, and Upstart to see the role they can play in a well-diversified portfolio with the goal of turning modest investments into life-changing wealth.
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.