I absolutely love the investment app Robinhood. It doesn’t charge commissions, so it’s an easy and inexpensive way to invest, even if it’s just a couple bucks at a time.
And I’m not alone. Millennials love Robinhood too. While you might imagine the typical investor to be some old rich dude, the median age of Robinhood’s 3 million users is under 30.
What stocks are Robinhood Users buying? Well, I researched the top 10 stocks currently held by Robinhood investors. I ranked them by the number of people who actually own shares as of March 16, 2018.
What I found might surprise you.
It’s no surprise to see red-hot, $150 billion chip-maker Nvidia on the list. Its chips are used for all sorts of crazy-cool future tech, from driverless cars to fancy gaming PCs. Nvidia’s stock has been on fire: Had you invested $1,000 in the company back in March 2013, you’d have more than $20,000 worth of shares today.
Twitter has actually lost value since its 2013 IPO, so if you’ve been in since day one, you’ve felt that pain. But the company consistently crushed Wall Street expectations last year -- maybe President Trump’s Twitter addiction helped? -- more than doubling its stock price over the last year.
To paraphrase "The Social Network": Making a million dollars on Robinhood isn't cool. You know what's cool? Making a billion dollars... on Robinhood.
Twitter’s larger, more successful rival is a Robinhood favorite, too. We know -- people are leaving Facebook, and it’s had issues with “fake news.” It’s latest privacy scandal involving Cambridge Analytica may cause even more problems. But despite all that, growth is strong: $1,000 invested in Facebook in March 2017 would be worth more than $1,200 today.
Fitbit has totally tanked since it went public in 2015 -- had you invested $1,000 in the IPO, you’d have less than $200 today. Fitbit faces a lot of competition from the Apple Watch, and it just can’t seem to turn a profit. There’s a lot of money to be made if the company ever turns around… and that’s a big if.
Here’s another tragic, Fitbit-like story: GoPro went public in 2014, with similarly ugly results. The CEO blamed competition from smartphones, but GoPro has been hurt by drone hardware problems and a failed entertainment business. Its low stock price -- just above $5 -- may be the only thing drawing attention right now.
Moving Microsoft Office to a subscription model has made the company crazy bank, and its cloud storage business practically prints money. Had you invested $1,000 in the company five years ago, it’d be worth more than $3,700 today.
Like rival Nvidia, AMD makes graphics chips. Unlike Nvidia, however, AMD’s stock price has fallen slightly over the last year. The company’s cards are a top choice for crypto miners, but there are fears that a drop in bitcoin’s price could hurt the chipmaker, too.
Young investors must like catching falling knives: The price of this equipment maker has dropped by half over the last year. It has a dividend yield of over 5 percent now, which sounds really good… but be careful. Unless the company can turn around its rapid decline, that oversized dividend will get cut (again).
This old-school car maker has a low share price (roughly $11), it’s making investments in electric cars, and it has a juicy 4.8 percent dividend yield. It may be a value trap, however: Ford shares haven’t moved much over the last five years.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same millennials who love iPhones also love investing in the company that makes them. It also shouldn’t be surprising that Apple investors have made big bucks. Had you invested $1,000 in Apple a year ago, you’d have more than $1,250 today. Better yet, had you bought $1,000 worth of shares ten years ago, you’d have more than $10,000 today (when you include dividend payments).
Disclosure: As of the time of this writing, author Fox Van Allen was long NVDA, FB and AAPL.