Many want to get a piece of the latest hot tech stock, but the best time to invest may be before they go public.
Private Tech Growth Outperformed Dow Jones Tech
Late stage, venture capital-backed private tech companies outperformed not only the S&P 500, but also the Dow Jones Tech index in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to SharesPost, a liquidity provider for investors in hot private companies. The SharesPost U.S. Private Growth Index rose 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018, while the S&P 500 fell 14% and the Dow Jones Tech Index fell 17%.
Of course, the global equity market saw a tremendous correction during that time, so outperforming those indices wasn't exactly difficult, but the private index still smoked the public markets. And of course, the S&P 500 and big public tech companies can be incredibly volatile, as public and highly liquid markets are extremely reactive to news, events and changes.
"This wide variance in performance and the uncorrelated, double-digit returns are a reason capital is flowing into this asset class," wrote SharesPost analyst Alejandro Ortiz in a note Wednesday.
Many of these unicorns see their share prices pop immediately upon their debut but now always after. Lyft (LYFT) - Get Report rose to $87 on its first trade, well above its offer price of $72 but now stands at just under $60. Snap (SNAP) - Get Report rose to $27 on its first day of trading in March of 2017, from its offer price of $17, but now trades at under $12. Pinterest and Zoom go public on Thursday, and Uber hits the public market soon this year.
One caveat, though -- you need to be an accredited investor to buy and sell assets on SharesPost, meaning you have at least $1 million in assets, or $200,000 in annual income.
Qualcomm and Apple
Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report , RealMoney's stock of the day, and (AAPL) - Get Report have agreed to settle their bitter royalty dispute and initiate a new six-year deal for Qualcomm to supply chips for Apple's iPhones. RealMoney's Kevin Curran points out that Qualcomm supplying Apple's iPhones makes 5G a surer bet, since it was unclear if Intel (INTC) - Get Report would have been able to supply the necessary chipsets in time for a 5G iPhone in 2020.
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