The market is presenting investors with an abundance of bargain buys right now, and for those with cash to invest in their portfolio, this could be a great time to take advantage of these discounted stocks. If you’re looking to grow your portfolio at the start of the new year, there’s certainly no shortage of wonderful companies that are real steals right now.
Let’s take a look at two of them.
Calls for the democratization of the credit industry are long overdue. For years, many felt that the FICO-based model long used to determine whether or not to approve consumer loans not only left a lot of money on the table, but could reduce large swaths of the potential solvent population. This has created a significant opportunity to improve the traditional dynamics of the lending industry, and Reached (UPST 0.46%) answered this call.
Founded just over a decade ago, Upstart’s mission is to completely revolutionize the way loan applications are reviewed, assessed and approved. The company doesn’t completely remove FICO scores, but these are used along with a wide range of other factors, such as an applicant’s work history and where they live, to make a final decision on a loan application.
And because Upstart’s platform relies on state-of-the-art AI and machine learning algorithms to make loan decisions, it not only increases the likelihood that the platform can form a more accurate gauge of an applicant’s default risk, but also opens up the world of credit to entirely new groups of consumers who were previously excluded from the lending market.
A recent study by the company revealed that Upstart’s model approves more than 43% more borrowers than the traditional FICO-based model. At present, investors are mainly focused on the difficult dynamics of the loan market, which is seeing high interest rates and higher defaults than in previous periods.
However, Upstart’s proprietary model is uniquely positioned to meet these challenges and is constantly learning and adapting to the changes presented by the lending environment as a whole. Right now, that means loan volumes are down and interest rates on approved loans are higher. But management said in the latest quarterly report that Upstart’s model has improved as much in the previous four months as it has in the past two years.
While overall lending volume is down, Upstart is still seeing progress on key fronts. For example, in the last quarter, small business lending – a newer product offering – saw its volume quadruple quarter over quarter. Upstart continues to improve and refine its auto retail software for dealerships, and now its auto loan products are available in three retail groups in four states, capturing approximately a quarter of the overall market. car nationwide.
Upstart is just beginning its journey as a business. While near-term contractions in lending volumes could mean more painful quarters ahead, the sustainability of its platform can continue to adapt to the changing environment and further fuel the business.
In his heart, pinterest (PINS 1.93%) is an advertising giant disguised as a social media stock. However, the company is anything but your ordinary social media brand. The unique design and layout of its platform gives it a competitive flair that even the most well-known social media companies might lack.
Rather than constantly hitting consumers with a sea of readable information and messages for them to view and absorb, Pinterest’s platform is primarily designed around visual content only. From images to videos, Pinterest’s photo-sharing model makes it a friendly space where consumers can find inspiration on just about any topic without having to deal with the same cacophony of data that users have. tend to suffer on other popular platforms.
This is not a networking site like Meta platform‘s Instagram or Facebook, and it appeals to a very different set of consumer needs. Pinterest is the type of platform that’s highly scrollable without being overwhelming, and it tends to grab and hold users’ eyeballs in ways the average social media site couldn’t. This creates abundant opportunity for businesses looking to advertise to expand their addressable target audience across virtually any industry or product category.
Pinterest ads come in the form of clickable photos or videos that users can “pin” or save to inspiration boards to come back to later, or even choose to buy the product by clicking on the image and by going directly to the merchant’s website. Let’s say someone is looking for some holiday decor inspiration. They’ll likely not only find a bunch of great images that match what they’re looking for, but also products that they can actually buy.
Does this model work? Well, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In fact, Pinterest ads are more than twice as cost effective at converting customers than traditional social media ads; at the same time, they deliver twice the return on ad spend for retail brands than the average social media campaign.
Pinterest is starting to see an uptick in user growth again (the last quarter saw it report 445 million monthly active users globally), while revenue increases. A decline in advertising spending in the current macroeconomic environment could continue to impact Pinterest’s growth, and especially earnings, in the coming quarters.
In the long term, however, the competitive advantage of its platform, which has few direct competitors, makes it an advertising powerhouse that brands should continue to flock to for a long time to come. Buy-and-hold investors can capitalize on the growth of this tech stock in the next bull market.
Randi Zuckerberg, former director of market development and spokesperson for Facebook and sister of Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a board member of The Motley Fool. Rachel Warren has no position in the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool holds positions and recommends Meta Platforms, Pinterest and Upstart. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.