Canada is truly blessed when it comes to selecting great investments. Whether it’s the stable financial sector (at least in comparison to the U.S. market where crises hit roughly once a decade), or the impressive selection of mining and energy investments, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Tech-focused companies could be another viable addition to that list of great investments.
Take a bite out of the growing mobile commerce sector
One of the things that I love about tech investments is how they completely revamp the way in which we do things. A prime example of this retail, which has completely changed in the past decade thanks to smartphones and the growing emphasis on mobile commerce.
Shopify (TSX:SHOP)(NYSE:SHOP) is the software company that is near the eye of that mobile-commerce hurricane. In short, Shopify’s modular platform allows both small and large businesses alike to set up and begin operating a mobile storefront in a fraction of the time that traditional development methods would take. That’s part of the reason why Shopify has amassed over 800,000 active storefronts around the world and can boast over $1 billion in sales traversing the platform.
Despite the stock surging 200% in the past two years, there’s still significant long-term potential for investors. Critics may whine about declining growth rates and the lack of massive profit margins, when in fact growth remains solidly in double-digit territory, and there are still millions of businesses out there contemplating and adopting the Shopify partly as a result of legalization last fall.
Invest in future technologies
Sierra is responsible for bringing to market the embedded modules and gateways that allow a myriad of just about any device conceivable to connect to the internet. That market extends from 2G radios all through the upcoming 5G modems, and IoT, or Internet of Things as it’s known, is the key to it all.
Among the high-demand sectors that should attract the interest of investors are smartphones and the growing popularity of autonomous vehicles. Sierra has already established agreements with some automotive companies — a trend that is likely to continue over the next few years.
Despite the long-term potential of the company, Sierra’s stock has plunged over 20% in the past year, and twice that amount over the past two years. Sierra plans to rein in costs over the next year as new markets continue to mature and demand catches up.
If Sierra hadn’t already declined as much as it has I would opt to take a wait-and-see approach to investing but there’s plenty to suggest that it may be near the bottom.
Consider an established company full of fresh blood
Most current investors are well aware of BlackBerry (TSX:BB)(NYSE:BB) and the opportunity that the company holds for long-term investors, but those investors that dumped the stock over the past decade as BlackBerry jettisoned its hardware segment may be in for a pleasant surprise.
While BlackBerry doesn’t make smartphones anymore, the company has licensed out its name to third-party manufacturers around the globe and works with those partners on new devices.
It’s important to note that hardware isn’t the focus of the new BlackBerry, however. The company is now firmly established as a software-first company with an intriguing portfolio of projects that will have tech-focused investors salivating with the potential long-term growth opportunities.
Beyond the obvious emphasis on growing its Enterprise segment (which comes with a healthy share of recurring subscription revenue), BlackBerry’s IoT asset-tracking solution, BlackBerry Radar is showing promise in multiple segments of the economy. Adding to that appeal is BlackBerry’s growing emphasis on Cyber-security, which culminated in the acquisition of Cylance last year.
Finally, there’s QNX. That’s the operating system already powering over 120 million vehicle infotainment systems on the road today as well as securely powering everything from medical systems to nuclear power plants. QNX is going to play a big part in the advancement of autonomous driving.
BlackBerry’s return to profitability and advancements in the above technologies position the stock as an ideal buy and hold pick for long-term investors.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. 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, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Sierra Wireless. Tom Gardner owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of BlackBerry, Shopify, Shopify, and Sierra Wireless. Shopify and BlackBerry are recommendations of Stock Advisor Canada.