Forget Shopify: 1 Tech Stock to Buy Instead

Shopify (TSX:SHOP) stock has been really heating up, but it’s not the only game in town for investors seeking to do well in 2024.

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Shopify (TSX:SHOP) stock has been an incredible performer for 2023, soaring around 116% on the year. Indeed, the momentum has returned in a big way for Shopify. And though there’s still room to run if the stock’s going to hit new highs again, perhaps thanks to the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and the improving appetite for digital retail sales, I’d prefer waiting for a big pullback before truly backing up the truck.

I’m a massive fan of Shopify stock. But there’s a time and price to be a net buyer of the e-commerce titan. Even if it’s one of the best growth stocks in the country, investors should ensure they’re getting in at a decent price. And though there are numerous ways that Shopify could justify its current price of admission, investors should always be prepared for market-wide turbulence, especially after a year that was much stronger than expected.

Shopify stock at above $100: Time to hold off on new buys?

For now, I am not against buying Shopify at just north of $100 per share. However, I would be ready to roll with the punches in case Mr. Market serves up a correction or two in the first half of 2024. In many ways, the broader tech scene seems overdue for a bit of a dip, even as rates retreat and AI’s capabilities become more impressive through the new year.

Of course, there’s always a risk that Shopify stock doesn’t come in again. A few blowout quarters and the stock may be the one that gets away. Either case, I’d nibble on a partial position today with the intent of buying more should rainy days be ahead.

At this juncture, I view two other tech plays as a better value for money. Though growth may not be as explosive as the likes of a Shopify, I’m still a fan of where they sit in the early innings of 2024.

Apple

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had a strong 2023, rising around 48% on the year. However, compared to most other tech stocks, Apple hasn’t really been overbought. In fact, an argument could be made that Apple is relatively unloved compared to its better-performing peers in the mega-cap tech scene.

Undoubtedly, Apple stock has been under pressure to close off 2023, with shares slipping almost 3% in December. So much for a Santa Claus rally!

With a relatively underwhelming past year of sales and a lack of AI enthusiasm versus rivals, it seems like Apple stock has a stage set for a more substantial pullback, perhaps toward the $170 level. Further, recent Apple Watch news is not helping AAPL going into the new year.

At 31.46 times trailing price to earnings, the stock also doesn’t look like a screaming value. Though a lower multiple would be preferred for investors seeking to put in new money, I’m not so sure we’ll see shares trading to the lower end of the historical range.

Why?

Apple is still one of the best consumer products companies on the planet. And it could pull out an unforeseen AI event at any time. With a mixed-reality headset ahead and momentum riding behind its services business, Apple stock remains a relative underdog in the tech space right now, especially compared to Shopify.

Bottom line

I’m a fan of Shopify, even at around $100. However, I’m an even bigger fan of Apple at less than $200, given the somewhat decent valuation and the potential of its coming headset. With the Canadian dollar picking up traction versus the greenback in recent months, it makes sense to consider some of the U.S. plays at this juncture.

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 Joey Frenette has positions in Apple. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Shopify. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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