Why Traders Should Forget About Finding The “Next” Amazon
Many investors are looking for the next Amazon. The truth is that there won’t be another Amazon in the near future.
Amazon famously started as an online bookseller and grew to a global powerhouse. Jeff Bezos, who recently retired as CEO, saw opportunities everywhere he looked.
One example is the story about how Amazon Web Services became a multibillion-dollar division by accident. A popular story is that Amazon needed to size its business for the rush of the Christmas shopping season. Realizing they had excess server and processing capacity for the other 11 months led to renting out servers through AWS.
Now, that’s not really how it happened. The truth is that it grew from an initiative to improve the company’s infrastructure. But Bezos saw the possibility of new business and allocated the resources the division needed to grow.
Amazon Prime began as an effort to boost customer loyalty. Amazon created Alexa to help consumers order more products. Amazon bought Whole Foods to help get products to consumers faster. There are other innovations, and all are designed to support the core business.
The reason I don’t expect another Amazon in the near future is because it will take decades to develop a new technology that allows a company to create a vertically integrated near-monopoly. History shows us that it takes time for companies to profit from new technologies. It took Amazon about two decades to figure out how to profit from the technology associated with selling stuff on the internet.
The Good News Is We Can Still Profit
New inventions often take years to reach their potential. For example, the personal computer was invented in 1974, but it took a standardized architecture from Intel, standardized software from Windows, and the connections of the internet (based on standardized communications equipment developed largely by Xerox and implemented by Cisco) to make the PC useful.
The new technologies of today — genetic-based medicines, artificial intelligence, robotics, and more — will need years to create companies like Amazon that integrate them into our lives.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t also be opportunities in companies that consolidate technologies. By that I mean there will be chances to invest in companies like Etsy, Inc. (Nasdaq: ETSY).
Etsy is a website where small operations benefit from large operations. In that way, Etsy provides an infrastructure like Amazon does. But Etsy wants to support its small businesses rather than consume like Amazon seems to do. Etsy won’t replace handmade crafts from local artisans with “Etsy Basics” that are generic knockoffs of higher priced goods.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer recently said that Etsy “is all about helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams by letting them scale, something that they could never do before Etsy.”
Etsy allows individuals to sell artisan and handmade products in individual shops. Many of the products require skills and time to make. The sellers benefit from having a global marketplace, and Etsy connects buyers and sellers from around the world.
The company’s growth potential was highlighted by a recent acquisition. Etsy bought a company called Elo7. This company — known as the “Etsy of Brazil” — was modeled after Etsy and has 56,000 sellers that offer over eight million items for sale to 1.9 million registered buyers. The sellers now have access to a larger marketplace, and Etsy has shown how it can grow into a global powerhouse.
Etsy won’t be the next Amazon. But it doesn’t need to be. It can be a way for people around the world to make a living, following a model closer to the economic ideas of microfinance than the corporate capitalism of Amazon.
As a company, Etsy certainly has appeal for the long term. And there will be other companies like it. My advice would be to not miss out on great long-term opportunities like this for the sake of trying to find the “next” Amazon.
In the meantime, ETSY also looks good in for the short term, which is my focus over at Income Trader. In fact, the stock is on an Income Trader Volatility (ITV) “buy” signal.
Now, most traders would take a look at a chart like this, turn around, and simply buy the stock. But over at Income Trader, we use a simple strategy to generate immediate income from stocks like ETSY every week. In fact, if everything goes according to plan, we’ll be in this trade for less than 24 days, pocket our income, and move on. We also have the ability to make another trade like it if we want to generate additional income.
I like to think of this strategy like having your own “P.I.N.” or personal income number, if you will.