After a bull market like the one we experienced prior to 2022, it can be tempting to stick to the same investment strategies that have been working. But the underlying economic factors are set to be materially different in the coming years, which means the market is likely to look very different from what we’ve seen in the past 10-plus years.
- Artificial intelligence impacts every aspect of our lives, from our search engine results to how our products get delivered, photo apps, face ID, and on, and on.
- There are many opportunities for investing in AI right now as companies worldwide look to capitalize on this technology.
- Some insurance companies are now fully backed by AI, and there are even AI investment apps available to the average investor now.
Conceptually, AI is to the 2020s what DNA was to the 1990s, what bandwidth was to the early aughts, and mRNA was to the pandemic. You can’t ignore the power of artificial intelligence because it’s part of everyday life now. AI is designed to perform typical tasks involving some degree of problem solving and decision making that humans would normally do. Those tasks now range from making decisions regarding an insurance claim all the way to creating images from scratch based on text prompts.
Many new uses of artificial intelligence, the technology, are still being discovered. Yet, if you think about the evolution of services like Siri or Alexa in our everyday lives, it’s here too.
For today, we’ll look at the best artificial intelligence stocks so you have some investment opportunities to consider if you’re a proponent of this space.
How can you invest in Artificial Intelligence?
While there are many different ways to invest in AI, it is typically a layer of a company’s tech stack, there’s still no clear AI company the way Google was the search engine or Tesla is electric. Here are the investable industries employing substantive AI right now.
Financial services rely on AI-powered technology for fraud detection, underwriting loans, customer service, algorithmic trading, and everyday banking services to simplify processes for customers.
Algorithmic trading is one area that fascinates us here because this technology is being used to minimize transaction costs, improve order execution, and minimize human errors involved in trading securities. As we all continue to look for risk reduction in a volatile stock market, it’s worth noting that the algorithmic trading industry will be worth up to $19 billion annually by 2024.
Actual AI investing, where the neural networks are assessing markets, not just running complex algorithms, is rarer still. Q.ai’s artificial intelligence scours the markets for the best investments for all manner of risk tolerances and economic situations. Then, it bundles them up in handy Investment Kits that execute specific investment strategies like shorts and pair trades.
AI is being used in healthcare in a number of ways, though most of the applications have to scale fully, from tools that can detect diseases and review images like xrays and scans to managing patient flow to recommending next best actions.
Since healthcare is such a data-driven field, AI’s role is growing rapidly. AI can also be used for recognizing medical images, streamlining workflow with physicians and hospital staff, and providing administrative assistance. The World Economic Forum even confirmed that AI could help detect tuberculosis, which would be a significant breakthrough for society.
Insurance companies are starting to rely on the power of AI for help with many aspects of the business, from the administrative registration process to handling insurance claims. Lemonade is the first insurance company that’s entirely powered by AI.
Supply chain management
While we keep hearing about supply chain issues in the news, it’s worth mentioning that many companies rely on AI to power the entire supply chain and logistics process. Here are some of the common examples of how AI is impacting supply chain management:
- Supply chain automation, from document processing to chatbots for customer service management
- Transportation automation, with many companies investing in autonomous trucks
- Predictive analysis for more accurate forecasting
- Quality control
- Supplier relationship management
Advertising and media
We recently looked at how AI-based tools like DALL-E 2 and DALL-E Mini can create images based on text prompts to generate AI art. Advertisers are using the power of AI to predict customer demands, provide suggestions for users, and handle the entire shopping experience.
It’s also worth mentioning that industries like cybersecurity, information technology, and even retail shopping will continue to see AI-powered advances. Any company in one of these fields could be worth investing in if you’re looking for AI investment opportunities.
While some companies focus on creating AI-based services, there are many other companies that are simply focused on investing in AI to improve business operations. Many tech giants are selling AI analytical services to enterprise clients for sizeable contracts. These services related to AI can range from cloud computing to client software tools.
What are the best AI companies to invest in right now?
Here are the best companies to invest in right now if you’re looking to get into the AI space.
Alphabet Inc. ($GOOGL)
Google’s parent company is one of the global leaders in AI research. You don’t have to look far to see the reach of Google’s AI technology as the search engine algorithm likely brought you to this article. AI is also used in every aspect of Alphabet’s business, from accurately organizing your photos to predicting where you want to travel with Google Maps.
While we’ve all seen the power of AI in Google, it’s worth mentioning that Alphabet recently purchased the AI startup Alter for $100 million. Alter is an avatar startup that helps creators and brands express virtual identities. Many analysts believe that this move was made to help Google compete with TikTok. This comes on the heels of the recent acquisition of Mandiant as Alphabet increases its investment in AI and cloud security.
Microsoft uses AI-powered technology for a variety of its services, but they just announced the introduction of an AI-powered graphic design tool. Microsoft Designer will be a graphic design app in Microsoft 365 that will use the same AI technology found in DALL·E.
Microsoft’s Azure AI platform allows companies to create innovative AI services.
Palantir Technologies Inc. ($PLTR)
Palantir is a data analytics company that uses AI tools to help people make decisions based on better data analysis. This smaller growth company uses AI to analyze data and recommend decisions to a variety of customers. The Palantir Apollo is used for improving delivery systems and automating configurations. Palantir has even been named a leader in the field of AI platforms as the company’s software is used across 50 different industries. The company recently announced that it expects to report between $503 million and $505 million in revenue for the 4th quarter of 2022 as they continue to build the digital infrastructure required for continuous industrial progress.
This is the first insurance company fully powered by AI. When you check out the website, you’ll directly deal with “Maya,” the AI bot that will help you with every step of the process, from signing up for an insurance policy to filing a claim. Many users have turned to Lemonade because you can file an insurance claim in seconds without ever speaking to anyone about it.
Tesla is so dedicated to AI that the company holds an annual AI Day that’s used as a recruitment tool to attract the brightest minds in the field. Tesla has been teasing a humanoid robot, self-driving cars, and the idea of a robot taxi service that would be a mix of Uber and Airbnb as the company continues to focus on improvements in AI.
The entire company uses AI technology in some fashion, from forecasting customer demand to the Alexa device that can be found in many homes. Amazon uses AI at some fulfillment centers as robots work with human beings. The company then uses AI for product forecasting as it would be difficult to maintain inventory levels with such a wide variety of items available online. Amazon also utilizes chatbots for customer service functions to help make the entire shopping process smoother.
Additionally, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go stores use the Just Walk Out payment system where you don’t have to deal with a human to check out your purchases.
Workday, Inc. ($WDAY)
Workday believes that AI is changing the way companies use HR analytics. The company helps larger firms with AI-powered and cloud-based HR services. The companies that use Workday are given analytics tools to help with making data-driven decisions and financial tools for budget planning. The company mainly uses AI for informed decision-making regarding staffing, insights on unlocking opportunities, and improving experiences so that workers can realize their full potential.
International Business Machines Corp. ($IBM)
IBM was actually at the forefront of AI-based technology when the Deep Blue supercomputer defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov back in 1997. IBM’s Watson has recently made headlines for its AI efforts as it’s used to predict future occurrences, optimize tasks, and help folks with time management.
IBM recently announced that they are training customer service robots to sound more human for improved connections. IBM offers conversational chatbots to business clients who want to improve customer service and digital experiences.
How Q.ai uses Artificial Intelligence
If you’re looking to see the power of AI in action, you don’t have to look any further than Q.ai. Our company is built to leverage artificial intelligence to offer investment strategies for those who don’t want to be burdened with the stress of trying to pick individual stocks. Q.ai utilizes artificial intelligence in three key ways to help investors:
- Creating Investment Kits. The power of AI is used to assess every investment every week and to bundle them into kits that users can use to invest with specific parameters. Investors can choose kits like Precious Metals, Tech Rally, Value Vault, and Short Squeeze. You don’t have to worry about deciding which individual securities to invest in or how they should be weighted within your portfolio — the AI does it for you.
- Mitigating risk. AI weights the assets in each Investment Kit to reduce the risks for users, a truly unique and highly effective application for the everyday investor.
- Handle volatility. Portfolio Protection helps you weather the ups and downs in the market due to the uncertainty in the world right now. This feature uses AI predictions to forecast possible risks and adjust portfolio allocations.
If you’re hoping to make money in the AI space, you can invest in one of our Investment Kits. AI-powered Investment Kits take the guesswork out of investing so you don’t have to worry about where your money’s going.
It will be fascinating to see how the power of AI technology will be used in more aspects of our daily lives. But there are many different ways that you can invest in AI today. According to Zion Market Research, the global AI industry should grow to $422.37 billion by 2028, increasing from $59.67 billion in 2021. Because AI touches so many parts of business in multiple industries, the question is not whether to invest in AI, only where.
Predictions for the housing market, lower internet costs and stable stocks: Must-read business and investing stories – The Globe and Mail
Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of The Globe and Mail’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.
High interest rates will continue putting pressure on Canada’s housing market
The Bank of Canada this week increased interest rates for the eighth consecutive time but said that it expects to hold off on further hikes to “assess whether monetary policy is sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation back to the 2-per-cent target.” As Mark Rendell reports, the central bank raised its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point, bringing the policy rate to 4.5 per cent, the highest level since 2007. With borrowing costs and mortgage rates at their highest level in years, many potential homebuyers have been shut out of the real estate market, writes Rachelle Younglai. The typical home price across the country is already down 13 per cent from its peak last February amid the bank’s attempts to rein in runaway inflation by reducing access to cheap loans. As such, the bank is predicting home prices will decline further before sales pick up later in the year.
These stocks offer portfolio stability amid rising prices
Rising interest rates were the main contributor to the woes of the stock markets in 2022. Interest-sensitive securities such as REITs, utilities, telecoms and bonds all tumbled as rates steadily increased. Combined with the collapse of tech stocks as the economy that benefited from pandemic lockdowns dissipated, we ended up with all the major stock markets in the red, and the Canadian bond market experiencing its worst loss in four decades. But there were some inflation-beaters. Gordon Pape looks at a number of inflation-beating securities that thrived in a rising price environment and are still doing well, although momentum is slowing.
The clearest sign that inflation is declining
When assessing inflation, central bankers and economists will often exclude food and energy costs, but in a recent report, Karyne Charbonneau, executive director of economics at CIBC Capital Markets, said the Bank of Canada should consider the rapid climb in mortgage interest costs “when judging the underlying inflationary trend.” As Matt Lundy writes, while the bank is raising interest rates to cool demand and tamp down inflation, its efforts are having the opposite effect on mortgage payments, which have jumped 18 per cent in the past year. Although mortgages carry only 3-per-cent weight in how the Consumer Price Index is calculated, the increase is substantial enough that mortgages are now the largest contributor to annual inflation.
Could lower cellphone and internet costs be coming?
Lowering cellphone and internet bills is a top priority for Vicky Eatrides, the new chair of Canada’s broadcast and telecommunications regulator, Irene Galea reports. Unfortunately, Ms. Eatrides is inheriting a commission that is widely seen as slow to make decisions. The continuing legal proceedings of Rogers Communications Inc.’s takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. are attracting unprecedented attention to the inner workings of the telecom industry and the future of cellular service competition in Canada. Meanwhile, two CTRC policies, concerning industry rates for broadband and wireless networks, finalized during the previous chair’s term, are still being debated among industry players. Ms. Eatrides would not reveal specifics related to her plan to lower cellphone and internet costs, but added she hopes to speed up the commission’s decision-making process.
The real savings of owning an electric vehicle
With gas prices yo-yoing this past year, are the savings associated with the lower operating costs of purchasing an electric vehicle ultimately worth it? David Berman, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 owner, compares charging costs for EVs to gas-powered vehicle costs over the same travelling distance. “I’ve driven almost 10,000 kilometres – did I mention that I don’t drive much?” he writes. “I’ve saved about $780 over the past year. Over 10 years, these savings would rise, theoretically, to a total of $7,800.” Additionally, he got a $5,000 federal EV rebate when purchasing the car in Ontario in early 2022, whittling down the nearly $50,000 list price for his vehicle to about $37,200 compared with a hypothetical gas-burning version of itself.
Record-low rental vacancy rate
There are fewer apartments available to rent in Canada than at any time since 2001, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp’s annual rental report released this week. As Rachelle Younglai reports, the country’s apartment vacancy rate dropped to 1.9 per cent in 2022 – down from 3.1 the year before and the lowest level in more than two decades – owing to higher net migration, the return of postsecondary students to the campus and the spike in borrowing costs. The country’s largest rental markets were under particular stress, with Toronto’s apartment vacancy rate dropping to 1.7 per cent last year from 4.4 per cent in 2021, Montreal to 2.3 per cent from 3.7 per cent and Vancouver to 0.9 per cent from 1.2 per cent. The national average monthly rental price for a two-bedroom rose 5.6 per cent to $1,258 last year, with Vancouver and Toronto commanding the highest rents at an average of $2,002 and $1,765 monthly.
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Now that you’re all caught up, prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.
3 reasons dividend stocks can lead the next bull market
Dividends may make up a larger portion of the total return
Over the past decade, dividends have contributed less than 25 per cent of the S&P 500’s total return, as years of low interest rates helped inflate asset valuations. Historically, though, dividends have made up a larger portion of the market’s total return. Dividends have accounted for an average of 40 per cent of the S&P 500’s total return since the 1930s, according to data from Fidelity Investments.
If inflation remains high, it will be very difficult for the market to grow via multiple expansion as it has during the past 10 years. This opens the door to dividends regressing to the long-term mean and making up a larger percentage of the total return than it has recently.
Valuations are attractive for dividend stocks
Dividend-paying stocks are currently undervalued relative to the broader market judging by the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. The P/E for dividend-paying stocks in the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats was lower than the P/E for the S&P 500 as of Dec. 30, 2022. This suggests dividend-paying stocks may offer better value for investors compared to non-dividend-paying stocks.
This is common during a bear market like the one we experienced last year. The good is thrown out with the bad, as companies with consistent earnings are sold off with the same urgency as less profitable companies. This creates an opportunity that can be identified by using the P/E ratio.
Great companies with robust business models and long histories of profitability rarely go on sale, so this can be a great opportunity to add quality names to a portfolio.
Better track record
Dividend-paying stocks have outperformed non-dividend-paying stocks over long periods of time. A study of the S&P/TSX composite index from 1986 to 2021 by RBC Global Asset Management found that stocks growing their dividend had an average annual return of 11.2 per cent compared to 6.5 per cent for the overall index and an abysmal 1.4 per cent for non-dividend-paying stocks.
This trend has even held up during economic recessions, as dividend-paying stocks have shown to be more stable and less volatile than non-dividend-paying stocks. For example, the same RBC study found that dividend-paying stocks in the composite index had a standard deviation (a measure of volatility) of 13.9 per cent, compared to 23.3 per cent for non-dividend paying stocks. This indicates dividend-paying stocks have been less volatile over the long term.
Remember that investing in the stock market carries risks and a professional investment adviser can help assess your investment goals and risk tolerance and develop a personalized investment strategy tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
Taylor Burns is an investment adviser at Manulife Securities Inc. and Balanced Financial Wealth Management. The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Manulife Securities Inc.
Weaker Orders, Investment Underscore Ailing US Manufacturing
(Bloomberg) — US manufacturing showed more signs this week of succumbing to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hikes that are taking a bigger bite out of demand and risk upending the economic expansion.
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The government’s first estimate of gross domestic product for the fourth quarter and a report on December factory orders for durable goods pointed to sizable downshifts in both spending on business equipment and bookings for core capital goods.
The durable goods report Thursday showed orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft — a proxy for business investment — dropped 0.2% in December after no change a month earlier. Over the fourth quarter, bookings for these core capital goods posted the weakest annualized gain since 2020. Shipments, an input for GDP, decreased for the third time in four months.
“Taken in tandem with the output data where industrial production has declined in six of the past eight months, it is increasingly evident that the manufacturing recession is well underway,” Wells Fargo & Co. economists Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery said in a note to clients.
Also on Thursday, the GDP report showed outlays for business equipment dropped an annualized 3.7%, the largest slide since the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. That decline was part of a broader demand slowdown, which included a smaller-than-forecast advance in personal spending.
While GDP growth beat expectations, details of the report that offer a clearer picture of domestic demand were decidedly weak. Inflation-adjusted final sales to private domestic purchasers, which strip out inventories and net exports while excluding government spending, rose at a paltry 0.2% rate — also the weakest since the second quarter of 2020.
Last month’s retreat in core capital goods orders indicates manufacturing output, which already registered sharp declines in the final two months of 2022, may struggle to gain traction this quarter.
Read more: Weak US Retail Sales, Factory Data Heighten Recession Concerns
The slump in housing is also spilling over into producers of non-durable goods. Shares of Sherwin-Williams Co. tumbled this week after the paintmaker pointed to pressures stemming from a weak residential real estate market and inflation.
“We currently see a very challenging demand environment in 2023 and visibility beyond our first half is limited,” Chief Executive Officer John Morikis said on a Jan. 26 earnings call. “The Fed has also been quite clear about its intention to slow down demand in its effort to tame inflation.”
An accumulation of inventories only adds to the headwinds. Inventory building accounted for about half of the 2.9% annualized increase in fourth-quarter GDP. For the year as a whole, inventories grew $123.3 billion, the most since 2015.
With demand moderating, there’s less incentive to ramp up orders or production as companies make greater efforts to sell from existing stock.
In addition to the aforementioned data, the latest surveys of manufacturers show sustained weakness. Measures of orders at factories in four regional Fed surveys have all indicated multiple months of contraction.
All surveys released so far for this month are consistent with an overall contraction in activity that extends back through most of the second half of 2022.
Next week, the Institute for Supply Management will issue its January manufacturing survey and economists project a third-straight month of shrinking activity.
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