Like It Or Not, Everything Is Getting More Connected (Here’s One Way To Profit…)
Some of you may know that I grew up in a small town in Idaho. We were isolated from much of the outside world. We didn’t (and still don’t) have a single chain restaurant or a single stoplight. The closest city (population 60,000) is a 2.5-hour drive away.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s baffling to think about… My parents would drive more than 5 hours round-trip to go shopping or take us to the dentist…
Growing up in a tiny village, we may not have had the best formal education opportunities. Instead, my education came in the form of moving irrigation pipe or bales of hay before and after school (and before I even had a driver’s license).
During the summer, I spent my formative years guiding tourists down the river on rafting trips. In the winter, the snow would pile up in a place we dubbed “avalanche alley” and block the toad to my parents’ house for months.
I know it’s become a little bit cliché to say this, but the days of simplicity are long gone.
Everything Is Connected…
Think about toys for kids, for example. If the wheel on your kid’s tricycle became wobbly, a quick tightening of the bolt would fix it. The wooden toy gun that you used to haul around was nearly indestructible. Same with the old metal Tonka trucks and the metal xylophone.
Today, if your internet goes down, half your house (and your kid’s toys) become inoperable. Everything’s connected.
I’m not saying it’s all bad though. That road I mentioned earlier? These days, we can log in and check the camera on the mountain to see what the weather is doing and if there’s snow on the road. That will tell is if the road is open or not.
The point is, hyperconnectivity does have its benefits. But it also makes just about everything around us more complicated.
This is all thanks to the massive shift towards connected devices, commonly referred to as “Internet of Things,” or IoT.
The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) — which relies on an interconnected world and works via collecting, storing and processing data – is a massive trend.
In just about a year or two, the IoT will comprise of more than 30 billion connected devices, with every device continuously generating growing amounts of data. The number of cellular IoT connections alone is expected to reach 4.1 billion in 2024.
And the more IoT grows, the more data it will need to process and store and analyze. According to Cisco, it would take a lifetime to manually analyze the data produced by a single sensor on a manufacturing assembly line. This is why the world will have to develop new technologies and build out processing power to collect and analyze data.
Estimating the value of IoT is proving tough to grasp. But we do know it’s going to be huge. The consulting megafirm McKinsey, for example, estimates the IoT will unlock between $5.5 trillion and $12.6 trillion in value globally by 2030.
The point is, the growth in big data and IoT is only going to accelerate from here on out.
One Way Investors Can Profit…
There are a few ways investors can profit from the emerging IoT trend, ranging from big-data companies to cybersecurity to semiconductor firms. The list goes on and on…
But one stock that I like in this space is Zscaler (Nasdaq: ZS). Zscaler is a cloud company that utilizes a different approach to protecting businesses (and all of their connected devices) from a variety of cyber threats.
The company has pioneered a new security model. Its line of defense is built at the point of internet connection. Essentially, its software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering connects users to applications or services directly and securely. This way, not only does data get more secure, but it also gets delivered to the user faster.
In a traditional network-based approach to security, any user — even a cloud-based one — still has to use either the company’s secure network or utilize some kind of secure hardware. Instead, Zscaler’s line of defense is built at the point of connection. This way, every connection is faster and more secure. It’s also less expensive for the user (no need to buy and maintain hardware), scalable, and easy to use, too.
The company has quickly shown why its services are needed. The company pulled in more than $302 million in revenue during fiscal 2019 (which ended July 2019) — and its first full year as a public company. That was a 59% growth over the previous year. For fiscal 2021 it generated more than $673 million, and is on track to top $1 billion for fiscal 2022.
While the company isn’t profitable on a GAAP basis (yet), this high-growth company is already churning out free cash flow. In fiscal 2020, it finished with more than $35 million, and that figure jumped to $165.8 million in fiscal 2021. It’s expected to nearly double again for 2022.
The more companies move to the cloud, the more they will need the services of ZS. And thanks to its early-mover advantage and its highly innovative business model, it’s already earned a place among the elite in the corporate security industry. You can see how that’s worked out for early investors since the company went public in March 2018 in the chart above…
Zscaler might be relatively new to publicly markets, but it could quickly become a household name. But it won’t be the only company involved in the IoT trend that could post impressive returns for shareholders…
In fact, I just finished updating a special report for my premium subscribers talking about IoT, along with two other picks to profit…
I also just released a special presentation about Elon Musk’s latest project, and how it could unlock a new revolution in connectivity and disrupt the $2.5 trillion telecom industry…
By now, you’ve probably heard about Starlink and its breakthrough new “Low Earth Orbit” satellites that will bring hyper-fast internet connectivity to millions. But without this “secret partner,” Starlink may never even get off the ground.