Virtual Reality Stocks: A Beginner's Guide to This $33.9 Billion Market

virtual reality stocks Right now, forward-looking investors are eyeing virtual reality stocks because of the massive profit potential in the industry.

The virtual reality (VR) market is expected to grow from $1.37 billion in 2015 to $33.9 billion by 2022, according to MarketsandMarkets.

That's an increase of 2,374% in just seven years.

But finding the best virtual reality stocks to buy now isn't easy. From chipmakers to headsets, there are a lot of ways to invest in VR.

That's why today, we're sharing four ways to play the VR market before it experiences massive growth.

And over the last 12 months, these first two stocks we'll share have climbed 31.26% and 27.55%, respectively...

Virtual Reality Stocks to Watch: Facebook & Microsoft

Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) took pre-orders for its virtual reality headset Oculus Rift on Jan. 6, 2016.

Oculus Rift is mainly used for gaming right now. In "Surgeon Simulator," you can virtually operate on a patient. In "Arizona Sunshine," you can fight off a zombie horde.

But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has bigger plans for VR technology...

Zuckerberg believes the technology could be used at sporting events, in schools, and in hospitals. He could also use the technology to create VR experiences through Facebook.

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Instead of just sharing pictures and videos with friends, Facebook users could eventually be in the "same room" as their friends through VR. Zuckerberg could then have advertisers pay to "sponsor" the experience with product placements within the virtual world.

The second virtual reality stock to watch is Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).

Microsoft's HoloLens isn't commercially available, but developers can pay $3,000 for the Development Edition.

When Microsoft does release a commercial version of HoloLens, it can integrate its Xbox gaming console with VR technology.

But like Zuckerberg, Microsoft has grander ambitions for VR technology than just gaming...

According to its website, the software maker is developing "mixed reality" experiences with the HoloLens. In mixed reality, objects, places, and people from the virtual and physical worlds merge together.

For example, Volvo was one of the first companies to partner with Microsoft to test the HoloLens.

The car shopping experience right now is very basic, as potential customers can only look at pictures, read reviews, or visit dealerships.

But Volvo is betting that will change...

On its website, Volvo said HoloLens could eventually enable potential customers to virtually configure a car's wheel design, color, and trim.

Volvo also said Microsoft's technology will help show customers safety innovations and how their advanced powertrains are used to support drivers in different conditions.

But as we mentioned, investing in companies that make headsets isn't the only way to profit from VR technology.

Here are two other ways to play the growing and lucrative VR market...

Two Virtual Reality Stocks to Watch in 2017

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One way to play the growing VR market is through companies increasing sales and cutting costs through VR technology.

For example, Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) is using augmented reality (AR) and VR technology for its rides.

Instead of building new roller coasters, Six Flags can use headsets to create new experiences. In the video below, you can see how Six Flags paired the movement of the roller coaster with a virtual battle between Superman and his enemies.

The concept of using VR technology for roller coasters is still new, so there aren't any projections right now on how much revenue this will generate for Six Flags.

However, using VR could save Six Flags a massive amount of money...

According to Fast Company, it costs more than $20 million to build a new steel roller coaster.

But a Samsung Gear VR headset only costs $69.99. And according to, it costs between $5,000 and $200,000 for VR application development.

And the prospects for the SIX stock price over the next year look appealing, without even considering its investments in VR...

FactSet has a one-year price target of $63.29, which would be a potential profit of 5.1% from today's opening price of $60.22.

On top of that, Six Flags pays a generous dividend of $0.64, for a yield of 4.22%.

The other way to play the VR market is through chipmakers that make VR technology possible.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD) makes immersive, interactive, and intuitive VR experiences.

Through AMD's LiquidVR software, users can build VR-ready single- or multi-GPU and CPU systems.

And because of its powerful graphics cards, Facebook and Dell partnered with Advanced Micro in 2015 to use its graphics processing unit in Oculus Ready PCs. Through its website, AMD also sells VR-ready computers for as much as $8,965.

Major gaming systems like PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U also use AMD's processors to power their consoles.

And the large demand for the company's products has sent the AMD stock price skyrocketing...

Over the last year, the AMD stock price has climbed over 633%.

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