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I'm sure the metaverse seems odd to some of you.
Virtual reality business meetings? Weddings attended only by (ugly) computer generated avatars? Million-dollar real estate in a fake world? All that sounds like it's straight out of an '80s sci-fi novel.
But it doesn't matter how you feel about it. The metaverse is coming and investing in its building blocks will take you far. How do I know? Because I lived through and passed up the golden opportunities preceding the dot-com boom.
Back then, I thought the internet was cool, but I never thought it would take off. Or that I'd ever even use it. Now look where we are. Technology, software as a service, and e-commerce are some of the biggest and most profitable industries on the markets.
As they rose to prominence, the companies that built their foundations became filthy rich.
So, let me be the first to say it: Investing deep in the metaverse now is a must. And these two companies are great plays to get started...
Building with Data
The metaverse will be built on unfathomable amounts of data to recreate and augment our reality.
Everything from a single blade of grass blowing in the wind to the sight and sound of a crowded city street will be rendered in three dimensions with such detail that it may look as real as my home office.
The data to build that world has to be created and stored in the physical world, then rendered and exported to phones, VR headsets, laptops, and TVs in every second of every day for as long as the metaverse exists.
To do that, a company needs large, efficient data centers - and companies in the know are already making moves to make sure they have what they need.
Bloomberg Intelligence reports data center spending will reach $800 billion by 2023. Before the end of the decade, they expect that investment will be above $2.5 trillion. The biggest driver of data center growth will be about building the metaverse.
There are lots of data center companies worth your investment capital, but two in particular that stand heads and tails above the rest.
One of them is Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).
Mr. Softy is on the cutting edge of the metaverse, owning and operating some of the world's best data centers for its affiliate Azure, with plans to grow even larger.
The company is also gunning for metaverse-accessible technology with its HoloLens headsets, which are already being used in conjunction with Teams to create a "meeting metaverse."
Then there's the matter of competition. Amazon and Google are both facing antitrust investigations around the world, threatening their business. Luckily, Mr. Softy passed that weigh station years ago. It's full sail ahead to be a $2.57 trillion market cap company.
Microsoft has always been one of my favorite companies in the world, and I've been recommending it for decades now, but the last 10 years have been double-down time for me on Microsoft.
With over $175 billion in annual revenue and a profit margin of 31.51%, the company practically mints money. It has more than $130 billion in cash, piling higher every day, which ensures it will have all the money it needs to build hundreds and thousands of new data centers to serve as indispensable infrastructure building blocks and running gears for the metaverse.
I'd buy Microsoft here and hold it as long as there's going to be a need for data and the metaverse takes over the real world.
It's All About Capacity
The other data center play I'm looking at is an easy recommendation for one reason alone - capacity. It's way ahead of its competitors in establishing a foothold in the data center sector, and therefore are ideally positioned to see incredible potential gains.
Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) is the largest data center real estate investment trust (REIT) by market cap in the world. The company boasts 227 data centers globally, representing 1,350 megawatts and 311,000 cabinets of power capacity. Equinix houses its servers in 26.4 million square feet of centers, in 26 countries, and supports 10,000 customers. That's two and a half times as many as its nearest REIT data center competitor.
The data center giant's funds from operations are now $22.60 per share, up 65% in five years - and with the metaverse, they may rise even farther.
By investing in companies like these, you're not just investing in tech infrastructure. You're investing in the future.
I've got another buy recommendation made possible by developments in tech, but this isn't quite a stock - it's "pre-IPO rights" in a cryptocurrency outfit that collects fees on nearly every crypto transaction. Coins go up, profit. Coins fall, profit. Right now, these special rights are available for just $0.71 each, but my projections show them hitting $7 just a year from now. That's $100 in, $1,000 out. Let me show you how it works...
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.