The legendary investor Warren Buffet has long shared that he only invests in companies he understands. For that reason, he’s long avoided tech stocks. However, since Buffet began investing, many technology firms have developed products that are part of our everyday lives. Growing up in the digital era, we understand how some of these companies make their money, and we can effectively assess their prospects.
You should definitely invest in companies you understand. Chances are you’re more than familiar with at least a few of the following companies:
A company so ubiquitous it’s become a verb, Google is the world’s pre-eminent search engine. The firm makes most of its money through its extensive advertising platform. However, computing products like Chromebooks and SaaS products also contribute to its revenue. Overall, the firm is flush with cash, with a minimal amount of debt.
The world’s biggest social media platform, Facebook’s sprawling reach has influenced the way we communicate, do business, and even engage in politics. Facebook also sells ad space on its social media platforms, like Messenger and Instagram. Despite controversies over user privacy and political misinformation, firms continue to invest heavily in Facebook advertising to bolster their bottom lines. Like Google, Facebook has a tremendous amount of cash on its books and very little debt.
Amazon — the world’s largest online retailer — has truly transformed the way we shop. The platform provides consumers retail products from all over the world as well as streaming music and video services. Further, Amazon Web Services provides more cloud computing products and services than any other cloud computing provider. While Amazon does have nearly $24 billion worth of debt on its books, it has more than $24 billion in cash on hand and tremendous cash flow.
Apple’s customers are fiercely loyal to its pioneering products like the iPhone, Mac computer, and the iPad. Its product ecosystem has also set new standards in branding and marketing. As a leader in the hyper-competitive phone and computer market, its products remain in high demand. And it can afford to venture into other fields like streaming video as it is sitting on nearly $200 billion in cash.
Microsoft’s products are in use in homes, at worksites, and in governments all around the world. The company derives considerable licensing revenue from its Windows operating system as well as income from sales of computing applications and devices to businesses and consumers. It also sells millions of Xbox One gaming consoles and related video games. Its profit and cash flow have resulted in another large cash stockpile — over $130 billion!