The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Investor

Growth Investing

Dividend, Growth, Index and Value portfolio strategies
exclusively for Globe Unlimited subscribers.

Entry archive:

Meet Growth Investor Chris Umiastowski

Latest Columns

Facebook or Google as a stock investment? I know which one I'd pick

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week Google announced a major corporate change. They’re forming a new company called “Alphabet,” which will be a holding company. Alphabet will house all of Google’s non-traditional assets as separate companies, as well as a cleaner, more focused business that keeps the name “Google.” It seems to me as though Sergey Brin and Larry Page are attempting to create a Berkshire Hathaway of the technology industry. This could be an important step toward allowing Google to feel comfortable making bigger bets outside of its traditional market. Given my long-term focus on stocks, I think it’s good news.

More »

Don’t slam the brakes on Tesla Motors because of rocky quarter

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Although you may think of yourself as a long-term investor, do you act like one? Do you share the mindset of a businessperson with a long-term objective? Last week’s second-quarter financial report by Tesla Motors Inc., a stock I own personally and in my Strategy Lab portfolio, serves as a great example to discuss. The electric car maker’s quarter was by no means perfect. Not surprisingly, Wall Street punished the stock significantly. Tesla shares dropped from about $270 last Wednesday, before the numbers were released, to $242 by last Friday’s close.

More »

Could the Apple Car be the next big thing?

Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week, Apple announced another amazing quarter of financial results. They reported almost $50-billion (U.S.) in sales, a whopping 33-per-cent year-over-year revenue growth and net profit of $10.7-billion. We’ll come back to that enormous profit number in a moment.

More »

Why I'm sticking with a buy and hold strategy for Google

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week, I pulled my copy of The Gorilla Game off my bookshelf. This book by Geoffrey Moore, Paul Johnson and Tom Kippola was key in helping me form my investing strategy of buying leaders in important, emerging industries. As I was poring over this 1998 masterpiece I meant to consider how the “game” has changed in 17 years, but I wound up using the opportunity to look at my portfolio and ask myself, “Is this company really still a leader?”

More »

Prepare for virtual reality technology to disrupt your portfolio

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Within 10 years I think we’ll all look back at today’s high definition screens and think of them as totally archaic. There is a huge technology transition happening now, and I think it will be as important as the transition from radio to video.

What am I talking about? Virtual reality, or VR for short. The technology is already ready for prime time, and offers what I can only describe as a mind-blowing experience.

More »

Netflix was a 10 bagger -- and it's still worth buying

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Among all of the stocks I hold in my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio, Netflix Inc. is the only one that has reached 10-bagger status so far. Peter Lynch coined the term “10 bagger” to describe stocks that grow to be worth at least 10 times their initial cost to an investor.

More »

Why I’m adding Starbucks to my Strategy Lab portfolio

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Strategy Lab will hit its three-year anniversary in September. In that time, I’ve managed to turn a fictitious $50,000 starting value into more than $175,000 as of this writing. I don’t expect to achieve returns like this consistently. The technology sector, where I focus most of my attention, was seemingly undervalued at the time we started, so perhaps I was lucky with the timing.

More »

Tesla, SolarCity help me invest in the future

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Sometimes it seems to me that investing is so darn simple. Find an important long-term trend that you think is a total no-brainer, tuck your money away and wait. While you wait, you’ll have more time to enjoy life rather than obsess over stock charts like short-term investors. In my case, I use my extra free time to play outside in the sun with my kids.

More »

Shopify: Why this Canadian tech company is worth watching closely

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Canada isn’t known for its abundance of technology companies, at least not compared to our neighbours to the south. We rarely get to see an initial public offering in the tech market north of the border. That’s part of what excites me about Ottawa-based Shopify Inc. filing for its upcoming IPO a couple of weeks ago.

More »

It pays to take a long-term view with a stock like Netflix

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

When we launched Strategy Lab in September, 2012, I scooped up some Netflix shares for $58 (U.S.). As I write this, the stock is hovering around $571 , a few dollars away from a 10-fold return on investment.

More »

A small-cap social media company with the potential to go viral

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

If you’ve been following Strategy Lab for any length of time you probably know I’m bullish on social media. My model portfolio and my personal holdings include Google (which owns YouTube) and Facebook. I’m also watching Twitter and LinkedIn with interest, although I don’t yet own either stock.

More »

Need another reason to buy Priceline stock? Take a road trip

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Last week my family embarked on a road trip to beautiful Tybee Island in Georgia. We saved a lot of money booking four nights in hotels, along the route, with help from one of my personal and Strategy Lab holdings: Priceline Group.

I added Priceline to my model portfolio in December, 2012, because it represented practically everything I look for in a long-term investment, and I believe my original investment thesis still holds true. That thesis is simple: The online travel industry is disrupting old ways of booking travel, and Priceline is the most significant and profitable competitor with plenty of growth ahead.

More »

Solar power vs. grid power: Why this investor is basking in SolarCity's future

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

About three months ago, I added shares of SolarCity Corp. to my Strategy Lab portfolio.

I like the disruptive nature of the solar power industry, and I like SolarCity’s dominant market-share position in the United States. I also like the company’s ability to beat most competitors on cost because of their vertically integrated business model. When I bought the stock for my model portfolio, I appreciated how the share price had declined from recent highs over $70 (U.S.) to about $55.

More »

The four tech stocks to buy and hold for the long haul

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Since I last wrote about Facebook in October of the past year, the stock is up slightly, yet the business continues to grow at an impressive pace. We’ve seen another two solid quarters of business execution and I still feel strongly that growth investors should be exposed to stocks in the social media sector. With Facebook’s dominance in this area, it represents my No. 1 choice.

More »

GoPro: Crazy valuation, but worth a second look

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

I first wrote about GoPro in my Strategy Lab column following the company’s highly anticipated IPO in July, 2014. Their rugged cameras built for high-speed action get used every day by consumers who upload YouTube videos of themselves skydiving, bike riding or surfing. But the number of uses for GoPro cameras continues to broaden.

More »

Beyond quarterly results: How Netflix plans to take over the world

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week I jumped on a plane with my wife and kids to escape the cold weather and enjoy some Caribbean sunshine. Being self-employed makes taking vacations very flexible, but it also means having to accept doing some work during vacations. Not that long ago, I would have needed to pay for expensive cellular data roaming to stay connected. But over the past three years I’ve started to notice that high-quality WiFi is practically ubiquitous at Caribbean resorts. These hotels used to seem like the only places on the planet to not have proper Internet.

More »

GameStop provides a valuable lesson for growth investors

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

I first wrote about GameStop Corp., a video game retailer, in April, 2014. At that time, the stock was trading at around $40 (U.S.), and the company’s market value was about $5-billion. I suggested the company’s business model was severely challenged because in the next few years game publishers will stop selling physical disks. The industry is moving toward digital downloaded content. The days of inserting a game disk into a console are numbered.

More »

Cheap gas hasn’t drained Tesla’s long-range potential

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

In the past few months, the price of crude oil has been slashed almost in half. This has translated to gas prices in the Toronto area dropping well below one dollar a litre, compared to recent highs of about $1.30. During this drop, one of my Strategy Lab growth stocks, Tesla Motors Inc., a maker of premium electric vehicles, has also seen its share price drop substantially. I added the shares to my model portfolio in November 2013 around $120 (U.S.) a share. It climbed to a high of about $290 by September before starting to nosedive, just as the price decline of oil started to accelerate.

More »

Why Starbucks shares could double in five years

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Regular readers of my column know that I think very long term when it comes to stocks, and this is often because I make bets on how technology is disrupting old businesses. But I also invest in growth companies that don’t depend as much on technology or disruption. Starbucks Corp. is one such example. I own the stock personally and I’m very comfortable predicting it will outperform over the next five years.

More »

Why I’m betting on SolarCity’s bright future

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

I’ve just added shares of SolarCity to my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio.

I like to invest in companies that are disrupting old ways of doing things. Netflix represents a tidal wave of change to the traditional pay TV model. Google and Facebook are major forces in the transition from old-world print and TV advertising toward online ads. Tesla Motors is threatening yesterday’s automobile industry by replacing the internal combustion engine with a fully electric drivetrain with superior performance and much lower operating costs. These companies are all leaders in their respective fields. Similarly, SolarCity Corp. is the leader in bringing low-cost solar electricity to the masses, and I believe the solar industry now has unstoppable momentum.

More »

Why BlackBerry is on the verge of returning to substantial growth

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

I have been a BlackBerry Ltd. shareholder for about 14 years. During most of those years, it was a growth company. But for the last few years, it certainly did not meet my criteria of a growth company, and I’ve discussed in prior Strategy Lab columns why I did not include the stock in my model growth portfolio. The short version is that revenue, earnings or cash-flow growth seemed too far off in the distance while the company was busy attempting a turnaround. For Strategy Lab, I’ve been sticking to stocks where I felt growth was more certain.

More »

Netflix's future remains bright despite recent stock price swing

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Investing in common stocks is something that almost everyone should be doing. I feel this is especially true for teens and young adults who have many decades of future compound returns on their side.

More »

Advertising tools only add to Facebook stock's allure

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

I last wrote about Facebook Inc. in late July of this year, following a record quarter that sent the stock soaring to new highs. I argued that the stock price was still quite reasonable. It has been less than three months since that time, which is almost nothing in the eyes of a long-term investor like me, but I can say I feel even more optimistic about the stock today. (I added Facebook to my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio last November, and I also hold the stock personally.)

More »

Big plays by Netflix, Apple reveal a wealth of growth potential

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Four years ago I pulled out my credit card, filled out a quick form and became a member of Netflix. My wife and I were sold on the incredible library of kids content. For our two daughters, who were in preschool and kindergarden at the time, it was a gold mine of shows that interested them.

More »

Ahead of iPhone 6, Apple stock is undervalued

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

I’ve held Apple stock in my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio ever since we launched the series in September, 2012. Only recently has the share price advanced to make it even slightly profitable. With such lagging performance compared with Netflix, Facebook, Tesla Motors and other names in my portfolio, shouldn’t I be dumping Apple?

More »

Welcome to Strategy Lab


Exclusively for subscribers of Globe Unlimited, Strategy Lab provides four investment strategies from investment experts: Dividend Stocks from John Heinzl, Growth Stocks from Chris Umiastowski, Index Investing from Andrew Hallam and Value Stocks from Norman Rothery. Whatever strategy you favour, Strategy Lab will give subscribers ideas and inspirations for their own investments.



Stock Screen Tool


Try your own stock screen exclusive to subscribers of Globe Unlimited.

About Chris Umiastowski

Strategy Lab Video