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Growth Investing

Four of Canada’s brightest investors go head to head
in a battle for portfolio supremacy

Entry archive:

Meet Growth Investor Chris Umiastowski

Latest Columns

I love this company’s gadgets – but not its stock

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

GoPro Inc. is the latest consumer gadget company to go public with what can only be described as a spectacularly successful share offering. The IPO happened in late June at $24 (U.S.) a share, and within a week, the shares had reached a high of almost $50. As I write this, the shares are now trading at about $36, or 50 per cent higher than the offering price.

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‘The Internet of Things’: Google, Apple and the next big growth cycle

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

Ever since Apple Inc. released the first iPhone in 2007, the smartphone sector, previously dominated by BlackBerry, exploded to a whole new level of growth. Today the two market leaders, Apple and Google Inc., control the two most popular mobile operating systems, iOS and Android. There is still a lot of growth to come in this market, since billions of people around the world still don’t have smartphones. But beyond that obvious next step of deeper consumer penetration, I think something more exciting is happening. It’s been dubbed “the Internet of Things.”

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Sharing your own patents is actually a smart move

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 two weeks ago, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., took the stage to answer questions from his audience at the annual meeting of shareholders. One investor’s question ended up revealing a lot about Elon Musk and the value of long-term thinking.

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I’m decluttering my portfolio – and you should, too

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

This week my family is moving from a bustling North Toronto neighbourhood to a small town about one hour outside of the city. Even though we’ve been packing in bits and pieces for the last few months, there are still a lot of last-minute decisions we’re making about what to keep and what to throw away.

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Even tech investors underestimate mobile's huge 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.

Every year, Mary Meeker publishes the latest version of her “Internet Trends” report, which has grown to become quite famous in the technology investing community. Ms. Meeker, a partner at venture capital firm KPCB, has a knack for summarizing a wealth of data through a series of fascinating charts. I love reading through her presentation every year because it encourages us to think about trends that are playing out over a number of years rather than wasting time reacting to quarterly earnings.

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Tech stocks: The big winners ... and the likely losers

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 recently enjoyed watching a brilliant presentation that aligned very well with how I approach investing. The 23-minute talk, called “Winners and Losers in a Digital Age,” was given by NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway at an industry conference, but it’s fitting that I watched a recording of it that was posted on YouTube.

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Amid cash burn, this stock could go to zero – or turn profitable

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

One of the stocks in my Strategy Lab growth portfolio that prompts plenty of e-mail questions from readers is DragonWave Inc. This Ottawa-based technology company builds equipment that wireless service providers use to pipe bandwidth to the cellular towers that our mobile devices connect to. We’re constantly using our mobile devices for more data-intensive applications, which means the cellular towers need bigger and bigger data pipes connecting them to the Internet.

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My stock pick slid 10%. I'm still hanging on

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, one of the hottest growth stocks in my portfolio took a sharp nosedive following its quarterly results. While much of Wall Street is busy looking at microscopic details of financial guidance for next quarter, I’m much more interested in how well the long-term story is playing out, which keeps me feeling very optimistic about my investment.

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Twitter: I love the business, but not the stock

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

Ah, Twitter. I love the business, but I’m not crazy about the stock.

Last week, Twitter reported its first full quarter as a public company.

Recall that the social media company went public last November with pricing set at $26 (U.S.) a share, which I’d have been quite willing to pay. But unless you were important enough to be allocated a portion of the initial public offering, you had no chance of buying stock at that price. Twitter opened for trading a hair over $45 and traded at more than $70 in late December.

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Scared by tech stocks’ drop? Think long term

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

The last week was a busy one for technology investors. Many of the large-cap stocks in my Strategy Lab model portfolio reported earnings. Yet I’m not remotely interested in the typical micro analysis of quarterly earnings and how they compare to consensus estimates from Wall Street analysts. I’m much more interested in the bigger, long-term picture.

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Video-game retailer's stock faces enormous risks

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

As an investor I spend a fair bit of my time looking into high-growth industries where technology is disrupting old markets. Sometimes I invest in companies that make clever use of disruptive technologies while other times I see an opportunity to profit from betting against a company on the losing end of an industry transition. This week I’ll touch on one such example in the video-game market: GameStop Corp.

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Should BlackBerry be in your portfolio? It depends

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

One technology stock that I own in my personal portfolio but not in my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio is BlackBerry Ltd., the one-time iconic manufacturer of the top smartphone brand in the world.

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Four stock-picking lessons 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.

The past couple of weeks have been fascinating to watch as someone who enjoys investing in the fast-paced technology sector. I’d like to touch upon four events that affected my model portfolio recently, from which I believe there are important investing lessons to be learned.

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The future (still) looks bright for SolarCity

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

As the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab series, I take a long-term perspective on stocks. I like to invest in companies that are leaders in important, emerging industries. One such industry that I’m not yet invested in is solar power.

Some of the big solar energy stocks have had stellar performance lately. Isn’t this an obvious investment trend that I’m arriving at too late? I don’t think so, and this underscores an important investing point: Instead of worrying about how long ago others discovered an important trend, focus on the growth ahead. Most of the technology trends I invest in were reasonably obvious to industry pundits at the time I invested in them. But they still weren’t – and aren’t – fully appreciated by the market and give me an opportunity to make a lot of money over a decade or more.

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This small-cap could be the next Netflix – for live sports

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

One of the technology trends that I’ve invested heavily in is the shift toward online streaming video. In my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio, Netflix has been the single best performer to date. As much as I love the service Netflix provides, I also realize the company does nothing to address the needs of raving sports fans.

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Long term, Apple and Google seem like a smart bet

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

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

This week I’m vacationing in south Florida, which is a popular destination for Canadian snowbirds. Both my parents and my wife’s parents regularly escape here for the winter while living in Canada during the warmer months.

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Red-hot Tesla shares: Why they're still a buy, even now

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 November I added shares of Tesla Motors to my Strategy Lab growth portfolio. The stock had taken a nosedive from its highs of about $190 (U.S.) down to $120, and I wanted to take advantage of the volatility to diversify my portfolio. Today, Tesla trades closer to $240 per share, which means my virtual investment has doubled in only three short months.

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Zuckerberg may have made a brilliant move with WhatsApp deal

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, Facebook Inc. made a very big decision. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to acquire WhatsApp, a mobile instant messaging app, for $19-billion (U.S.) has huge numbers of industry observers questioning his level of sanity and intelligence. But depending on what they do with the acquisition, it could prove to be a brilliant deal that completely redefines mobile communication and generates huge profits for Facebook.

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Sickening drop in your growth stock? Hang in there

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 in my Strategy Lab column, I talked about how I’ve had to become very comfortable with others thinking I’m either irrational or even nuts when it comes to some of my long-term investments. I pay attention to well-discussed bear arguments when I’m on the bull side of the bet, but I now see disagreement by large numbers of investors or industry observers as essential in allowing for long-term upside.

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Want investing upside? Be ready for controversy

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

When you invest in exciting long-term growth ideas, one way to gauge the upside potential is by how many people think you’re stupid or crazy. If people aren’t willing to argue with you about a call, there probably isn’t much upside. On the other hand, if you want to buy stocks that have huge upside potential, I think it’s an absolute requirement that you’ll be called every name possible.

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How to pick between Google and Facebook

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Last week was a big week for earnings releases by companies that I hold in my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio. I’d like to focus in on Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. in this week’s column. I hold both stocks in my model portfolio (and in real life), but what is a reader to do if he or she wants to profit from the online advertising industry and has to select only one of the two stocks? I’ll walk you through my thinking.

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Why I expect Netflix's share price to double

Chris Umiastowski

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

Netflix Inc. has quintupled its value in my Strategy Lab model portfolio, so far. I don’t expect another run that strong going forward, but I think the stock will least double by the end of the decade.

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Original thinking in analyst reports: The only 'buy' worth reading

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 last week’s column, I wrote about the value of reports written by equity analysts working for brokerage houses. I had suggested that you ignore stock target prices and recommendations as well as any analysis pertaining to the short-term performance of a stock. I told you to focus only on value-added analysis pertaining to the longer-term performance of a particular business or industry.

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What to read (and what to ignore) in analyst reports

Chris Umiastowski

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

How should DIY investors treat analyst reports? If you are a do-it-yourself investor, chances are you’ve seen plenty of comments made by equity research analysts in written reports. Maybe your discount broker provides these reports directly to you, or maybe you read summaries of them in the news. Should you pay any attention to them? As a former analyst who wrote such reports for over a decade, I can tell you the answer is … sort of.

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I bet on Tesla because most investors don’t understand electric cars

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 shared my thoughts on some growth investing trends that I think are worth paying attention to in 2014. I hope most readers understand by now that I’m a long-term investor, so these growth trends, while important in 2014, are not limited to this calendar year. I invest in trends that often require a decade or longer to play out. I briefly touched on the future of electric cars: I think it serves as a great example of long-term thinking versus short-term crowd mentality.

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Welcome to Strategy Lab




Stock market ideas, investing insights (and competition): Watch and participate as four of Canada’s brightest investors go head to head in a battle for portfolio supremacy. Whether you’re a dividend collector, a value hunter, a growth junkie or an indexing enthusiast, you’ll find inspiration for your own investing.

About Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski, P. Eng., MBA, has over a decade of professional experience analyzing technology stocks as a former top ranked equity analyst on Bay Street. Prior to that, he worked as an engineer in the telecom industry.

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