We all know the big tech companies are in a mutual stranglehold with each other. Google, Microsoft, Apple...all of these companies traded some serious blows this year.
2013 saw Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) beginning at around $27.00 a share, and ending at $37.00 a share; a lovely boost fueled largely by the release of the Xbox One console and the alliance with the Nokia phone market. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) also saw a massive rise in their stock price; opening at $723.00 per share and closing the year over the $1,100 per share mark; the Android OS is popular, their Cloud outstrips Microsoft's, and they've managed to take over more online services than anyone expected them to.
BlueChip Players Getting Risky?
The problem, for investors, is trying to see where these companies go from here. Microsoft isn't going to be launching a new Windows or gaming console in 2014 (much as we'd all like to be done with Windows 8). Google's going to keep pushing the Chromebook, but has really gotten the growth out of Android and Chrome that was there to get.
The company I base this on is Apple (OTC:APPL) of 2009. Apple started that year down at $90.00 a share, after the 2008 crash of just about every company on the market. The iPhone 3GS was released later that year, prompting Apple to a meteoric rise. A year later, Apple was trading for $211.00 a share; an increase of over a hundred percent.
This continued until the middle of 2012; Apple was dominant in the smartphone market, and by mid-2012 their stock was trading for up to $700.00 per share. A 2009 investment in Apple would have been a great idea.
But this isn't the 2009 of Microsoft and Google, and it's surely not the 2009 of Apple. Since that high-water mark, Apple's stock has fallen down to around $550.00 per share, and looks to be either falling still or stagnating. So, too, will Microsoft and Google. Now that the market is beginning to see equilibrium, the sure-fire bets of the big tech stocks are over.
I'm not saying these aren't solid investments for the long-term. These companies aren't going anywhere anytime soon; money placed here is probably going to be relatively safe. But I don't think they're the growth market that they used to be.
Companies Looking Forward to an IPO
Instead, if you're looking to get into tech stocks, look to the smaller companies, about to make their IPO into the world. Alibaba is expected to burst into the market, Dropbox is thinking of making an IPO later in the year, and Zoosk is probably going to come out as well. All three of these aren't going to be the biggest companies out there, but they're solid companies with a stable track record. Alibaba especially is going to be an IPO to rival Facebook, and if you see low numbers out of the gate with them, they're going to be a good bandwagon to jump on. A great deal of the rise in Yahoo's share price this last year has been its partial ownership of Alibaba, and it'd be nice to get a piece of that particular action.
Stay away from the King.com stocks just after IPO, though; after the the Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) IPO disaster, King.com is trying to distance itself from its fellow social game designer, but there's a lot of question marks surrounding them.
And keep your eyes peeled for the unknowns; it's the tech company that has the brilliant idea no one's heard about yet that's really going to break loose from the pack. And there are plenty of other day trading trends that can be touched upon. Find that one in 2014, and you've found yourself a true gold mine.