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Top 5 Trends I Am Following In 2018


  • EVs, energy storage, and EV metals.
  • Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
  • Robots and drones.
  • Internet connectivity and data storage.
  • Social media.

This article first appeared on Trend Investing on January 22, 2018; therefore all data is as of that date.

These are the top 5 major trends I am following in 2018

1) Electric Vehicles [EVs], energy storage, and the EV metals

  • Lithium miners - I expect to see some industry consolidation in 2018. Also, we will see Altura Mining [ASX:AJM] (OTCPK:ALTAF), Pilbara Minerals [ASX:PLS] (OTCPK:PILBF), and Tawana Resources (ASX:TAW) (OTCPK:TWNAF) start production.
  • Cobalt miners - In 2018, we will see Glencore [LSX:GLEN] [HK:805] (OTCPK:GLCNF)/Katanga Mining [TSX:KAT] (OTCPK:KATFF) ramp up their cobalt and copper production. I expect the Australian cobalt juniors to shine. Ardea Resources [ASX:ARL] (OTCPK:ARRRF) PFS is expected by end March 2018, and Cobalt Blue [ASX:COB] (OTCPK:CBBHF) resource upgrade is expected by April 1 and its PFS by June 30, 2018.
  • Graphite miners - Syrah Resources [ASX:SYR] (OTCPK:SYAAF) will ramp up its graphite production, and Kibaran Resources [ASX:KNL] (OTC:KBBRF) will progress and build its German pilot plant with up to 600tpa of unpurified spherical graphite.
  • Nickel miners - I expect the nickel price recovery to continue and some juniors to progress towards production. RNC Minerals [TSX:RNX] (OTCQX:RNKLF) is quite likely to achieve a funding package in 2018 and progress towards 2019 construction, and thereafter, nickel-cobalt production. You can read more here.

China is likely to announce its internal combustion engine [ICE] ban plan date sometime in 2018. Then, by January 2019, the new China zero emission vehicle [ZEV] system will begin, boosting sales of longer range pure EVs.

Expect further advances in high-speed charging such as the Porsche Mission E that will use an 800V charger, to give 250 miles of range in only 15 minutes. The Mission E is planned to be on sale late 2018/early 2019.

Porsche Mission E - 15 minutes to charge for 250 miles of

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The Trend Investing group includes qualified financial personnel with a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment and well over 20 years of professional experience in financial markets. They search the globe for great investments with a focus on trending and emerging themes. Their current focus is on electric vehicles, the EV metals supply chain, stationary energy storage and AI.

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Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long ALTURA MINING (ASX:AJM), PILBARA MINERALS (ASX:PLS), COBALT BLUE (ASX:COB), KATANGA MINING (TSXV:KAT), GLENCORE (LSX:GLEN), ARDEA RESOURCES (ASX:ARL), SYRAH RESOURCES (AS:SYR), ROBO, BOTZ, GLOBAL BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGIES (TSXV:BLOC), GOOG, FB, MOMO. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (37)

24 Mar. 2018
Hi Matt, what do you think of TAR(ASX)
Trend Investing profile picture
melwalker - I think quality companies in both will do great....I would say cobalt has a slight advantage due to limited supply.
Hi Matt, thanks for your work. What do you think of the Cobalt industry in 2018 compared with Lithium?
Matt, on the subject of EV'S. Does anyone consider the amount of money that will need to be spent on updating the grind and increasing the supply of power needed to support the EV rollout. Money needed is in the multi multi billions. Who is going to pay for all that, especially with the fact that here in the US we continue to have all the supplies we need in fossil fuels.....
Trend Investing profile picture
BBB - If most people charge their EV at home at night the impact is not so big. Also when you look at the cost of pollution say in China on the economy it becomes very worthwhile. But clearly countries need to increase renewable non-polluting energy sources - hydro, solar, wind, geo-thermal etc.
I invest in pot stocks because I understand how they make money. How to produce and prepare are
non issues to me, there are experts for that. The trend moves forward, no one can stop it.
I personally predicate Marijuana industry will perform well this year and years to come.
dgavrile profile picture
When I read your post and the one above (daran) I had a bliss. Marijuana usage is much simpler than crypto. I have to admit that although I have some IT security knowledge including private/public and sha concepts I was lost in the story. I think that one major risk is the fact that average investor has no clue what is all about, only buzzwords and no deep knowledge on theory and cryptography and process flows, not to mention risk evaluation.

Marijuana on the other hand , can be tricky to produce and prepare in a kind of controlled way but finally who eat, drink or smoke it ;-)

In conclusion simple things tend to thrive more successfully than sophisticated ones ;-)
Thank you Matt.
Ah well, I tried Binance and thought I'd share with the community.

On their website they say:
" Binance does not support any fiat currency (USD, JPY, etc.) trades or transactions. Only cryptocurrency may be deposited and traded on our exchange."
And sharing for what I see on Koinify :

Wipe Out: Koinify Closes Down its Cryptocurrency Crowdfunding
January 21, 2016 @ 5:17 am By Erin Hobey

Koinify, a crowdfunding platform for cryptocurrency projects, will cease operating website and data custody operations, essentially deleting all wallets and coin holdings of users who participated in campaigns and did not move their coins elsewhere.

tom ding“Following previous notice, please note that Koinify site is officially shutting down by Feb 15th, 2016. After that, all Koinify website functions and data, including wallet and any remaining tokens not withdrawn by users, will be completely wiped out and no longer available,” blogged Koinify founder Tom Ding.

Ding, who has already moved onto a new autonomous finance project called String, urged Gemz Users that “to avoid any loss of GEMZ, please do make sure to withdraw your GEMZ immediately.” To Factom Users he wrote, “To use or exchange your Factoids purchased on Koinify, you must use tools provided by Factom team directly. Koinify.com DO NOT provide any Factom access functions and none of your Factoids were ever stored on Koinify.”

The platform was setup as a crowdfunding vertical for Blockchain 2.0 ventures and projects. Koinify used the Counterparty protocol to issue project-linked tokens, known in the industry as appcoins, to raise funds. However, Koinify only managed to host campaigns for two appcoin vehicles, Getgems and Factom (“a highly regarded blockchain-based distributive application project, selling 4,379,973 Factoids to over 1,500 people in May 2015, and raising 2,278 bitcoins or around $540,000 at the time”) before ceasing operations, reported allcoinsnews Co-founder Hans Lombardo:

Hans Lombardo“The first project to raise funds on Koinify, Getgems, is a messaging application that permits users to send cryptocurrency to other members of the network. Relying on the open source Telegram application as a messaging infrastructure, Getgems raised 2,633 bitcoins by selling around 38 million proprietary tokens called Gemz in December 2014.”

The shutdown won’t impact many users, according to Lombardo. Only holders of Gemz, worth maybe one US cent per token, need to withdraw funds from their legacy Koinify wallet. Factom’s Factoids were never stored on Koinify.

“Nonetheless, cryptocurrency crowdfunding platforms, such as Koinify, Swarm and Blocktrust, have not been sustainable, perhaps a result of regulatory uncertainty or the volatility of bitcoin,” opined Lombardo. “The only current exception to this is Hong Kong-based Bnktothefuture.com, which is thriving by serving bitcoin or blockchain ventures such as Bitcoin Group, BitPesa, Factom, ShapeShift, Startchat, Startcoin, Satoshi Point, Storj.io,, Tibdit, UnoCoin, Uphold, and most recently Synereo.”
these are not vale or glencore or abx. these are junior miners that trade on speculation.
basically lottery tickets.
Michu profile picture
The mining stocks are interesting.
The financial statements, however, look ugly. Those companies that I checked have rather high debts, no profits, no free cash flows, high price to book ratios, little turnover (high price to sales ratios) and probably also a high risk of bankruptcy. All these factors actually suggest that performance will not be very good. However, I have little experience with (junior) mining companies. Are these lottery ticket stocks? Lottery ticket stocks have on average very bad returns. see also here: http://bit.ly/2CY5wLa
Aren't there any commodity companies with strong financials (low debts, low p/e, p/s, p/cf etc)?
Trend Investing profile picture
Power Ledger is available on Binance. Factom on Koinify.
Typically you will purchase using a credit card.
Hi Matt.

This is an excellent and intriguing article. Would you please suggest exchanges where cryptocoins such as KEY , Factoid, and Power Ledger could be purchased for fiat currencies?

DKB2 profile picture
Are there any avenues for investing in High-Speed-Charging? Preferably in a REIT type format.
Or is it too early for this?
Charging plazas where you can stretch your legs, use the restroom, grab a bite and coffee after driving for 3 hours or more (250 mi @ 70 MPH).
Trend Investing profile picture
DKB2 - I am not sure yet. It may be a topic for an article soon.
sc21 profile picture
solid state batteries are generally very quick charging and would void the need for extensive charging facilities. Also with the growth of self driving autos owed by major holding companies, the demand for charging will decline as well. Bottom line is that charging facilities could decline in importance fairly soon. That said solid state batteries are a bit down the pike.
Matt, I’ve enjoyed and profited from your cobalt analyses. I was buying and holding Formation Capital (FCO, now ECS) since the late 1990s; sold most at $1.40 for $$$. Now holding a lot of Fortune Minerals. For your upcoming blockchain piece, I hope you would look at Blockchain Technologies Limited (TSXV:BTL) and their patent-pending InterBit product. Cheers!
Trend Investing profile picture
Ok will do. They are now on my Blockchain watch list. Cheers.
I am waiting til after earnings to buy momo. It always drops for some reason. But since it’s me I’m sure it will pop cause I’m always wrong
Interesting thoughts Matt and I quite agree on your megatrends. Still I'm not sure Blockchain is that big in terms of disruption and I would also add Recycling and water management for coming trends that will impact the stock market
"2) Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies"

I see it going higher as more suckers buy then the bubble will pop !
any thoughts for FTMDF in 2018?
Joslaat profile picture
very good article. Thanks Matt
11146471 profile picture
Spot on Matt!
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