Online shopping and clean energy have been two of the top-performing investment themes in 2020. Excluding volatility and leveraged ETFs, the Invesco Solar ETF (NYSE: TAN) has been the top-performing fund in 2020, surging over 211% year-to-date, as of mid-December 2020.
The pandemic combined with growing concerns of the global climate have been key factors behind the strong performance this year. After the lockdown closed or limited in-store shopping, many people began to increasingly rely on online shopping to fill the gaps. During the third quarter of 2020 alone, U.S. e-commerce sales surged 37% year-over-year to $199.44 billion.
Outside of the pandemic, the wildfire season experienced by the western half of North America was one for the record books. As of December 18th, the National Interagency Fire Center says 56,914 wildfires have scorched over 10.25 million acres across the United States. The NIFC notes this is “more than three million more acres than the 10-year average.” California experienced its worst fire season in history, as over 307,000 acres have been destroyed by wildfires.
The growth in online shopping and green energy has led the PRISM Emerging New Economy Index to outperform in 2020. Four stocks have returned over 700% YTD so far. Here is a breakdown of the index’s top winners in 2020:
Waitr Holdings is engaged as an online food ordering and delivery service. Through its Waitr and Bite Squad platforms, customers can place takeout restaurant orders for pick-up or delivery. As of the end of 2019, the company’s network spanned 18,000 restaurants across 640 cities.
As lockdowns have confined restaurants to takeout-only, food delivery services have seen an uptick in business.
Plug Power is engaged in the research and development of hydrogen fuel cell solutions for electric vehicles and stationary power uses.
Electric vehicles have been a big area of focus in 2020, as SPAC-based transactions have featured numerous emerging players in the industry. Although not an EV company specifically, Plug Power designs important EV components.
3. Fiverr International, Ltd. (NYSE: FVRR) – 791%
Fiverr is an online marketplace that allows freelancers to sell goods and services. The platform covers 300 different categories across eight verticals: design, digital marketing, writing, video, music, programming, business, and lifestyle.
As the lockdowns impact jobs and livelihoods, freelancing has seen an uptick in interest. More people are stuck at home and forced to find alternative income sources. Fiverr’s marketplace allows freelancers to sell their services and build their digital reputations.
Overstock.com is traditionally known as an online retailer that sells a variety of essentials: furniture, home décor, kitchen, home improvement, bedding and bath, and other items. Originally founded in 1997, Overstock has lived through the highs and lows of being a digital retailer.
However, Overstock’s rise span beyond just being an e-commerce company. In 2019, the company developed and launched its cryptocurrency called tZERO. The crypto has seen record trading volume in 2020 and combined with Bitcoin’s record run, tZERO has been a very profitable asset for Overstock.