Over the past 15 years, the S&P 500 has risen in price 232%, which results in a 9.8% compound annual growth rate without inflation. If this continued for the next 15 years, you would have over $300,000 in savings to retire on if you invested $100,000, which is bigger than the average 60-year-old American’s 401(k) balance.
While this strategy could produce solid returns, there are two stocks that could crush that average by 2035. Here’s why I think Latch ( LTCH -3.96% ) and Lemonade ( LMND -7.09% ) have the potential to provide high-quality returns so that you can retire right.
1. Latch: Smart security
This smart lock manufacturer is taking the industry by storm with its software. With LatchOS, apartment managers can get a birds-eye view of all their apartments on one platform, making sure all of their tenants are safe and secure. Moreover, managers can let in workers or delivery people from that platform. Latch is the only company that can offer a combination of smart, keyless locks and innovative software, so it’s no wonder it is rapidly being adopted by apartment buildings across America.
Nearly a third of new apartment buildings are being built today with Latch installed in them, and once Latch’s locks are in, it can be incredibly hard to replace them with a competitor. Additionally, when customers agree to use Latch, they sign six- to 10-year contracts to use LatchOS. These two factors provide amazingly high switching costs, so once Latch is installed, it’s likely that its users will stay Latch users for a long time. Latch has experienced zero turnovers since it started operations in 2017, and that will probably continue to be the case.
Latch’s market is massive, and the high switching costs and first-mover advantage will likely allow the company to capitalize on it. Latch sees a market opportunity of $54 billion in the U.S. alone, and if the company is able to expand internationally in a few years, that adds another $90 billion.
Latch’s partnerships will be another integral part of the company’s success. Since Latch customers sign agreements with Latch to use its products before the apartments are even built, it is crucial that Latch is in talks with apartment managers before the construction team breaks ground. That is why Latch has partnered with some of the largest apartment builders in the U.S., like Brookfield ( BAM 0.85% ) and Avalon Bay ( AVB 0.97% ).
This company has only been operational since 2017, so there are plenty of risks with this business. The primary risk is that it is losing lots of cash.
|Metric||Q3 2020||Q3 2021||Change|
|Net loss||$15.9 million||$34.2 million||115%|
|Net loss as a percentage of revenue||311.5%||305.7%||N/A|
The company is making most of its money today on its locks, which it sells at a loss. These losses are bad today, but Latch’s profitability can improve. Latch has noted that the timeframe it takes from construction to a builder beginning their subscription services is 24 months. The contracts the company has seen could finally turn into reportable revenue within the next couple of years. Analysts see the potential as well with growth forecasts of nearly 50% for the next five years.
Also, as its customers stay with the company longer and pay more in its subscription fees for the software — which has gross margins of 90% — the company’s losses will likely improve to provide a pathway to profitability. This could be a multi-year effort, but if it can use its differentiated product and strong partnerships to attract customers and its high switching costs to retain them, Latch could give investors immense returns by 2035.
2. Lemonade: An insurance provider anyone can love
Lemonade is making insurance enjoyable. Whether applying for insurance or getting a claim, Lemonade’s process is easy and hassle-free with its artificial intelligence (AI)-based bots that can approve applicants and claims in seconds. The company is also aligning its interest with its consumers: Lemonade charges a flat fee, and any money from leftover claims that went unpaid goes to charities that Lemonade customers choose. So far in 2021, Lemonade has donated over $2.2 million in unpaid claims on behalf of its customers.
Lemonade’s incentive alignment structure can hurt its bottom line, but it has resulted in amazing customer attraction. Lemonade has over 1.3 million customers, and it has been one of the fastest-growing insurance stocks ever.
The company started in renters insurance, targeting young renters. However, just as its customers have moved on in life, Lemonade has expanded. Now it offers homeowners, pet, life, and even car insurance. Lemonade hopes to attract young customers with small offerings like renters and car insurance, then integrate them deeper into the ecosystem with its fast and delightful service.
|Metric||First Nine Months of 2020||First Nine Months of 2021||Change|
|Net loss||$88.4 million||$171.0 million||93.4%|
|Net loss as a percentage of revenue||119.6%||195.6%||
This major uptick in net losses has primarily been because of the company’s loss ratio. Lemonade’s net loss ratio — which represents the amount of premium paid out on claims — was 77% in the third quarter. A ratio of 75% or below is the long-term goal that management is targeting, but it has been consistently higher in 2021 because of the new products that Lemonade has launched this year and in 2020.
Lemonade’s AI can often take time to learn and collect data about its new markets, resulting in poor short-term performance but long-term opportunities. As its AI obtains more data, it should become more accurate, lowering its loss ratio and its net loss. With the lowered loss ratio, investors could expect the company to generate a profit, which would provide optimism beyond its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts.
Both of these companies are incredibly young and are quite risky today, which is clearly noted in the stock decreases of more than 25% for each year-to-date. But in a balanced portfolio, these stocks could define someone’s future investing success. If both companies can use their competitive edges to rapidly grow their business over the next 15 years and become profitable, they could reward investors by 2035.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.