What is FANG? Or is it FAANG? Or FAAMG?

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Originally coined by Jim Cramer of MSNBC, FANG is a group of high performing technology stocks that includes Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet). Investors then added Apple into the list to form the acronym FAANG. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs coined their own acronym, adding Microsoft to the mix, and removing Netflix, to form FAAMG as the top 5 tech companies that have been the primary drivers of growth in the US stock market.

Regardless of what you call them, these technology companies have exhibited unprecedented growth and provided impressive returns to investors. Here are some key facts about them:

FAAMG: Facebook

  • Despite losing US$ 120 Billion in market cap in July, Facebook continues to grow its revenue. At the end of Q2 2018, its revenue increased by 42% to $13.2 B.
  • Facebook, along with Google, is a duopoly in digital advertising. It captures almost 20% of the entire digital advertising spend in the US.
  • Additionally, Facebook also owns Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger, all globally recognised platforms with more than 1 billion users.

FAAMG: Amazon

  • The ecommerce leader in the US, Amazon has captured 49.1% of the online retail spend, and is projected to post US$ 258 Billion in retail revenue in 2018.
  • Amazon is also one of the leading cloud computing providers across the world. Amazon Web Services grew 42% year over year and reported a revenue of more than US$ 4 Billion in Q2 2018.
  • It also has an internet advertisement business, which is expected to drive significant future growth and achieve US$ 16 Billion revenue by 2021.

FAAMG: Apple

  • Apple recently became the first company in the history of the US to hit a US$ 1 Trillion market cap.
  • It has the market cornered for smartphones. Despite capturing only 18% of the smartphone volume, the iPhone captures about 87% of the profit margin of the entire smartphone industry. This is in stark contrast to Samsung, which captures only about 10% of the industry’s profit.
  • It also has a rapidly developing internet services business that grew at 31% year over year to deliver US$ 9.5 Billion in revenue in Q3 2018. An incredible feat for a mature company.

FANG: Netflix

  • The first global TV provider and pioneer of the subscription model, Netflix has more than 130 million subscribers worldwide. The large subscription base allows it to spread development cost across its users and thus gain a cost advantage against its competitors.
  • In the past several years, Netflix has beaten investors’ growth expectations. However, it missed growth targets for Q2 2018.
  • Lately though, concerns have been raised over the high debt the company is raising to fuel content development, and also around the increasing number of streaming competitors.

FAAMG: Microsoft

  • Satya Nadella has done a tremendous job in navigating Microsoft in a post-Windows world. Focusing on cloud and AI, the company’s revenue surpassed US$ 100 Billion in fiscal year 2018, with a whooping US$ 30.1 Billion of revenue generated in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018.
  • Its three core business units reported double digits revenue growth, with Azure Cloud (its cloud services arm) leading the charge by posting 89% year over year revenue growth.

FAAMG: Google (trades under the name of Alphabet)

  • The leader in digital advertising, Google has captured 90.5% of the search market and 37.2% of all digital ad spend in the US.
  • Despite its massive size, Google’s revenue continues to increase at a rapid clip, beating market expectations consistently (seems to be a trend with the companies listed here!). In Q2 2018, revenue was up 26% year over year to US$ 32.7 Billion, an acceleration from the 21% revenue growth posted a year ago.
  • The company enjoys a leadership in AI technologies, largely due to its massive user base and superb ability to capture and utilize big data to train state of the art models.

After reading this article, we hope that you understand what FANG is (or FAAMG). Overall, these companies comprised more than 20% of the entire S&P 500. Because these companies have been performing so well in recent years, they are responsible for a significant portion of the S&P 500 returns. If this trend continues, the concentration risk will only increase. Because of this concentration risk, one needs to be mindful if one invests in both the S&P 500 index and in the Nasdaq index. Investing in both at the same time may cause you to be overexposed to the FANG (or FAAMG) companies.

Now that you know what FANG is, you might be interested in reading how to invest in US stocks if you are an investor from India and how taxes will work if you do so.

This article is meant to be informative and not to be taken as an investment advice, and may contain certain “forward-looking statements,” which may be identified by the use of such words as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “estimated,” “potential” and other similar terms. Examples of forward-looking statements include, without limitation, estimates with respect to financial condition, market developments, and the success or lack of success of particular investments (and may include such words as “crash” or “collapse”). All are subject to various factors, including, without limitation, general and local economic conditions, changing levels of competition within certain industries and markets, changes in interest rates, changes in legislation or regulation, and other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results.

Our team members at Vested may own investments in some of the aforementioned companies. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment or strategy will be suitable or profitable for an investor’s portfolio. Note that past performance is not indicative of future returns. Investing in the stock market carries risk; the value of your investment can go up, or down, returning less than your original investment. Tax laws are subject to change and may vary depending on your circumstances.

Thanks for reading! At Vested, we are hard at work on building a platform that enables retail investors from India to invest in US equities.

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