null Think Like a Tech Investor
Manager Insights

Think Like a Tech Investor

Manager Insights Article Equity
September 2017
Think Like a Tech Investor

Authors & Contributors

Robert C. Zeuthen, CFA

Robert C. Zeuthen, CFA

Barry K. Mills, CFA

Barry K. Mills, CFA

Unlike other major economic movements in history, global digitalization has played out quietly, gradually developing around us. Now, technology impacts everything we do—eat, sleep, communicate, work and exercise. From an investment perspective, the impacts are just as critical and far-reaching. In this growing digital environment, companies are creating and utilizing high-tech solutions to make their businesses more efficient across all sectors and industries. As such, the term "technology company" is largely becoming obsolete as all businesses, in some way, are participating in this digital revolution. With every company becoming a technology company, we urge every investor to know how to think like a tech investor, and here are seven key ways to start:

  1. Embrace new things. Don't fight them and don't be afraid. Get comfortable with your discomfort.
  2. Think about how big a new trend, business model or product category can be, and what market adjacencies there are.
  3. Focus on a company's top line and the key leading indicators for that top line, like units and users. Applaud companies that reinvest in research & development and hire more engineers. If the business can scale, margins and cash flow will follow.
  4. Unit economics often matter more than free cash flow in the intermediate term.
  5. Think about valuations peripherally, not primarily.
  6. Outspoken competitor criticism often means that the company is onto something.
  7. What looks like an immaterial product cycle could drive meaningful positive sentiment.

At The Boston Company, we constantly employ expert, innovative thinking to uncover investment opportunities for our clients. With rapid technological adoption, integration and deployment becoming the standard of business, we are applying these techniques to better navigate the ever-changing investment road ahead.

On January 31, 2018, The Boston Company and Standish merged into Mellon Capital to form a combined entity, BNY Mellon Asset Management North America Corporation. Effective January 2, 2019, this entity was renamed Mellon Investments Corporation.

Any statements of opinion constitute only current opinions of the Firm, which are subject to change and which the Firm does not undertake to update. Due to, among other things, the volatile nature of the markets and the investment areas discussed herein, they may only be suitable for certain investors.

This publication or any portion thereof may not be copied or distributed without prior written approval from the Firm. Statements are correct as of the date of the material only. This document may not be used for the purpose of an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction or in any circumstances in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorized. The information in this publication is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any purchase or sale of any specific security. Listed securities are being presented for illustrative purposes only. This is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold these securities.

Some information contained herein has been obtained from third party sources that are believed to be reliable, but the information has not been independently verified by the Firm. The Firm makes no representations as to the accuracy or the completeness of such information. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee returns or eliminate risk in any market environment.