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CES 2018: Trends and Stock to Watch Ahead of the World's Biggest Tech Conference

Written by Jason Stutman
Posted January 5, 2018 at 7:00PM

On Monday morning, I’ll be boarding a plane for my annual trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Like most people who visit Sin City, I plan to leverage the opportunity to place a few good bets and multiply my wealth. Unlike most people staying at the casinos, though, I won’t be doing any gambling on the Strip this year.

Call me boring or unadventurous if you want, but the truth is, the casino floor is the last place I want to be.

In one way or another, it’s true that everything in life contains at least some element of risk. The goal of any intelligent investor, though, is to calculate those risks and weigh them against their potential return.

In the case of casino games, the house is always at an advantage, which is the simple reason I never gamble. Casinos like to take advantage of human psychology with flashy gimmicks and displays of glamour, but anyone who truly values their money is smart enough to stay away from losing odds.

Yeah, it can definitely be fun, but it’s also not very smart.

Of course, there are a few exceptions in Vegas where you can gain the edge... namely when you’re not playing against set, losing odds.

In poker, for one, you’re not playing against the house but rather against other players. Over the long run, a skilled enough poker player is going to whittle down unseasoned tourists and come out on top. That’s just the nature of the game.

In sports betting, opening lines are set by oddsmakers and influenced by the betting public. If you know enough about a particular matchup, you can figure when odds are in your favor. This is especially true in single-opponent matchups like boxing or tennis.

Still, this can only reliably work so long as you’re more knowledgeable than the other human players you’re betting against. I don’t play poker because I don’t know how to read or hide tells, nor do I know the odds. I don’t place bets on sporting events because I don’t know enough about sports.

Whenever you decide to place a bet, you should make sure to do so in areas you are (or the person advising you is) well versed in. In my particular case, those areas are industrial and consumer tech.

As Warren Buffett advises, invest in what you know... which brings us back to why I’ll be touching down in Vegas on Monday.

Get Ready for CES 2018

Every January, over 170,000 professional and industry attendees make their way to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to kick off a new year in tech.

The now-annual trade show represents the largest gathering of technology professionals in the world and tends to serve as a precursor for the year’s hottest trends in tech.

2018 will be my fourth year attending CES, and I’ve never been more excited. There’s a host of exciting trends, speakers, and public companies I’m planning to investigate.

It should all be a lot of fun, but at the end of the day CES isn’t a vacation for me. It’s an opportunity to network and to learn more about emerging technologies and the investment opportunities that come with them.

Every year, CES usually presents one or two new major themes, with others recycling from previous years. In recent shows, we saw a lot of hype around 3D printing, wearables, drones, and more recently virtual reality.

The initial hype around these industries has mostly settled down by now, but those who were on top of those trends early on and invested accordingly made out quite well.

How to Bag Consistent Doubles, Staying Ahead of the Trend

In 2013, for instance, 3D printers had their first major presence on the CES floor. 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) came away from the conference with a “Best of Show” award in the Emerging Tech category that year. As the world began to pick up on 3D printing hype over the next 12 months, 3D Systems appreciated 146%.

Of course, the bubble eventually popped when 3D printers lost their luster, but that wasn’t until CES 2014, when focus shifted to wearables and smart home devices. That same year, we watched wearables leader GoPro (NASDAQ: GPRO) reach its market peak, as it climbed from less than $36 a share to $86 a share in just a few short months.

The same pattern played out with drone maker Parrot SA, which more than doubled in value in 2015, when CES was all about drones. Likewise, we saw companies like Vuzix (NASDAQ: VUZI) take off in 2016 when CES first jumped on the virtual reality bandwagon.

Though it may be irrational, the reality is that hype surrounding emerging industries can drive stocks to double or triple within a matter of months. CES has kicked off this hype in the past, and we expect CES 2018 to be no different.

This year, however, it won’t be drones, virtual reality, or any other aforementioned technologies getting the bulk of the attention this year. The biggest stories this year will include driverless cars, 5G, and, likely more so than anything else, augmented reality.

Right now I have my eye on three companies in the augmented reality space. All are promising prospects, but one currently stands out among the rest.

That’s why I’ll be visiting that company this year at CES 2018 and testing out not just one or two but five augmented and virtually reality headsets using its range of AR-focused technologies.

As an early mover in augmented reality, this company offers tremendous upside with or without CES to drive the hype. That said, my sense is that this will be the year investors start diving into augmented reality, and CES will be the springboard for this stock.

I’ll be sharing all the details on that company and my take from CES after next week, but much of that information is going to be reserved for members of one of my private investment research services.

As much as I’d like to share that information in Wealth Daily, it simply wouldn’t be fair for those members. In light of CES 2018, though, I’m offering a risk-free trial to anyone who signs up today.

I look forward to checking back in next week.

Until next time,

  JS Sig

Jason Stutman

follow basic @JasonStutman on Twitter

Jason Stutman is Wealth Daily's senior technology analyst and editor of investment advisory newsletters Technology and Opportunity and The Cutting Edge. His strategy for building winning portfolios is simple: Buy the disruptor, sell the disrupted.

Covering the broad sector of technology and occasionally dabbling in the political sphere, Jason has written hundreds of articles spanning topics from consumer electronics and development stage biotechnology to political forecasting and social commentary.

Outside the office Jason is a lover of science fiction and the outdoors, and an amateur squash player at best. He writes through the lens of a futurist, free market advocate, and fiscal conservative. Jason currently hails from Baltimore, Maryland, with roots in the great state of New York.

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