Investor's Corner

Tesla’s (TSLA) fundamental difference on Wall St., and competitors can’t keep up

(Photo: Andres GE)

Tesla has enjoyed a significant rally on Wall Street in 2020. The meteoric rise of a once-small, likely unsuccessful automotive company is truly a prime example of the American economy working to the advantage of the dreamer. At one time, Tesla was out of money and had to plead for investors to funnel in more funds to keep its doors open. Years later, the company is the hottest stock in the American economy, up 650% on the year, despite not having more than two operational car production facilities.

Some may ask: Why is this small, relatively new car company running amok in the industry? What do they have that the competitors don’t? Why is Tesla so much more appealing to investors now than any other company? There are a lot of responses that may adequately answer any of these questions. But the real answer that generally covers all of these bases is that Tesla is more about the message than the money. While the supremely high valuation spells something as large as Apple or Facebook, Tesla is leading a charge in an industry full of attractive names. The fact is, Tesla has the shiniest name of all.

Perhaps, in the field of sustainable energy companies, there may be some real players that hold significant amounts of power. But the fact is, none of the names, or Tesla, were taken seriously up until a few years ago. Sustainable energy and the idea of sourcing power from the sun, wind, and other clean outlets was not a broadly accepted idea in the United States. While wind farms and solar panels have existed all over this country, the idea of powering anything from a house to a business with something other than coal or natural gas wasn’t a big thing, especially in Pennsylvania, where I am from.

But now, the idea of having sustainable sources of energy are translating into a nationwide phenomenon. And when trends begin to turn, the investor begins to see dollar signs. The thing is this: the sustainable energy movement is here, and it’s been here, and it’s only going to get bigger. More people will begin using solar panels because they’re becoming more affordable for the average American to purchase. More people will begin driving electric cars because they are becoming more affordable, they require less maintenance, and there are more environmental advantages. This is where the industry of sustainable energy becomes more competitive, and more companies are looking for their slice of the pie.

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The problem for companies that have a history of using non-sustainable products is that their name is tarnished, and it would require a new identity to expunge the investor’s mind of negative thoughts. On the other hand, the companies that don’t have that past, like Tesla, for example, bring a conditioned picture of an electric car and sustainable products to the investor’s head. And the average investor will be more prone to purchase products from an exciting and somewhat proven company than from one that is transitioning from gas to electric and basically has to reestablish itself from the ground up.

The sentiment on companies that have a sustainable name has changed. Once “dead end” companies that have exploded into real industry players, they are more appealing to the common investor. People are not thinking about their dollars right now; they’re thinking about the future. Tesla’s mission is about the future, and people are investing their money in TSLA shares because they know where the future is headed. They also know who is leading them there, and that is the company that is going to get the shares bought and see the stock price increase. Clean energy has been around for decades, but it’s always been a second-thought because gas and oil have provided jobs and economic stability. There’s no reason that the U.S. sustainable energy market can’t do the same thing, and it will if jobs are kept on American soil.

The act of having investors forget about the sustainable energy movement is over, and Tesla has essentially ended the stigma on clean energy stocks, proving they can be winners and big ones at that.

Tesla’s effort in R&D and innovation also has helped the stock price, obviously. But, the common investor is also driving up demand for the stock. That’s why TSLA’s $5 billion offering was snapped up in a matter of a day and a handful of hours.

Tesla’s (TSLA) fundamental difference on Wall St., and competitors can’t keep up
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