Airbnb (ABNB)

Close up of isolated mobile phone with red airbnb logo lettering on computer keyboard
Ralf Liebhold/Shutterstock

You might think that the pandemic would have annihilated a vacation rental company because so many people cut back on travel, but Airbnb’s stock is up 30% since the start of the year.

There are several reasons why Airbnb remains attractive, even with omicron uncertainty hanging in the air.

The Airbnb app remains a first option for many travelers who abandoned traditional hotels. If those travelers hope to avoid crowds, staying in an Airbnb provides more social distancing than a hotel. And once the pandemic has passed and rental demand in city centers returns, there will be no shortage of real estate investors fashioning apartments and condos into Airbnb rentals.

The company just wrapped up the best quarter in its brief history. Q3 saw Airbnb rake in more than $2.2 billion in revenue, a 67% year-over-year increase. Net profits for the quarter were $834 million.

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Carnival Corp. (CCL)

Carnival Cruise Line, cruise ship Carnival Victory Sails from Port George Town
NAN728/Shutterstock

Carnival, America’s largest cruise operator, has not fared as well as Airbnb. Since mid-January 2020, the cruise ship operator has seen its share price sink by about 63%.

That’ll happen when numerous COVID outbreaks on boats have the world thinking your product is a floating germ lab.

But the global cruise industry is alive and kicking. In December, 68 brands are set to operate 239 cruise ships, according to Cruise Industry News, which predicts major companies will be back to operating a large part of their fleets by early 2022. The rebound in demand has analysts forecasting a return to profitability for Carnival next year.

That’ll be welcome news because 2021 has been awful. Carnival posted a net loss of $2 billion in the third quarter alone. But the company also had $7.8 billion in liquidity at the end of Q3, which the company says will be enough to return it to full operations.

Booking Holdings (BKNG)

Billboard Booking.com
Dutchmen Photography/Shutterstock

Booking Holdings is a lot more than just Booking.com. The company owns several popular travel fare aggregators, including Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, Cheapflights and even restaurant reservation platform OpenTable.

In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, consumers booked 845 million room nights, 77 million rental car days and 7 million airplane tickets through websites owned by Booking Holdings.

With little opportunity for competitors to swoop in and absorb its market share in the last two years, the company stands to continue as a dominant player in the travel booking space.

Booking is already reaping the benefits of rising demand from travelers. It brought in almost $4.7 billion in revenue in the third quarter, a 77% increase over the same period last year. Since the start of 2021, Bookings share price has increased almost 5%.

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There’s more to investing than stocks

Containership MARIBO MAERSK on the Western Scheldt
ArnoudNL/Shutterstock

Nothing against JPMorgan, but no one can truly predict what next year will mean for the stock market. A number of prominent investors have said it’s due for a historical correction.

If you want to invest in something that avoids the queasy up-and-down of the stock market, it might be time to take a look at some under-the-radar alternative assets.

The choices are as broad as they are intriguing. Exotic vehicles, marine finance, commercial real estate — these are just a few of the asset classes that fall under the “alternative” umbrella.

Traditionally, these off-the-beaten-path options have been inaccessible to the average investor. But a new platform puts these exciting opportunities well within your reach.

Fine art as an investment

Stocks can be volatile, cryptos make big swings to either side, and even gold is not immune to the market’s ups and downs.

That’s why if you are looking for the ultimate hedge, it could be worthwhile to check out a real, but overlooked asset: fine art.

Contemporary artwork has outperformed the S&P 500 by a commanding 174% over the past 25 years, according to the Citi Global Art Market chart.

And it’s becoming a popular way to diversify because it’s a real physical asset with little correlation to the stock market.

On a scale of -1 to +1, with 0 representing no link at all, Citi found the correlation between contemporary art and the S&P 500 was just 0.12 during the past 25 years.

Earlier this year, Bank of America investment chief Michael Harnett singled out artwork as a sharp way to outperform over the next decade — due largely to the asset’s track record as an inflation hedge.

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About the Author

Clayton Jarvis

Clayton Jarvis

Reporter

Clayton Jarvis is a mortgage reporter at MoneyWise. Prior to joining the MoneyWise team, Clay wrote for and edited a variety of real estate publications, including Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Real Estate Professional, Mortgage Broker News, Canadian Mortgage Professional, and Mortgage Professional America.

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