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Manager, Fidelity Growth Company (FDGRX)
Picks: Alphabet, Amazon.com, Nvidia
Wymer, whose fund is closed to new investors, looks for firms that are expanding at above-average rates. These stocks are often expensive, but Wymer isn’t deterred if he thinks a company’s growth will propel its stock to new heights.
Some of the largest technology stocks on the market now appeal to him, especially those involved in artificial intelligence or “machine learning.” His fund’s top holdings at last report included Google’s parent, Alphabet (GOOGL, $987), as well as Amazon.com ($995) and Facebook (FB, $151). One big reason Wymer owns those companies is their innovative use of artificial intelligence, which works in the background to learn users’ preferences and steers them toward products, ads or other things they might like. “Think of the recommendations you get to buy things on Amazon—those have algorithms and machine learning behind them, not human beings,” Wymer says.
Chip maker Nvidia (NVDA, $144) should be an AI winner, too. The company makes most of its money by selling chips for high-end graphics and video gaming. Automakers are also buying Nvidia’s chips to incorporate safety technologies that can “see” other cars and obstacles on the road. Ultimately, these chips may help power millions of fully autonomous vehicles, including electric cars made by Tesla (TSLA, $341), another of Wymer’s holdings.
Elsewhere in tech, he owns stakes in Chinese internet retailers Alibaba (BABA, $123), JD.com (JD, $40) and VIPshop (VIPS, $12). Because online retail sales aren’t as advanced in China as they are in the U.S., Wymer says, growth opportunities are better. “It’s a lot more convenient to have something delivered to your house than to put up with small stores and traffic in Chinese cities,” he says.
In biotechnology, Wymer holds stocks such as Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS, $46) and Biogen (BIIB, $248). Working together, the firms won approval last year for the first and only drug to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a rare and often fatal disease in children. “It’s a lifesaving drug,” says Wymer, “and it’s off to a good start.” Also in his fund is Alkermes (ALKS, $58), an Ireland-based drugmaker that is developing products to treat disorders of the central nervous system. Although Alkermes isn’t profitable, revenues are rising for its approved products, led by Vivitrol, an injected medicine to treat drug and alcohol dependence. Wymer thinks Vivitrol sales could climb sharply as a treatment for opioid addiction. “People who commit crimes tend to be alcohol- and drug-dependent,” he says. “This gets them some help.”