There’s a new cutting-edge tech breakthrough that could save the lives of six million Americans in a decade.
Yes, it is potentially a very powerful weapon in the fight against heart disease, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says causes one in four deaths each year.
Ironically, the technology is in a sector deeply out of favor with Wall Street.
But that’s just fine with us. At Strategic Tech Investor, we know the huge profit potential in bucking the Street’s herd mentality.
And you couldn’t pick a more exciting field than 3D-printed human organs.
Here’s the thing. Scientists in Israel printed a tiny heart in April, complete with blood vessels, using a patient’s cells.
Even better, they pulled off this amazing achievement in just three hours.
The Impact of Heart Disease
Millions of Americans are at risk for heart disease as an outgrowth of our obesity epidemic. The two are closely correlated.
Analysts say heart disease costs the U.S. more than $400 billion a year in direct patient and economic impacts.
Of course, the Tel Aviv scientists who printed the tiny “human” heart know the stats – heart disease is the second-biggest cause of death in Israel.
In other words, there’s a lot more going on here than a fascinating breakthrough simply for proof of concept in the lab.
No, we don’t know how long it will take to move from the lab to the operating room. But the potential here is profound.
Every year, waiting lists for heart transplants often run longer than six months, and thousands die waiting in vain for a donor heart.
Out of Favor?
This news is steeped in irony. Despite its vast potential to save lives and also help manufacturing in a wide range of industries, 3D printing remains out of favor on Wall Street.
The major stocks crashed several years ago, in no small measure because they were simply over hyped when consumer printers hit the market, and the public got caught up in the fanfare.
Behind the scenes, however, the technology is changing the face of biology. As of this year, scientific teams have:
- 3D printed the first bionic pancreas with blood vessels. It could one day be used to treat diabetes, a condition that affects 415 million people around the world.
- Made major strides in 3D printing artificial tissues to help heal bone and cartilage injuries in the elbows, ankles, and knees.
- Used 3D printed sugar stents to improve surgery success rates. The process improves the time-consuming and difficult task of stitching arteries.
Most investors doing research in this field would quickly hit a dead end. That’s because right now there is no pure play on medical 3D printing that makes financial sense.
There’s a pure play, The 3D Printing ETF (PRNT). I have it on my radar screen, but can’t recommend it right now because it recently sold off while the S&P 500 was in a big rally, a sign of bearish investor sentiment.
But don’t worry. I’ve found a great way to play 3D printing with a twofer investment that covers a lot of other innovative technology.
Banking on Innovation
The ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) is brimming with exciting tech leaders. ARKK doesn’t just look for firms that can innovate. They want firms that can disrupt entire industries with breakthrough technologies.
Take chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) as an example. This has emerged as one of the world’s most advanced chip makers, moving well beyond its original business of gaming chips.
Now, Nvidia’s chips are being tailored for artificial intelligence (AI), which is fueling innovation in a range of industries. Companies also use Nvidia’s advanced processors as part of their 3D printing platforms.
I am equally excited by some of the smaller positions in this fund as well. Take Organovo Holdings Inc. (ONVO). The firm is an early stage leader in the field of bio-organics, developing 3-D printed tissues that will have a range of helpful medical uses.
As just one example, Organovo’s 3D bio-printed human liver tissue is used for patients with end-stage liver disease. By implanting healthy tissue patches in these patients, doctors can restore liver function and avoid costly liver transplants.
With more than three decades of experience, Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) is a veteran of the 3-D printing industry. The firm focuses on an area known as direct digital manufacturing (DDM) and rapid tooling, which helps engineers and designers to create precise physical models and tools.
The ExOne Co. (XONE) is also a major player in 3-D printing, but tackles different markets than Organovo and Stratasys. The firm’s 3D printing machines help create instant spare parts for industrial customers in areas like pumps, aerospace, heavy equipment and energy.
This is a younger firm but has already been making a clear dent in industry market share. Sales have grown by double-digits in eight of the past nine years. A set of new products should help revenues surge by more than 40% next year.
The ARK Innovation ETF brings us exposure to 3-D printing and much more. For instance, electric-car leader Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is the largest holding, accounting for 11.06% of the fund.
ARKK is a real moneymaker. Since it began trading on Oct. 31, 2014, the fund is up about 109%. During the period, the S&P 500 has gained just over 49%.
This ETF has beaten the broad market by just shy of 123%.
As I see it, ARKK is a great holding for the long haul as innovations keeps bringing us not just fascinating breakthroughs, but very profitable ones as well.
And this fund alone proves what I’ve been saying for years… the road to wealth really is paved with tech.
Of course, 3D printing isn’t the only technology that’s paving the way to new wealth.
You’ll also want to look closely at what’s been happening lately with 5G wireless technology.
Virtually every day now, there’s news about the latest 5G development, from the infrastructure plays building out the network, to phone producers gearing up for a 5G world.
For instance, Apple Inc. (AAPL) announced in April it’ll be launching a 5G phone . In fact, once investors learned QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM) will be providing the microchips inside Apple’s 5G iPhone, its stock immediately surged 23%.
New developments like this are moving the market, and certain companies are seeing massive spikes in their share price.
Right now, there are hundreds of 5G firms vying for what analysts expect will be a $12 trillion space thanks to 5G.
But we’ve found a single company that could be a future household name on the back of this technology.
Cheers and good investing,
Michael A. Robinson