Although political events, such as Brexit can disrupt areas like the fuel economy, the sector as a whole is strong. Why? Simple: because we always need energy.
However, in terms of a general investment strategy, there are times when non-essential commodities can be profitable. For example, since 2009, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have become popular. Although experts will argue from an ideological standpoint that we need cryptos and blockchains, the reality is that they aren’t necessary (i.e. we already have currencies).
Non-essential markets may be essential investments
Of course, that could change as developers find new ways to use blockchain technology to prevent fraud and the like. However, right now, crypto technology remains a niche market. But, even though that’s the case, you can still make a lot of money from investing in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other tokens. The same can be said of other innovative yet non-essential industries. A prime example is gaming. Although it doesn’t fall into the same class as energy or forex, it presents no less value in terms of opportunities if you understand the market.
When you look at gaming as a whole, it’s currently worth an estimated $137.9 billion. According to the Global Games Market Report, 2.3 billion gamers now enjoy a combination of online, console and mobile games. In fact, the latter is the largest entity within the gaming industry, generating $70.3 billion in revenue in 2018. However, when you delve further into the market, an abundance of similar but diverse revenue streams present themselves. For example, online casino operators such as GVC Holdings are now among the largest gaming companies in the world.
With casino sites attracting casual players through welcome bonuses, such as free spins, complete novices are now becoming familiar with Vegas-style gaming online. In fact, such is the variety of promotions out there, third-party sites have become an essential way of directing players to the best spots. By reviewing the latest free spin offers and, more importantly, explaining the terms and conditions, review sites have made casino gaming more attractive and accessible to novices. Put simply, these sites, as well as the operators, have turned online casino gaming into a $45 billion+ entity.
Investing in gaming isn’t a game
Alongside gaming operators such as Amaya, which completed a $4.4 billion takeover of PokerStars back in 2014, video game companies have been flexing their muscles in recent years. Perhaps one of the best-known developers is Electronic Arts (EA). Boasting a share price of $95+ in August 2019, this gaming company saw revenue top $5.15 billion in 2018 for a net income of $1.04 billion. Helping to bolster EA’s balance sheet is a list of acquisitions that stretches back to 1987. Starting with Batteries Included and moving into the present day with takeover of mobile developer Industrial Toys, EA has been one of the industry’s most active players.
However, it’s not just EA making moves. Everywhere you look in gaming, something big is happening. With virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) starting to evolve, the market looks set for another rush of activity. For any savvy investor, this has to be worth considering. Even though games are, in essence, ephemeral, it seems their appeal isn’t. While the likes of Activision or Ubisoft might not form the foundations of your portfolio, they certainly have their place. Indeed, if you’re considering entering the investment game, gaming could be an ideal market.