Joel Litman’s SynBio Stock Picks (All You Need to Know)

Joel Litman recently released a presentation about Steve Jobs’ “Final Prophecy,” which he says is now coming true and is “about to create a historic wave of stock market wealth.”

According to Litman, the next big wave of money is headed to a subsector of the markets very few people are paying attention to. And it all has to do with a “totally new type of technology breakthrough” that he says Steve Jobs talked about in 2011.

“And I want to tell you where I believe the smart money is going next.

It’s headed to a subsector of the markets very few people are paying attention to right now – in fact, I bet you’ve never even heard of it!

I’m talking about a group of companies that are behind a totally new type of technology breakthrough, which was the subject of Apple founder Steve Jobs’ ‘Final Prophecy’ in 2011, just before his death.”

What “technology breakthrough” is Joel Litman talking about?

And what does it have to do with Steve Jobs’ “Final Prophecy?”

As the presentation continued, Litman revealed that the technology he’s referring to is SynBio, which he claims Steve Jobs accurately predicted in his 2011 biography.

And during the presentation, Litman referenced the following quote, where Jobs said he thinks “the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology.”

According to Litman, few people knew what Jobs meant at the time, but he believes Jobs was essentially talking about SynBio, which he describes as “the combination of computer science with genomic analysis and gene editing.”

“At the time, few knew what Jobs meant. His prediction received almost no attention.

But now we know that he was essentially talking about how a suite of technologies would allow us to engineer organisms’ genomes directly, and create an entirely new field of science, called SynBio.

SynBio is basically the combination of computer science with genomic analysis and gene editing, and is now being used to create new materials, new medicines, new food, new fuels, new tests, new products, and so much more.”

What is SynBio? At first, I thought this was just another made-up name because I often encounter “gurus” in the newsletter space that make up weird names for things (oddly enough, this happens a lot).

However, as it turns out, SynBio is short for synthetic biology, a branch of science that involves multiple disciplines, including biotechnology, genetic engineering, DNA sequencing, genomics, and more. Here’s how Wikipedia describes it:

“Synthetic biology (SynBio) is a multidisciplinary area of research that seeks to create new biological parts, devices, and systems, or to redesign systems that are already found in nature.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_biology

I am not an expert on synthetic biology, and Joel Litman doesn’t specifically mention the term synthetic biology in the presentation, but this is what he’s talking about.

And according to Joel Litman, not only is SynBio “the most important technology of the next decade,” it could result in significant investment gains over the next decade.

Why is Joel Litman so bullish on SynBio?

To help answer that, let’s start by unpacking what innovations SynBio is responsible for and go through some of Litman’s examples about how it’s disrupting different industries.

Then, I’ll show you what TWO of his stock picks are.

And finally, I’ll give you the heads up about the research service he’s pitching, Hidden Alpha, which you need to join to access all his stock picks and related research.

Unpacking Joel Litman’s SynBio Prediction

At the beginning of the presentation, Litman talked about how recent vaccine developments made possible through genomic sequencing marked the “tipping point” of SynBio and how he believes this was one of the most important technological breakthroughs of our time.

However, according to Litman, this is “only a tiny part” of what’s going on with SynBio. He suggests that this technology could “transform practically every industry over the next decade” and help us solve many of today’s problems.

“But I am here to show you how the incredible speed, effectiveness, and widespread use of these vaccines was a tipping point in the world of SynBio.

What very few people realize is that we are now about to enter the biggest wave of new wealth in the world – and new vaccines are only a tiny part of what’s going on.”

[…]

“SynBio will help us create thousands of new products and solve so many of the problems we’re now facing.”

What exactly is he talking about?

Well, as I pointed out earlier, SynBio (synthetic biology) is all about creating new “stuff” or redesigning existing systems based on what currently exists in nature.

And Joel Litman provides many different examples of how this technology could disrupt everything from agriculture and health care to manufacturing and construction.

“SynBio will change the health care system and our agricultural system.

It will change the way we build roads, bridges, skyscrapers, and houses. It will change the way we manufacture clothes. It will change the energy industry. It will change the way we eat… in short… it will completely upend our economy as we know it today.

And it’s going to create the next big wave of billionaires.”

This is a similar pitch Jeff Siegel made with his Helix-Scaling prediction; essentially that DNA taken from nature could be used to re-create and improve many types of products. However, as a side note, it seems Jeff Siegel was recommending a different stock.

In any case, Joel Litman suggests that SynBio will change many industries and products in the future. And it’s not just hyperbole; this is a fascinating subject when you dig into it.

To give you a better idea of what’s already happening in the space, here are a few examples of the specific industries and products Joel Litman says SynBio is disrupting:

  • Lab-grown textiles: According to Litman, “a Massachusetts company is growing cotton 10 times faster in a lab, while using 80% less water and land,” thanks to SynBio. And he says another company is set to produce a million square feet of lab-grown leather per year, which could drastically reduce the need for leather from cows.
  • Self-healing concrete: Litman claims that a Massachusetts group has “developed a new type of SynBio concrete that fixes itself when it cracks.” I found this one a bit hard to believe, but I checked, and it turns out self-healing concrete is a real thing.
  • Synthetic memory storage: According to Litman, SynBio scientists and engineers have figured out how to store photos, videos, and movies on computers in synthetic DNA. And he says the reason is that synthetic DNA data storage can store (way) more information for longer.

These are just a few examples, but they are pretty mind-blowing.

Some of the other examples Litman shared in the presentation involve the production of insulin, rubber sports goods, tires, and algae-based biofuels using SynBio.

And the common thread among these innovations, at least from what I’ve seen, is that this technology could make many different products better, reduce our dependence on raw materials, reduce prices, and potentially cause less damage to the environment.

So, the long-term potential is huge.

But why is Litman so bullish on this tech now?

I can’t speak for Joel Litman, but in the presentation, he states that right now, a “new era of SynBio is emerging” and that this “world-changing technology” has hit an inflection point because computers are faster and have more storage capacity.

“But now, this truly world-changing technology has hit an inflection point.

And a new era of SynBio is emerging.

It’s happening right now because computers are literally 1 million times faster and have 100 billion times more storage capacity than they did less than a decade ago.”

He also suggests that the “inflection point” of SynBio has to do with how the time and cost of sequencing the genetic make-up (genome) of living organisms (which SynBio innovations are based on) has plummeted.

“And it’s because the time and money required to sequence the genetic make-up (the ‘genome’) of a human or any other living thing, has plummeted too.

Today sequencing a genome takes 1/100,000th of the time it took in the year 2000.

And the cost has dropped to one 10 millionth of what it was 20 years ago!”

Does any of this mean Litman’s stock picks will make you money?

Not necessarily, no. The technology itself is incredible in terms of its future potential, and Litman’s “technology breakthrough” claims aren’t just sales hype. However, nobody knows what individual stocks will benefit the most from all of this.

Nevertheless, I was curious to see what stocks Litman is tracking. And in the next section, I’ll show you exactly what I found (including the tickers of two different stocks).

What Are Joel Litman’s SynBio Stock Picks?

In total, Joel Litman talked about five stocks he’s interested in as part of his “SynBio” thesis. And in the presentation, he divided his picks into three “steps.”

According to Litman, the first step to position yourself to benefit from SynBio is to buy shares of a company called Illumina (ILMN).

“In short: Illumina is a company you want to buy today and hold for the long term. My recommendation is:

Buy Illumina (ticker symbol ILMN), my #1 recommendation in the SynBio space today, up to $510 per share.”

Why Illumina? It’s probably best to see the presentation to get the exact reasons Litman is bullish on this stock. However, my understanding as to why he’s interested in Illumina is that the company is at the forefront of the DNA sequencing machine space, has growing revenue, and is apparently working on some sort of cancer-detection blood test.

That’s the gist of it, anyway.

And according to Litman, the stock could more than double in five years:

“And based on our Uniform Accounting analysis, Illumina should be worth roughly 20% more a year from now… 40% more in two years… and about 130% more in five years, compared to today’s price.”

What’s the second “step?”

According to Litman, a “huge number of new Synthetic Bio treatments are about to hit the markets,” and he’s found two companies “that are head and shoulders above the rest for profiting on this trend right now.”

The trend Litman’s referring to relates to “new Synthetic Bio treatments,” and other than saying one of the companies is a leader in the space, he doesn’t share many clues.

The only way to find out what they are is to read the report Litman put together called “Profiting From the NEXT Big SynBio Wave.” This report details what the stocks are, why he’s interested in them, and what price to pay.

And the only way to access that report is to join Hidden Alpha, Joel Litman’s flagship stock advisory service. I’ll explain what that’s about in more detail shortly. But for now, let’s look at what the third step in Litman’s SynBio recommendation involves.

According to Litman, the third step is to “buy the platforms,” which he describes as businesses that create systems or marketplaces that allow other businesses to sell their products. Like Google or eBay, for example.

And there are two final stocks he’s interested in as part of this third “step.”

Litman says one company is the dominant player in providing “the platform and equipment for hundreds of companies” in the SynBio space. And he says it’s buying up other companies that offer technologies, including “cell sorting, drug manufacturing, and protein production.”

That’s not a lot to go off, though. So I’m not sure what that pick is. But Litman did elaborate more on his final SynBio stock pick, and I think I’ve figured it out.

Here are the clues he shares about the company:

“In short: I believe that over the long run, folks who get in at today’s ultra-low price could make 100-times their money or more in the long run, on this soon-to-be dominant SynBio platform.

This company has been around for more than a decade, but just went public in the past year. Few investors know about it today, and it trades for less than $10 a share.

Lab operations on this company’s platform have been scaling at roughly 200% per year… meanwhile, their costs to program cells have been decreasing about 50% per year!

And this is why the company’s customers include many of the biggest names in the world of Pharma and Biotech (like Bayer and Roche), agriculture (like Cargill), and health care (like Quest Diagnostics).”

He also said that the company was featured on 60 Minutes for its vaccine success during the pandemic and that investors include Bill Gates and Andreas Halvorsen.

“By the way, Bill Gates is one of the biggest and earliest investors. And so is billionaire Andreas Halvorsen – this tiny company is his fund’s #1 holding.”

What could it be? Well, Litman’s last clue about Andreas Halvorsen led me right to a company called Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings (NYSE: DNA). Because according to a December 2021 Forbes article, Ginkgo Bioworks is his largest position.

From there, I checked the other clues Litman shared, and they all seem to match. And the following is an overview of why I say this.

  • According to the company website, Ginkgo Bioworks is building a platform that enables its customers to program cells as easily as programming a computer. And the platform enables growth in biotechnologies “from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals.”
  • The company started in 2009 and went public in September of 2021. And as of writing, the share price is sitting at just under $3.50. All of which is a match.
  • It’s unclear at what rate the company’s “lab operations” are growing or at what rate its costs are reducing, but its customers include all three of those Litman mentioned.
  • Bill Gates was an early investor in Ginkgo Bioworks.

So, Ginkgo Bioworks is a match.

And assuming my guess is correct, Joel Litman is (super) bullish on this company:

“In short: I believe that over the long run, folks who get in at today’s ultra-low price could make 100-times their money or more in the long run, on this soon-to-be dominant SynBio platform.”

That’s a bold prediction, but anything is possible in the stock market.

And to be clear, Litman doesn’t mention Ginkgo Bioworks by name in the presentation, so he may be talking about another company in the above quote. But I doubt it.

Either way, to find out what Litman’s other SynBio platform pick is and get his research, you’d have to see the “Buy the Platforms—Your Best Shot at a 1,000% Winner” report.

And like the other report, the only way to access this is with a subscription to Hidden Alpha. So, in the next section, I’ll show you what this service entails.

What Is Hidden Alpha?

Hidden Alpha is an investment research service run by Joel Litman of Altimetry. The service costs $49 for 12 months if you join through the presentation and comes with a variety of resources aimed at helping subscribers make money in the stock market.

The main component of the service is the monthly issues of Hidden Alpha that are released on the first Monday of every month. Each issue contains Litman’s latest stock pick, his research on the company, and updates on stocks he’s already recommended.

Aside from that, you get the following bonus reports I mentioned earlier: “Profiting From the NEXT Big SynBio Wave” and “Buy the Platforms – Your Best Shot at a 1,000% Winner.”

There’s more to the service than that, and I’ve put together a complete Hidden Alpha review if you want to learn more, but that’s the gist of how it works.

What makes the service unique from others I’ve come across isn’t so much the sectors Litman and his team focus on but how he analyzes each company.

According to the Altimetry website, Litman and his team start by analyzing over 32,000 stocks using their own version of forensic accounting.

In short, Litman is a forensic accountant, and my understanding is that he and his team analyze a company’s reported financials and compare that with what their “Uniform Accounting” analysis reveals to find potential discrepancies.

From there, the data is loaded into “The Altimeter,” which the Altimetry website describes as a “stock truth detector.” It’s essentially a stock screening tool that allows you to type in a stock symbol and see how the system grades it based on analysis of company earnings.

And once the data is loaded into the Altimeter, the stocks are filtered to find the 200 or more companies with the biggest discrepancies. Then, the list is further refined down to 30 stocks by analyzing earnings calls. And finally, the best potential stock is chosen and shared with subscribers in the monthly issue of Hidden Alpha.

Is it legit?

Yes. Hidden Alpha is a legitimate service. Altimetry, the company behind Hidden Alpha, is a legitimate company, Joel Litman is a genuine investment expert, and the service appears to have a strong track record.

According to Joel Litman, the service has had 16 100%-plus winners in just over two years, and the average gain since publishing Hidden Alpha is 36%.

So, even though there are no guarantees the service will help you make money, it is legitimate. Not to mention, there’s also a 30-day refund policy in place with Hidden Alpha, so you can always request a refund if you don’t like it after signing up.

Who Is Joel Litman?

Joel Litman is the CEO of Valens Research, a research firm that provides individual investors, companies, and institutions with finance-related research. And he’s the Chief Investment Strategist for Altimetry, the financial publishing company behind Hidden Alpha.

Litman is also a forensic accountant. And from what I can tell, this is a big part of his investment approach because his strategy involves analyzing company financials to find discrepancies between what most people “think” and what is true as per his analysis.

Aside from sharing stock research, Litman has taught at universities including Harvard Business School and Wharton. He’s worked for investment banks, including Credit Suisse. And his insights have been featured on Barron’s, CNBC, and Forbes.

How do you access his stock picks?

Hidden Alpha is Litman’s flagship advisory service, so that’s the best way to get his latest stock picks. But there are other, higher-end research services on the Altimetry website, including High Alpha and Microcap Confidential.

I’ve also written about other presentations Joel Litman has released. For example, in his Alpha Profit Code presentation, Litman discussed several health-care-related tech stocks he was interested in. And I break down everything in the post I just linked to.

Bottom Line

Joel Litman’s SynBio (AKA synthetic biology) prediction centers around how breakthroughs in computer science, genomic analysis, and gene editing are being used to create new products, materials, and medicines.

And he discussed five stocks he believes could benefit from SynBio-related technology. The first one he gives away for free (Illumina), but the other four are revealed in two separate reports that come with a Hidden Alpha subscription.

However, I believe one of them is Ginkgo Bioworks because this company matches the clues Litman shared in the presentation.

Nobody knows for sure if Litman’s prediction will play out as expected or if his picks will turn out to be profitable. But either way, the presentation was interesting.

There is a lot of exciting innovation in this space, and while I have no idea what the future holds for “SynBio” related tech, it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

Anyway, that’s my take on Litman’s SynBio presentation. I hope you found it helpful, and if you’d like to share your thoughts on any of this, chime in below.

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