Former hedge fund manager turned stock picker Whitney Tilson is one of the more well-known “gurus” in the financial publishing space. And I’ve researched numerous stock teaser presentations he’s released on the Empire Financial Research website.
What sort of companies does he recommend?
In some ways, Tilson reminds me of a traditional value investor, especially since he has said numerous times that his biggest mentor is Warren Buffet. But at the same time, he has recommended growth stocks, and some of his predictions are somewhat contrarian.
What’s more, unlike some well-known value investors, Tilson appears to be open to adapting his viewpoint on new technologies as new information comes to light.
And nothing I’ve seen illustrates this better than a post that he wrote on the Empire Financial Research website about a major change to his investing philosophy.
Long story short, he was bearish on bitcoin in 2017 during peak mania, but in May 2021, he changed his stance, and the following statement he made reflects this:
“I don’t know for sure… Most, no doubt, will end up worthless. But it’s also become clear to me that some – bitcoin and a few others – have reached a critical mass where enough people believe in them that their values are more likely to go up than down.
As I often say, here at Empire Financial Research, we aren’t value investors or growth investors. We’re make-money investors.”
This post isn’t about Tilson’s view on bitcoin or crypto, but I thought it was giving you some background on his investment philosophy before delving into his latest picks.
So with all that said, let’s get started!
Whitney Tilson Predictions & Picks for 2022 (Updated)
My research suggests that the two sectors Whitney Tilson is most bullish on in 2022 are cannabis and biotech. But he’s also made predictions and recommendations related to the metaverse, TaaS (Transportation as a Service), and the rise of online sports betting.
So let’s dig into each of these five predictions and the stocks he’s teased related to each. Then, I’ll give you the heads-up about his top pick for 2022.
- The Cannabis Sector
- Biotech (DNA Sequencing and Synthetic Biology)
- The Metaverse (Connexa Terra)
- TaaS (Transportation as a Service)
- Online Sports Betting (“Netstake”)
- Update (Sep 21, 2022): The “Energy Supercycle” (Tilson’s LNG pick)
The Cannabis Sector
I hate to admit it, but I bought into the cannabis bubble of 2018, naively following the recommendations of a newsletter from a different publisher. And one look at any cannabis chart will show you how bad of an idea that was given the beating they’ve taken since.
So at first, I was surprised to discover that cannabis is one of the main industries Whitney Tilson is bullish on for 2022. But it actually makes sense when you consider his approach.
In short, Tilson believes cannabis is a “bombed-out sector” that’s going to make a recovery, and these are exactly the types of sectors he tracks, those with asymmetric potential.
“So, let me just talk about my favorite areas, and just big-picture my – as 20-plus years of value investing, my favorite type of investment is finding either great individual companies in absolutely bombed-out sectors, but which are not going away and where I think there’s going to be a recovery.”Source: https://secure.empirefinancialresearch.com/?cid=MKT602514&eid=MKT605992&assetId=AST221599&page=2
Why does he think the cannabis industry will recover?
According to an article on Whitney Tilson’s Daily, there are a handful of reasons he’s bullish on the cannabis space in 2022. In short, he believes that:
- Fundamentals are strong.
- Valuations are attractive.
- Cannabis-related legislation “will likely move in the right direction in 2022.”
- The industry is seeing a declining cost of capital.
- There’s a “rising probability of inclusion in ETFs, NYSE up-listings, merger and acquisition activity, and pent up demand for cannabis shares.”
What cannabis stocks is he bullish on?
In the article I linked to above, Whitney Tilson said that “the principal constituents in the MSOS ETF” are attractive “on an upside reward vs. downside risk analysis.”
“I am of the view that, on an upside reward vs. downside risk analysis, U.S. cannabis stocks – specifically the principal constituents in the MSOS ETF – are now as or more attractive than any market sector extant.”
What he’s talking about there is the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (NYSE: MSOS). And as I’ll explain shortly, Tilson has also referred to this ETF as his “favorite pick for 2022.”
But before we get to that, here’s a YouTube video where Whitney Tilson discusses his cannabis prediction and outlook for 2022 with Benzinga if you want to know more:
Update (August 9, 2022)
I just finished looking into a July 2022 presentation where Whitney Tilson teased a so-called “reversal play” cannabis company he’s bullish on. Long story short, Tilson suggested that pot stocks could be near a bottom and that his pick could be a “four-bagger.”
Based on the clues, his pick appears to be Cresco Labs (CRLBF).
You can see exactly why I say that in this post, and in the interests of full disclosure, please note that I am an investor in this company.
Biotech (DNA Sequencing and Synthetic Biology)
I’ve covered numerous stock teaser presentations Whitney Tilson has released, and most recently, I wrote about his “America’s Next Big Monopoly” presentation.
In it, he talked about the “quaternary code,” which is essentially a term he used to describe DNA. And his thesis centers around how DNA can be used as a “manufacturing code.”
Tilson explained in the presentation that this “code” could “completely change the game for manufacturers,” and when you boil it all down, what he’s talking about is synthetic biology.
Synthetic biology involves multiple disciplines, including biotechnology, genetic engineering, DNA sequencing, genomics, and numerous others.
But in the context of Tilson’s prediction, he talked about how synthetic biology can be used to create new products and improve existing ones based on what is found in nature.
For example, he talked about innovations like DNA-based data storage, self-healing concrete, and tires made from dandelion root cultures grown in labs.
The tech is impressive, to say the least.
Yet it’s not something I think many people are aware of at this point.
In short, the tech Tilson described in the presentation has the potential to make “stuff” better, cheaper, and more abundant. And as such, it could help solve many problems the world faces while disrupting countless industries in the process, including pharmaceuticals, technology, agriculture, and plastics, for example.
What’s stock is he teasing?
During the “America’s Next Big Monopoly” presentation, Tilson gave one pick away for free (CRISPR Therapeutics). But he only shares his main “quaternary code” stock with subscribers of the Empire Stock Investor service. However, I looked into his clues, and my research suggests that the stock he’s teasing is Gingko Bioworks (ticker: DNA).
See my complete write-up of Tilson’s “quaternary code” pick if you want to know more about his synthetic biology prediction and why I think Ginkgo Bioworks is the stock he’s teasing.
The Metaverse (Connexa Terra)
In January of 2022, I looked into a presentation from Whitney Tilson dubbed “Connexa Terra,” which was all about the metaverse.
Why Tilson makes up unusual names for stuff is beyond me, but this is quite common in the financial publishing space (probably because it adds an element of mystery).
Nevertheless, Tilon’s Connexa Terra prediction centers around how innovation and adoption of the metaverse will grow in the years ahead and potentially benefit investors in the process. And in the presentation, he particularly focused on how this technology could help people save money on everyday expenses like groceries, medical bills, and transportation.
How? For the most part, because there’s a lot more stuff we can do virtually using the metaverse, which means there’s less of a need to leave home.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a metaverse is, it’s a virtual world that’s accessible through an augmented reality or virtual reality headset. And this technology, while still in its early stages, could be massively disruptive with continued innovation and adoption. And not just for gaming but also for socializing, shopping, and even working.
What’s his “Connexa Terra” pick?
Whitney Tilson said there are five companies he’s tracking as part of his metaverse prediction. The first one, Meta Platforms, he shared for free. But he didn’t reveal the other picks in the presentation, so I had to do some digging to uncover those.
And I break down my guess of Tilson’s “Connexa Terra” metaverse picks here.
TaaS (Transportation as a Service)
Whitney Tilson’s TaaS prediction isn’t exactly new; I’m pretty sure he first started pitching this in 2018. But this has been one of his most popular presentations, and it’s still highly relevant today, which may be why he released an updated teaser in February 2022.
What’s it about? In short, TaaS stands for Transportation as a Service, and it involves the combination of two technologies: electric vehicles and self-driving vehicles.
The gist of Tilson’s TaaS prediction is that thanks to this tech, we could soon be hailing autonomous vehicles like we do an Uber or Lyft.
So instead of buying a car and driving everywhere ourselves, Tilson is predicting that autonomous vehicles could soon become an everyday service.
Here’s how Whitney Tilson puts it in the TaaS presentation:
“Sooner than most people think, you’ll be able to hail an electric, self-driving vehicle via an app on your phone, just like you hail Lyft and Uber today.
And this is TaaS… which stands for: ‘Transportation as a Service.’
TaaS will essentially mean a fleet of electric, autonomous cars that can go 500+ miles without charging… and over 100,000+ miles a year, with little maintenance.
It’s basically how Uber and Lyft operate today – but with electric, driverless vehicles.
You’ll be able to hail different types of vehicles for whatever you need… a small car for a quick trip… a luxury vehicle for a long ride… a truck if necessary.
There will soon be fleets of electric, driverless vehicles on our streets, ready to be hailed from your phone at a moment’s notice.”Source: Whitney Tilson in a presentation about TaaS dubbed “Jeff Bezos Strikes Back”
What’s the big deal?
Aside from convenience, Tilson believes TaaS could positively impact our lives in numerous ways and disrupt different industries in the process. For example, in the presentation, Tilson pointed out that TaaS could save people potentially $10,000s each year:
“And instead of paying $50,000 for a new car… plus $3,000 a year to fill up your tank… and $1,000 to $4,000 a year for insurance, I predict you’ll instead spend something like $150 a month for unlimited rides with a TaaS subscription.”
He also talked about how TaaS could significantly reduce the demand for oil, improve the supply chain, potentially save lives, and dramatically change the value of real estate given the reduced need for parking spaces across the U.S.
It’s an interesting prediction and one I tend to agree with.
Other tech investment gurus in the financial publishing space I follow have echoed similar predictions too. For instance, Jeff Brown of Brownstone Research talked about the rise of “shared autonomous vehicles” in his SAV Project prediction.
And one of the main points he made, which I didn’t see Tilson discuss, is that this trend (TaaS or SAV… call it what you will) could see everyday folks like you and me earn money by effectively “leasing” autonomous vehicles out when they’re not in use. And this, in turn, could potentially dramatically reduce the cost of vehicle ownership.
So Tilson isn’t the only one talking about this trend, but either way, it’s interesting to consider and, in my opinion, somewhat inevitable at this point.
As for what stocks Tilson is bullish on… in a similar fashion to his other stock teaser presentation, Tilson shared one pick for free (in this case, Waymo) and shared hints about his other picks. And my research suggests that one of those could be Nvidia.
Online Sports Betting (“Netstake”)
Last but not least, I came across a Whitney Tilson presentation in December 2021 about something he’s calling “Netstake” (AKA another odd name he made up).
In short, Tilson talked about how the online sports betting industry is picking up steam and how his “Netstake” company is “modeling itself on Netflix.” So much so that Tilson referred to it as the “Netflix of the sports betting industry.”
That angle obviously hasn’t aged too well given Netflix’s recent stock performance… but the concept could be applied to any successful streaming service.
In short, Tilson said that the company he’s tracking is bringing online sports betting to millions of American homes so that adults can bet on sports whenever, wherever they want.
And according to Tilson, this is helping fuel a new obsession in America, which could see online sports betting become an accepted type of “family entertainment” in the future.
I’m not sure if that’d actually be a good thing (lol). But from an investment point of view, his thesis was an interesting one.
What stock is he teasing this time?
I’m not 100% sure about this one, but my research suggests that the “Netstake” company Tilson’s teasing is GAN Limited (GAN). And if you want to see all the details on his online sports betting prediction and stock pick, check out this post.
So there you have it; five Whitney Tilson predictions.
One thing I want to clarify before we move on is that, while these are all relatively recent presentations Tilson has released, things do change. So even if my guesses on his picks are correct, which I believe they are in most cases, that doesn’t mean he’s still bullish on them or that he’s predicting these industries/trends will be profitable in 2022.
At the end of the day, the only way to know for sure what Whitney Tilson is tracking is to read his newsletters (free and paid) on a regular basis.
Still, what I’m sharing here will give you an idea about what he has discussed, and in the next section, I’ll show you what he has dubbed his “top pick” for this year.
Update (Sep 21, 2022): The “Energy Supercycle” (Tilson’s LNG pick)
I recently looked into a new Whitney Tilson presentation centered around the oil and gas market, which was quite different from most of the presentations I’ve seen him release.
In short, Tilson predicted that there could be a “mass exodus” from the tech sector on the horizon, which could see wealth flow out of tech and into the energy sector. And he believes that energy (particularly oil and gas) could be entering a “multiyear supercycle” due to “three major catalysts” he highlighted in the presentation.
As is often the case with Tilson’s pitches, he gave the name of one company he likes away for free, Occidental Petroleum (OXY), and teased a second company that he only reveals to those who join his service (in this case, his new Energy Supercycle Investor service).
What did he say about this company?
In short, Tilson teased a “$4 stock” in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) space that he thinks could supply Europe with gas in the future. And my research suggests that the company he’s referring to is Tellurian Inc. (ticker: TELL), a Texas-based natural gas company.
All in all, I found this to be one of Tilson’s more interesting presentations. And if you want all the details of his prediction and stock picks, see my complete write-up here.
What Is Whitney Tilson’s Top Stock for 2022?
Whitney Tilson’s top picks for 2022 appear to be two ETFs, one in the cannabis sector and one in the biotech sector. Here’s why I say this…
First, in the “Prediction Summit 2022,” Whitney Tilson said that his “two favorite ideas for 2022” are ETFs in two “bombed-out sectors.”
“So for my two favorite ideas for 2022 I was a little bit of a chicken there in two of these bombed-out sectors, where I just recommend an ETF.”
He didn’t reveal the name of those ETFs in the presentation, which is probably because he wanted people to sign up for Empire Stock Investor, where he reveals his picks.
But after digging through the archives of the Whitney Tilson’s Daily newsletter, I found the following statement by Whitney Tilson:
“MSOS is my favorite pick for 2022, for reasons my friend Doug Kass outlined last week. A second pick is another exchange-traded fund, the SPDR S&P Biotech Fund (XBI).”Source: https://empirefinancialresearch.com
So, MSOS and XBI appear to be Tilson’s top picks for 2022 as of writing.
Is there anything he’s bearish on for this year?
According to Markets Insider, Whitney Tilson recommended two stocks to avoid in 2022: AMC Entertainment (AMC) and Digital World Acquisition (DWAC).
I haven’t seen anything to suggest he’s overall bearish on the stock market, though. On the contrary, in the Whitney Tilson’s Daily post I linked to earlier, he said he believes we are in a bull market and intends on “riding it” until it’s over.
“We’re in a bull market and are going to keep riding it until we’re sure it’s over. We’ll be sure to let you know when – once we’ve told our subscribers, of course!”
Granted, that’s a quote from a December 27, 2021 article. And while I haven’t seen anything to suggest he’s turned overall bearish since then, things can change quickly.
So for the most up-to-date info on what Tilson is bullish and bearish on, it’s probably best to see his blog (linked to earlier) and stock advisory service, Empire Stock Investor.
Recommended: Go here to see my #1 rated stock advisory of 2024
What Is Empire Stock Investor?
Empire Stock Investor is Whitney Tilson’s flagship stock advisory service focused on emerging trends, and his recommendations usually involve large-cap U.S. stocks.
Each month, Whitney Tilson and his team (including Berna Barshay, Enrique Abeyta, and Herb Greenberg) break down Tilson’s latest research and stock picks. And according to the Empire Financial Research website, the aim is to help readers “safely grow their wealth.”
Aside from the monthly issues, subscribers receive access to the current model portfolio inside the member’s area, updates on Tilson’s recommendations, and research reports he’s put together that detail the different companies he’s tracking.
How much does it cost?
Empire Stock Investor retails at $199, but there’s often a promo running that allows you to join for $49 for a year, which is the case at the time of writing. Although the service typically renews automatically at the full retail price after the first 12 months.
Is it legit and worthwhile?
I am not a member of Empire Stock Investor, but I have no doubt it’s a legitimate service. Not only are the reviews mostly positive across the board, but Whitney Tilson is one of the most well-respected finance gurus in the space. So it’s not a scam.
The service also comes with a 30-day refund policy, so if you’re not happy with it after joining, you can request a refund within the first 30 days.
With all that said, as with every service, there is no guarantee you’ll make money following Tilson’s stock picks. He appears to have a good track record overall, but he obviously can’t predict the future, so there are still risks involved if you decide to follow his recommendations.
Who’s Whitney Tilson?
Whitney Tilson is the founder and CEO of Empire Financial Research, a New York-based financial publishing company he launched in 2019. And prior to founding this company, he was a hedge fund manager who spent almost 20 years on Wall Street.
During his time on Wall Street, Tilson founded and ran a firm called Kase Capital Management, which he grew from $1 million in assets under management to over $200 million before closing it down in 2017 and starting Empire Financial Research two years later.
As mentioned, Tilson’s flagship service is Empire Stock Investor, but Empire Financial Research publishes numerous other services.
Two of those services are free (Empire Financial Daily and Whitney Tilson’s Daily), but there are over half a dozen other services the company sells and several other experts that make up the team, including Enrique Abeyta, Berna Barshay, and Herb Greenberg.
As for Tilson, the only other service he runs (that I can see) is Empire Investment Report, a higher-tier service that focuses on small-to-mid-cap stocks.
Also worth mentioning is that Empire Financial Research recently added a service called “Junior Partner,” which gives you access to Empire Stock Investor and Empire Elite Trader for life and a 30-day trial of every other service for $3,000. Then, after 30 days, you can choose one of the trial services to keep for life, and you can swap it out for a different service at any time you want for $99. So this is a less expensive way (overall) to access everything.
In any case, aside from running Empire Financial Research and sharing his stock picks, Whitney Tilson has authored multiple finance-related books, written articles for Forbes, Financial Times, and Kiplinger’s, and has been on 60 Minutes and CNBC.
So long story short, Tilson’s the real deal. And as I’ll explain in the next section, he has made some pretty remarkable calls over the years.
How Have Tilson’s Past Predictions Worked Out?
Nobody gets it right all of the time, but Whitney Tilson has made some pretty epic (and consistent) calls over the years, such that CNBC once dubbed him “The Prophet.”
According to the Empire Financial Research website, he has predicted the following:
- Dot-com bubble;
- Housing bust;
- 2009 bear market bottom;
- Day bitcoin peaked in 2017 (December 16);
- Peak in pot stocks (September 19, 2018) and;
- Bottom of the March 2020 crash.
It’s difficult to verify all of those claims properly, but Whitney Tilson is a genuine expert, and his company is legitimate, so I doubt he’d be making it all up.
What about his stock picks?
The Empire Financial Research website states that Whitney Tilson bought Netflix at $7.78, Apple at $1.42, and Amazon at $48 per share.
And according to different Whitney Tilson presentations I’ve looked into, he’s picked numerous other winning stocks over the years and boasts a solid overall track record.
For instance, here’s what he said in a February 2022 presentation about his TaaS prediction when referring to Empire Stock Investor:
“For example, since launching this research service roughly two years ago, we’ve already seen returns (including open positions) of as high as 178%, 117%, 143%, and 110%, just to name a few of our recommendations’ gains.
Just remember that all investing carries serious risks, and you should never invest any funds you can’t afford to lose, even if you’re following our recommendations, which have a stellar track record.
Remember, our average annualized returns of 54.8% last year nearly doubled the annualized returns of the S&P 500 index over the same period.”
You may also notice that he’s upfront about the risks involved, which I think is important because, as the saying goes… past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.
Nevertheless, Whitney Tilson appears to have a solid track record, and his insights have proven valuable, so it will be interesting to see how his recent predictions unfold.
In this post, we’ve discussed five Whitney Tilson predictions and his top picks for 2022.
I hope what I’ve shared gives you some insight into what he’s tracking, and I’ll strive to keep this post updated as I discover new predictions and stock teasers he releases.
Keep in mind, however, that the stock market is a fast-moving beast, so the best way to find out what Tilson’s bullish on at any given time would be to check out his services. And if you don’t feel like spending money on that, his blog is also worth checking out.
In any case, that’s it from me. But I’m curious to hear your take on Tilson’s predictions, so if there’s anything you’d like to add, feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: I don’t own any stock or ETF mentioned in this post, nor is anything I’ve said in this post a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any asset. However, I do own shares in some of the cannabis companies that make up the MSOS ETF and therefore have indirect exposure to it. I also hold some bitcoin.