5 Gig Stocks for the Rapidly Changing Economy

First-to-mind gig economy stocks are no longer on the cutting edge. Instead, consider these five picks for the evolving workplace.

A ride-hailing service
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After 38 years of working from home, my workstyle is finally "in." You might know it as the "gig economy."

Whether I call myself a freelance writer, independent contractor or solo entrepreneur, I am considered a "gig worker." And the idea behind the gig economy is to not be tied to a single job or even a skill. Instead, gig workers can toil for anyone, from anywhere, and are constantly on the lookout for new money-making opportunities.

Playing the new trend isn't as easy as just buying first-to-mind gig economy stocks like Uber Technologies (UBER (opens in new tab)) or Lyft (LYFT (opens in new tab)). They're no longer the bleeding edge, says David Dziekanski, portfolio manager and partner at Toroso Investments.

Toroso is an advisor on the SoFi Gig Economy ETF (GIGE (opens in new tab)). Companies like Uber and Lyft are "out," Dziekanski says, because in "the next stage of the gig economy you will no longer need large intermediaries to be a platform for your voice." Everyone is truly an entrepreneur. The platforms that win will be those that enable you to work for many different employers, even in different kinds of jobs.

Toroso itself is a virtual company. Dziekanski works from a home office in Brooklyn. Toroso Investments, meanwhile, is based in Chicago, while SoFi is run from Los Angeles.

Dziekanski calls the gig economy an "ecosystem that lets you work disconnected, from seemingly anywhere. It let our economy function through COVID and set up a happier, more productive work culture." On the other hand, he says, "the economy is changing at such a rapid pace you will need to reinvent yourself two or three times over" during a career.

If GIGE's performance is any indication, it's worth paying attention to gig stocks. Since its launch in May 2019, GIGE is up around 95%, roughly twice the total return (price plus dividends) of the S&P 500 over the same time. Read on as we discuss some of Dziekanski's favorite gig economy stocks held in the GIGE portfolio.

Data is as of April 9.

Dana Blankenhorn
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
Dana Blankenhorn has been a business and technology journalist since 1978. His work has appeared in newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and magazines such as Interactive Age. But he has spent most of his career online, spotting future trends in over a dozen beats from e-commerce to open source, and from renewable energy to blockchain, working for such publishers as TheRegister.com, ZDNet, InvestorPlace, TheStreet.com and Yahoo Finance.