The Disruptors: 10 Innovative and Irritating Stock Picks

The idea of disruptors – single companies that (usually quickly) change the landscape of an entire industry or sector – isn’t new.

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The idea of disruptors – single companies that (usually quickly) change the landscape of an entire industry or sector – isn’t new. Henry Ford and Ford Motor (F (opens in new tab)) revolutionized automaking in the early 1990s. Phil Knight’s Nike (NKE (opens in new tab)) forever altered the athletic-shoe industry.

In the process, these and other similar game-changers were colossally successful stock picks, shooting higher year after year as they ate the rest of their industry’s share.

Today, institutional investors with deep pockets still are committing large sums of capital to disruptive technologies. For instance, in Canada, Quebec’s largest pension fund – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec – recently announced that it would invest up to $2 billion in public-company stocks and pre-initial public offering (IPO) companies with the potential to become leaders in their industries.

Here in the U.S., investment managers such as Ark Investment Management LLC, are focused exclusively on disruptive innovation. Ark defines disruptive innovation “as the introduction of a technologically enabled new product or service that has the potential to change an industry landscape by creating simplicity and accessibility while driving down costs.” This sounds like the kinds of innovations harnessed by Ford and Nike in their heydays.

Today, we’ll explore 10 stock picks that have the potential to be disruptors themselves. A few of these are established companies that are delving into new markets, while others are younger companies that are only starting to be a thorn in other companies’ sides. Just be cautious. A few aren’t even profitable yet, which makes them considerable risks and more suitable for aggressive allocations.

Data is as of Aug. 19.

Will Ashworth
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Will has written professionally for investment and finance publications in both the U.S. and Canada since 2004. A native of Toronto, Canada, his sole objective is to help people become better and more informed investors. Fascinated by how companies make money, he's a keen student of business history. Married and now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he's also got an interest in equity and debt crowdfunding.