Back in 1997, you could buy a share of Amazon stock for around one dollar. Imagine if you bought one thousand of those shares and still owned them today (a share is currently around $2,100, almost a 120,000% increase)! The popularity of marijuana stock comes from the potentials of the industry–everyone's hoping to find a payoff much like early Amazon investors. With US marijuana sales expected to reach 23.4 billion by the year 2022, the market could possibly see exceptional trajectory growth in the stock market.

With recent changes to the legalization of marijuana use in the United States, both medically and recreationally, more people are showing an interest in marijuana stocks. And it's no wonder, considering global spending on legal cannabis worldwide is projected to hit 57 billion in a decade. The legal market is growing like a weed (pun intended) and many people are wondering if investing in marijuana right now could pay off in the future.

Who

understanding marijuana Giphy


Marijuana derives from the cannabis plant, as does hemp. The plant produces cannabinoid chemicals like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). There are plenty of different companies currently in the pot industry. Before making any decisions on investing in this industry, you should do your research first. When looking into companies dabbling in marijuana, it's important to know what they deal with. Some marijuana stock companies are in the growth and retail industry, such as Canopy Growth Corporation. Others are in the biotech and pharma industry, such as GW Pharmaceuticals, while others are focused on CBD products like Charlotte's Web. Many well-known companies are also looking to become players in the marijuana industry. Anheuser-Busch announced a $50 billion partnership in 2018 with Tilray to research the production of canned beverages that will contain both CBD and THC.

How

When buying stock in marijuana, you have options. You can buy publicly traded stock yourself through over-the-counter trades (OTC), from a stock exchange available through a licensed broker, or through an exchange-traded fund (ETF) which is a group of funds grouped together into one account. There are pros and cons to each of these buying options.

ETFs

Choosing an ETF can reduce your risk, since your portfolio is diversified over many different stocks; but on the flip side, you're not as likely to reap any significant benefits if one of the stocks happens to soar. The two most popular weed-based ETFs are the

ETFMJ Alternative Harvest ETF and the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF.

OTCs

OTCs, sometimes called penny stocks, are the riskiest buying options simply due to the lack of public information on such new companies, combined with the fact that most of the companies in this stock line are new businesses. The appeal of these types of stocks, however, is their low cost to purchase. For example, cbdMD, a producer of CBD oils, had a stock price at $1.11 per share as of February 23rd. Even though these low stock prices are enticing, it probably would not be wise to put all of your eggs in one basket with any OTC stocks.

The Risks

Just like any budding industry, the potential gain is great, but the risk could be even greater, and your investments might have the risk of going up in smoke.

Legal/Political Risks


politics and marijuana Giphy


Although recreational marijuana is now legal in 11 states and medical marijuana in 33 states, the drug is still illegal on federal terms under the Controlled Substance Act. With marijuana's classification as a Schedule 1 drug under this act, the federal government declares it to be completely illegal, even for medical use– which technically means that investors who put their money in marijuana companies are conspiring to violate that act. If you're an employee of the federal government, it might be best to steer clear of any marijuana stocks–at least until it's legalized on the federal level. For everyday investors, however, the chance of facing criminal charges is pretty low.

Price to Sales Risks

The price to sales ratio is commonly used amongst investors when evaluating stocks. A company's P/S ratio is determined by dividing a company's market capitalization by its revenue (usually over a twelve-month period). It's important to look into the PS ratio for any company you plan on buying stock in, as this figure gives you a better understanding of how much investors are willing to pay per dollar of sales. The key takeaway: the lower the ratio, the more desirable the stock is to purchase.


projected price to sales ratio marijuana stocks NASDAQ


A look at this P/S ratio chart shows the significantly higher projected P/S ratio in the marijuana stocks compared to other industries. Currently, top-trending marijuana stocks from companies like Cronos Group, Inc., Tilray Inc., and Canopy Growth, Inc. are showing high results for P/S ratio. The good news: P/S ratio is not the be-all-end-all of determining a stock's worth.

Black Market Risks


illegal marijuana sales Giphy

As much as statistics show growth trends in the legalized sector of marijuana-based sales, black market pot sales are still playing a role in hindering the industry's sales. Even with the complete legalization of marijuana in Canada, for example, statistics still show that nearly half of all cannabis users report buying marijuana from illegal sources.Likewise, according to NBC News, in spite of California legalizing recreational marijuana over two years ago, black market sales still outnumber the legal ones.

Dilution Risks

Stock dilution occurs when a company issues new stocks, therefore decreasing ownership percentages of current stockholders, and in turn stock prices. Statistics show that many marijuana-related industries have dilution concerns, which can be seen through market cap statistics showing the share price and the number of existing shares. For example, Canopy Growth's five year market cap analysis chart shows a significant increase.

The Bottom Line

It seems that many of the repercussive risks in the legal marijuana industry will change over time, as more and more countries legalize and decriminalize marijuana. With the growing support of its legalization over time, I believe the legal market is here to stay.

growing support for legalizing marijuana Pew Research Center


It's impossible to invest in any stock without taking risks. The best advice for potential pot investors: Don't devote more than you are willing to risk, do your research before buying any particular stocks yourself, and always remember, diversification is key in any good investment strategy!

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I thought I had a pretty good handle on my finances out of school. I worked several jobs while attending university and had little to no problem managing my income. However, once I graduated, I realized how much more complicated personal accounting could really be.

There were so many variables I needed to keep track of. Biweekly bills, monthly charges, and general necessities amounted to a heap of confusing numbers that were often impossible to decipher. The funniest part was that I was actually trying to do this by hand (I don't know what I was trying to prove to myself, either).

After messing up for the 17th time, I decided to give Microsoft Excel a shot. I used Excel a bit in school and I knew all the big-wig finance people used it, so what could I possibly have to lose? The answer is about six hours of my precious time. Excel isn't much of an improvement over handwriting and it's still dependent on the user to manually input all of the information. It's like doing everything by hand with the slightest help, meaning that it still required a tremendous amount of time and concentration. Well that was all for nothing, I guess.

It's sort of funny. I was certain that I could manage my personal finances with ease, when it's practically a full-time job. I was already stressed out enough with my first job and I knew I didn't have enough time to give my finances the attention it deserved.

That's why I decided to try out a budgeting app. My best friend told me that he uses an app called Truebill to manage his finances. "What does it even mean to manage your finances?" I asked him. He told me that Truebill was the personal financial assistant I wished I could have. It could aggregate all of my account information into one place and give me specific insights and actions.

I loved the idea of having full control over my finances, especially during a time of financial uncertainty, and I realized that Truebill would be the easiest way to accomplish this. The user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive, so it doesn't even feel like a finance app! Truebill offers a multitude of features, with their most popular being the ability to cancel subscriptions with the press of a button.

Okay, I had no idea how many subscriptions I was still subscribed to. In fact, I wasn't even using a quarter of the subscription services I was signed up for. Subscription boxes, streaming services, my old gym, and even an old subscription to my favorite magazine--it was all there and I was livid. How could I let myself waste all of this money and how did I never catch this? Thank goodness for Truebill.

Truebill also offers bill negotiations. There is a 40% fee based on how much you save and Truebill even claims that there is an 85% chance that they'll be able to lower your bill once a negotiation is requested. Why wouldn't I take them up on this? There was zero risk and I would only have to pay once my bill was lowered (which means that I would be saving money regardless).

More standard features of Truebill include the ability to generate a credit report on-demand and even request a pay advance. I only used the pay advance feature once when I wanted to buy a gift for my mom, but didn't have enough cash in hand and Truebill automatically reimbursed itself when I got my next paycheck.

The credit report is another fantastic feature and practically taught me what good credit meant. Truebill's credit report basically shows you which financial decisions have the most significant impact on your credit score and ways that you can improve your credit month-over-month. I've never had such control over my credit and it feels good.

I'll be the first to admit that I was extremely naive coming out of school. I figured that as long as I was attentive, I could manage my finances with ease. We manage money to some extent throughout our entire lives, but once you're thrown out on your own, it's a completely different story. With Truebill, I've finally been able to take control over my finances and stay on top of all of my responsibilities.

Update: Our friends at Truebill are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to sign-up for Truebill.

My buddies and I always try to make it out to a game, but we never really care which one we end up at. Obviously we have our favorite sports and teams, but it was rarely about what game we went to or who we saw playing. It was about watching the game live.

In the early months of lockdown, all we had was Korean baseball, and trust me, we loved it. The only issue was, none of us had any idea what the commentators were saying. Even then, a few of my friends weren't huge fans of baseball. They were into sports like football and basketball, ones that moved at a quicker pace with less down-time in between plays.

We decided to see if there were any other events going down and came across horse racing. Yes, horse racing. It was perfect--short, fast-paced, and most importantly, an opportunity for betting.

I had never really considered watching a horse race any time other than the Belmont Stakes, but the prospects of the sport seemed exhilarating. Even better, with horse racing we knew we could still recreate the atmosphere of a race track. Salty snacks? Check. Stale beer? Check. A simple and easy way to bet? Check.

One quick Google search later, we came across TVG, powered by FanDuel. It's an online betting platform that takes you right to the heart of the action. We were a little apprehensive about using a mobile app to place our bets, but TVG's ability to bet on live horse races from all over the world was too good to pass up.

Here are 5 reasons why we are obsessed with horse racing thanks to TVG:

1. Betting has never been easier

Use your phone or computer to watch and bet on live horse races in real-time. TVG offers a bunch of features to make betting even simpler--live odds and handicapping tips leverage recent learnings to help you make your best bet. Not to mention, TVG's exclusive race content and wagering guide offers an under-the-hood look into the strategy behind horse race betting.

2. The biggest selection of horse races out there

If you're looking to drop a little dough on a horse race, chances are your best option is your local race track. But watching the same few horses races over and over again isn't the most exciting thing. With TVG you have access to over 150 tracks worldwide with races happening consistently throughout the day.

3. Get a generous sign-up offer when you place your first bet

Once you register your account, you will be eligible for a $200 risk-free bet. All you have to do is place your first bet and you're covered. If you happen to lose, TVG will insure you for up to $200 as a sort of wagering credit. I may have been a little trigger happy when placing my first bet, so having this insurance was a great perk. There are also a bunch of promotional offers available year-round.

4. Making deposits and cashing out at the touch of button

With a ton of payment options such as PayPal, BetCash, debit/credit, wire transfers, and other third-party services, making a deposit is a breeze. But what about the payout? Depending on your deposit method, your withdrawal will be available in a few days. No more waiting in-line to collect your winnings!

5. Watching live races with your friends while betting is exhilarating

Even when we were watching Korean baseball, Zoom calls with my friends were a little dull.

With TVG, we haven't had this sort of fun in months! Every weekend we'll turn on a race and throw our bets in. After a few races, and quite a few drinks, we'll tally up our winnings to see who won the most! Sometimes it's not even about making money, but just having a good time.

TVG is the perfect way to add a little excitement to an otherwise mundane afternoon. It introduced me to the world of horse racing, a sport I never would have considered otherwise.

The races just keep ramping up and thanks to TVG, I can always get in on the fun.

UPDATE: The biggest derby in horse racing is THIS WEEKEND. Get in on the action with your $200 risk-free bet!

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