Hatch Weekly: Investing. It’s in your DNA (and vice versa).

Investing in DNA

According to Bill Gates, “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” Sure, he said this in 1995, well before synthetic biology (the science focused on reading, writing, and editing DNA) was even a thing. But he has seen the light and is now investing his time and money in this groundbreaking field.

Billionaires love biotech

Synthetic biology companies are expected to disrupt several industries like food and agriculture, consumer goods, and materials. This new frontier of synthetic biology views DNA as a programming language for creating new products like sustainable packaging, nitrogen-free fertiliser, and a biodesigned probiotic hangover cure. Synthetic biology companies raised roughly $4 billion USD in 2018 – one-third of the more than $12.3B the industry has raised in the last ten years. Gates isn’t the only billionaire that sees something in synthetic biology companies. Tech titans like Eric Schmidt at Google (GOOG) and Peter Thiel at PayPal (PYPL) are hoping to bank on biological breakthroughs that can have a positive impact on the world.

Where to get started

So you want to invest in some of the leading synthetic biology companies? If you have invested in Beyond Meat (BYND), you might already be doing it. But there’s many more to consider. Bluebird Bio (BLUE): a biotechnology company focussed on developing gene therapies for severe diseases and cancer and have a market cap today of over $5.7 billion. They've delivered investors a return of +193% since their IPO in 2014.

Other synthetic biology companies on Hatch include: 

  • Codexis (CDXS): a protein engineering company that develops biocatalysts for pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.

  • Editas Medicine (EDIT): a genome editing company that treats patients with genetically defined diseases by correcting their disease-causing genes.

  • CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP): a Switzerland-based gene-editing company. 

  • Intrexon (XON) focusses on human and animal health, food and agriculture, energy and chemicals.

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What’s that on your wrist? An investment.

Heard of a buy low, sell high investing strategy? Might not be wise to implement this strategy with your Rolex. Wait; what? Oh yes – that 18K bling on your wrist could be worth a sweet 75K just seven years later. Sounds more like a buy and hold strategy to us.

Wrist candy with a twist

So you could buy shares in The RealReal (REAL) – a consignment marketplace that sells luxury goods or you could say yes to a vintage watch on The RealReal. More attainable than real estate, and more stable than crypto, some millennial investors are treating vintage wristwear as a new asset class. Just ‘gram it and you’ll see – everybody from rappers to starlets are investing in vintage tickers. Not sure where to get started? Check out start-up Worn and Wound, a business dedicated to you choosing the right watch that will pay off in the end.

Not just a pretty face

So, Paul Newman’s wristwatch sold for $17.8m in under 15 minutes in 2017. Cough. A watch can be a good investment, but like investing in any other tangible asset, it takes expertise to make money. If you want a watch that will hold its value over time, Rolex might the brand for you – but they’re not a magic ticket to making instant cash. Buying a vintage Rolex is like purchasing stock in a quintessential blue-chip company, so much so that values fluctuate like share prices. For example, the cost of a Rolex GMT-Masters increased from $8k to $16k in just three years. Better yet, the value of a vintage Compax watch worn by Nina Lindt, wife of the 1970s Formula One racer Jochen Rindt, rose from $2.8k to $45k before cooling back down to $30k. Time to look into vintage watches as an investment?

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