It's not a hobby, it's an ethos. That's it. That's Beyond Meat (BYND) , that's plant based, that's Ethan Brown, that's buy buy buy.
I have to tell you that so many things have been accelerated by the pandemic that you can't help but wonder, are young stock buyers even caring about the short-term fundamentals? Or are they just plain true believers and therefore they can buy with reckless abandon.
And one of the most important? That we can't trust the food chain anymore. That it's dirty, broken, and sinful. So we have to buy Beyond Meat, the plant based burgers that don't involve covid-filled slaughterhouses, reminiscent of filthy, horrendous, Chicago meatpackers exposed in The Jungle, the turn of the last century book by Upton Sinclair that led to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.
The rebellion against the food chain spills right into the younger person's portfolio. Listen to what the Beyond Meat evangelist had to say last night.
This isn't the first stock that fits the pattern of the rebellions against the status quo. We know that young people love Elon Musk and Tesla (TSLA) . They can't vote for him for president. He's not running. They can't go to a stadium and cheer for him. But they can do the next best thing: they can buy the stock of Tesla.
Why not? It's a total rebellion against the combustion engine and the combustion engine is losing.
Sometimes it's as simple as what you use versus that the old folks use. The younger investor in this country started buying things with PayPal on Amazon (AMZN) . So they stuck with PayPal (PYPL) , and fell in love with Venmo with its cool emojis designated where you were and how'd you like it.
They want fresh and organic and sustainable. So even though Chipotle (CMG) had a couple of health issues along the way, they love the stock and are indifferent to the price of it. That's how it can go to $1000, or at least will be there shortly.
It's a new way to invest and because of companies like Robin Hood or SoFi, which encourage investing, their collective fire power can move a stock and move it in ways that are staggering to the seasoned veterans.
Of course there are tons of goofball and pie-in-the-sky stocks they gravitate to: small perhaps cancer-curing biotechs, amusing hydrogen-fueled engines, experimental low-dollar priced vaccine companies.
Curious specs, but long-game speculation can sometimes pay off.
But the most special of their buys, the most glaring is Beyond Meat because Ethan Brown is trying to solve a problem and it isn't how to get the tastiest, least expensive burger. It's about saving the earth from pandemics, it's about disrupting the way we get protein, and it's about the end of the breeding and slaughtering of industrial cows because the whole thing is bad for the earth.
The fact that Brown is crafty, that he is lowering prices for his non-cow beef that, by the way, tastes like a dead cow without all the attending cruelty and butchering, just when the Tyson's (TSN) of the world are front-page news, makes it even better. Brown is subversive in his urge to change the way we eat and young people, even non-vegetarians, or maybe especially non-vegetarians, are loving the burgers and therefore loving the stock.
The tradition purveyors of burgers are fairly dismissive. I pressed Chris Kempczinski about why McDonald's (MCD) , which is testing Beyond Meat burgers in Canada, hasn't rolled it out here. He seemed puzzled about the hobbyist in me who wants to see it on the menu.
But he didn't realize that it's not a hobby, it's an ethos and it's an ethos that's winning, just one more example of something that the pandemic has triggered: a revulsion to wet markets, an aversion to the closing of meat packing houses because of wildfire covid, and a welcoming of a solution that satisfies the craving, not just for taste, but for saving us and the planet before we commit terrestrial suicide.