Afterpay (ASX code APT) is an Australian based payment platform that offers a "Buy now, pay later" model with your purchase spread over 4 fortnightly payments. A few years ago I started hearing about this company, mainly because my wife started using their service. Money was always tight, and my credit rating was crap, so it quickly became a budgeting savior for us (and a little trap TBH) letting us spread the cost of stuff that didn't quite fit in the week-to-week spending.
After a little while, I noticed how quickly the service was becoming popular, to the point that consumers were petitioning retailers to add it to their online platforms. Gen Z and millennials were driving the companies growth, and they started booming despite doing zero advertising. Their service is completely interest free, provided payments are made on time, and merchants are charged a fee on the transactions.
Any merchant that added the service experienced an immediate sales boost in their online business, with many reporting 20 - 30% growth overnight in those early days. When I saw one Australian company's Facebook page inundated with hundreds and hundreds of requests that they add the service, I finally decided to dig in and find out more about the company, and see if I could invest. I had shifted my Superannuation into a fund that gave me some freedom to buy into any of the top 300 ASX stocks, and have a more active involvement in managing my Super, but with the admin hassles of a "self managed fund".
I bought shares in my Super at an average entry price of $5.392 each. my first purchase was on 12 Dec 2017. Along the way, since then I have sold portions of my holding at various levels, and regained my initial investment many times over. Back in my very early days on STEEM, I actually wrote about it, in this post from 22 May 2018. Yeah, my content was crap back then and no-one read it, but hey, my share tip is recorded forever in blockchain history.
The company has grown massively over these last 3 years, and the shares are currently worth $109.93 each, having just hit a fresh ATH yesterday on news that they were going to be included in the ASX20. They are now international, having stormed the US market where their business just overtook their Australian operation for the first time recently. From being the only company of its type here in Australia, they have basically created a new market segment into which numerous companies have tried to copy their model. The niche they created has become a significant market segment, and major disruptor to tradition payment platforms like banks and credit card companies. At yesterdays new ATH, the company is valued at just over 30 Billion AUD (22 billion USD) and the ranked 15 by market cap in Australia.
All of this impressive Afterpay news, but there is a small catch... The company is yet to make a profit. Adopting the "Amazon" and "Tesla" style of building a company, of growth, growth and more growth, and worry about making a profit later has certainly paid dividends for the company. However they have not yet payed a dividend, but they are close to break even. It's a bit of a strange world in which a company can become one of the biggest by valuation in the country without having ever made a profit.
So there you have it, my best ever investment, my only ever (I think) 20X investment (not sure what has been the cheapest I've payed for LEO, but it may be a 20X - dunno, might haver to look into that???)
Not financial advice - I wouldn't buy Afterpay at current levels, I think its overpriced now - but maybe it isn't... who knows, inclusion in the ASX20 means many more index funds, Super and investment funds will have to include it in their portfolio.
Thanks for reading,
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