Many sectors have been damaged in the train wreck of this year’s stock market. But few have been as hard hit as the stocks of financial technology (fintech) companies. These are companies using new technologies to compete with traditional banks and other financial institutions. Think payment apps, online lenders and digital exchanges. Most fintech companies are using artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and big data to deliver financial services to consumers. While the technology employed by fintech companies is cutting edge, it is also risky, causing many investors to flee the sector as stock markets around the world continue to gyrate. The Global X FinTech ETF (NASDAQ:FINX) that is comprised of all the leading companies in the space has fallen 57% in the past 12 months and continues to slide lower. Many fintech stocks are down 70% or more on the year. With the outlook for both markets and the global economy remaining uncertain, fintech stocks cannot be counted on to reverse their downward spiral anytime soon. Here are three fintech stocks to sell amid this market turmoil.
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Most investors would agree that now is not the time to be heavily invested in crypto, when the price of Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is at a two-year low and $1.4 trillion has been wiped off the cryptocurrency market this year. Unfortunately, Jack Dorsey, the founder and CEO of fintech company Block (NYSE:SQ), remains a crypto evangelist. Dorsey famously renamed his payments company Block (it was formerly called Square) to emphasize its focus on the blockchain technologies that underpin cryptocurrencies such as BTC.
This helps to explain why Block currently holds more than 8,000 Bitcoins. It also helps to explain why SQ stock has fallen 70% over the past 12 months, including a 62% decline this year.
The tragedy is that Block’s Cash App payment system remains extremely popular and continues to perform well. The company’s revenue, minus its Bitcoin holdings, has remained strong this year, rising 37% to $7.6 billion through the first three quarters. Sadly, Dorsey pivoted the company towards crypto just as it peaked, and the current collapse of digital coins and tokens is dragging Block down with it. Get out of SQ stock while you still can.
Affirm Holdings (AFRM)
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For a truly ugly stock chart, take a gander at Affirm Holdings (NASDAQ:AFRM). The San Francisco-based fintech company’s stock has been incinerated this year amid the market turmoil. Having fallen 87% since January, AFRM stock is now down 90% over the past year and treading water at $13 a share. Somewhat ironically, Affirm Holdings was launched by Max Levchin, one of the founders of PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and an architect of the modern online payments system.
Despite his earlier success, Levchin and his team have struggled at Affirm. Much of the problem seems to be the company’s strident focus on buy now, pay later loans. Affirm runs a consumer app that allows buyers to obtain loans, and it even has a partnership with Walmart (NYSE:WMT) that promotes Affirm Holdings to customers in-store and on Walmart’s website. However, after a brief moment in the sun, the entire buy now, pay later industry has come under heavy criticism for placing consumers in debt.
Add to the picture Affirm’s mounting losses and slowing growth, and it becomes clear why many analysts and investors have written off Affirm Holdings and say it’s a fintech stock to sell amid this market turmoil.
SoFi Technologies (SOFI)
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Another leading fintech company that has imploded this year is SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI), a San Francisco-based company that likes to refer to itself as an “online bank.” SoFi provides student and auto loans, mortgages, credit cards, and everyday banking services, primarily through a mobile app on smartphones. The company is heavily involved in student loans throughout the U.S. As is the case with the other names on this list, it has been all down hill for SOFI stock in 2022. This year, the share price has come down 70%, bringing its decline over 12 months to 75%.
At its current level of $4.52 per share, SoFi Technologies is officially a penny stock, defined as any security that trades for less than $5 per share. The company has been plagued by many of the issues hurting the other stocks on this list, including poor financial results and exposure to cryptocurrencies through its SoFi Digital Assets unit.
TheSenate Banking Committee recently took issue with SoFi’s exposure to crypto. In addition, the federal government’s ongoing moratorium on student loan repayments and the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program have lowered SoFi Technologies’ revenue. SOFI is definitely a fintech stock to sell amid this market turmoil.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.