The COVID-19 pandemic was and is still a confusing and terrible time for most of us. Remote work became the new normal, and despite hesitation from a lot of companies, we found we were just as productive at home than in the office. Some companies like Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) went to work from home permanently. Others have opted to return their staff to offices now that vaccines have been provided to most healthy and consenting adults in North America.
One industry that received a major boost during the pandemic is the gig economy. Side hustles as they are also called, became a regular opportunity for people who worked from home. Others found setting their own schedule appealing and quit their jobs to pursue their own passions. Whether you are a DoorDash (NYSE:DASH) driver or a freelancer on a gig platform like Fiverr (NYSE:FVRR), making additional income outside of your job has never been easier. As the industry continues to gain popularity, let’s take a look at two stocks that will help you gain a piece of the gig economy.
Fiver (NYSE:FVRR): You can include UpWork (NASDAQ:UPWK) in this as well. Fiverr came out of nowhere in 2020 to be one of the hottest performing stocks of the year. Over the past 52-weeks, shares have returned 54% to investors, but year to date, the stock is down 14%. This year has not been as kind to Fiverr, and its recent quarterly earnings saw weaker guidance for the third quarter as a disappointment for Wall Street. The reason? The world is slowly opening back up despite the rising cases of the Delta Variant. People are heading back to their offices, so we have less time to freelance. Still, there is a substantial group of people that will remain as freelancers, and right now Fiverr and UpWork remain the best platforms to do this. Shares of Fiverr fell from $230 to $175 following the earnings report, and this is already down from an all-time high price of $336 per share in February of this year. The only fear for Fiverr is a company like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) entering the market and undercutting Fiverr’s 20% commission that they take off of each order. Other than that, it should continue to be one of the most popular sites for freelancers to work on.
Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB): You might not immediately think of Airbnb as a freelance site, but remember that hosts are gig workers in a way. With global travel itching to open back up, the company reported in its recent earnings call that it will need a massive influx of hosts to accommodate travelers. Now, being an Airbnb host is not something just anyone can do. You generally need to own property, and be able to live somewhere else. It’s capital intensive, but if you can pull it off in a lucrative market, it’s as good as a full time job. Shares of Airbnb have come down recently, with the stock down over 27% in the past six months. It was a much anticipated IPO when it happened, but the stock has traded mostly sideways since. With the impending release of global travelers anticipated to happen at some point in 2022, now may be as good a time as any to make an investment in becoming an Airbnb host.