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The 9 Best High Beta Stocks For Traders That Crave Volatility

Noah Zelvis - September 06, 2021

High Beta Stocks

You likely already know that risk is an important consideration when making any investment.

While it can be difficult to measure or quantify the risk a stock possesses, the beta score is one mechanism.

Beta is the measure of a stock’s volatility relative to the movement of the rest of the stock market.

The S&P 500, a market-capitalization-weighted index of the 500 largest US publically traded companies, is typically used as the benchmark by which any stock’s beta is calculated.

Since the companies on the list are so large, they’re typically considered to be very low risk.

Therefore, the S&P 500 index is given a beta of 1.0.

Individual stocks have a beta score ranking in relation to how much they deviate from the general movement of the market.

Any stock that swings more than the market (indicating it’s more volatile) will have a score above 1.0.

Further, any stock that moves less than the overall market (indicating it’s less volatile) will have a beta score below 1.0.

Since volatility essentially translates to higher risk, this means there is a higher chance of making losses on your investment.

However, as you probably well know, higher risk also means the potential for higher reward.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best beta stocks on the market for investors looking for hefty returns.

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Best High Beta Stocks

United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI)

As the world’s largest equipment rental company, United Rentals had 13% of the North American market share in 2019 and has rebounded well since coming out of the Covid pandemic.

Its primary focus is construction and industrial equipment such as trucks, forklifts, compressors.

The company currently has a fleet of more than 660,000 rental units.

United Rentals works mainly with general and aerial rentals.

However, they also offer power & HVAC units, tool solutions, fluid solutions, and more.

The company operates across 49 US states, 10 Canadian provinces, 4 European countries, and Puerto Rico.

United Rentals has a current market capitalization of $25.4 billion and comes in with a beta value of 2.03.

This means that United Rentals is more than twice as volatile as the general market.

Despite its volatile nature, the company has fared well in 2020 and beyond with a current share price of over $350.

The future looks solid for investors with holdings in United Rentals, considering there’s no disruptive tech or competitor in this space.

SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB)

SVB Financial Group

Headquartered in California, SVB Financial Group has several well-known subsidiaries, including Silicon Valley Bank.

This bank has helped fund over 30,000 startups and is one of the largest banks in the US.

Interestingly enough, the bank is also one of the largest financial service providers to Napa Valley wine producers.

SVB Financial offers asset management, brokerage and investment services, fund management services, and more between its many subsidiaries.

With a market cap of $32.4 billion and a beta value of 2.07, SVB is right in line with United Rentals.

SVB has really found its stride in 2021, reaching an all-time high in May and holding strong at around $550 per share.

Investors may want to watch and wait for a drop in price before investing, but SVB Financial Group will continue to fund some of the world’s largest tech companies and most exciting startups in Silicon Valley. 

High Beta Tech Stocks

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices is the first of two American semiconductor companies on our beta stocks list.

The company develops computer processors and other related technologies, including motherboard chipsets, microprocessors, and graphics processors.

Its products are used in workstations, personal computers, servers, and embedded system applications.

Advanced Micro Devices has a relatively large market cap of $133 billion and is still traded for a significantly low $109 per share.

This beta stock saw a considerable increase in August of 2020, and although it’s leveled out some, is still a good beta stock to look at with a score of 2.01.

As more of our life becomes reliant upon digital technologies, companies like Advanced Micro Devices will be critical in providing the next generation of digital infrastructure.

Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ: LRCX)

Lam Research Corporation

Lam Research Corporation is another leading semiconductor company.

The business is based out of Silicon Valley and was founded in 1980.

After Tesla, Lam Research is the second largest manufacturer in the Bay Area.

The company designs, manufactures, and markets semiconductor processing units, which make integrated circuits.

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Its products are also used in wafer fabrication equipment. 

The company holds a market cap of $86.7 billion and has a stock price of over $610.

With a beta score of 1.26, it’s is higher than the S&P500 average, making it a good selection for the relatively conservative investor.

The company reached its highest trading price in history in April 2021 and is staying near that mark.

Now could be a great time to invest while beta valuation is low. 

Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN)

Align Technology manufactures 3D digital scanners and clear aligners for orthodontics.

Notably, the company is the manufacturer of Invisalign, one of the world’s most popular clear teeth aligner systems.

This product alone has more than 9 million users worldwide.

Align Technology also produces iTero, a mouth scanner for dental practices.

Both of these tools have been very successful for the company and have been reflected in its stock performance.

It currently has a market capitalization of $56.8 billion and makes this high beta stock list with a value of 1.68.

Orthodontic care is an essential part of dentistry, meaning there will be continued demand for the company’s services for many years to come.

As with many high beta stocks on this list, Align Technology saw a nice jump in share price at the end of 2020.

Performance is going strong with a current price of $710 per share.

High Beta Mining Stocks

Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE: FCX)

Freeport-McMoRan Inc

Freeport-McMoRan is a mining company based in Arizona.

The company previously had ties to the oil industry but has since moved solely into mining.

Freeport is now the world’s largest producer of molybdenum and one of the largest producers of copper.

In 2020, copper accounted for roughly 75% of the company’s sales.

Freeport has operations across five regions, including North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Indonesia.

This great regional diversification helps to mitigate some of the regulations of environmental protection agencies.

That said, the company has been involved in a number of environmental, human rights, and corruption scandals over the years.

The company has a market cap of $53.2 billion with a current share price of around $33.

Freeport has a beta index score of 2.08, making it an excellent choice for aggressive investors.

The decision to move out of the oil industry has only benefitted Freeport-McMoRan in the long run. 

High Beta Retail Stocks

L Brands Inc (NYSE: LB)

L Brands, Inc.

Formerly known as Limited Brands, Inc., L Brands is an American fashion retailer.

Based out of Ohio, the company’s flagship brands include Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, and Pink.

The company made plans to sell the Victoria’s Secret portion of the business to a private equity firm, but the sale never came to pass.

This resulted in the outing of the L Brands CEO in 2020.

As of summer 2021, L Brands has decided to split into two independent companies.

L Brands has a market cap of $17.4 billion, with shares of L Brands currently trading for over $65 per share.

The company has a beta index score of 1.79, marking it as relatively volatile compared to the rest of the overall market.

With eCommerce becoming an increasingly important aspect of our lives, L Brands’ brands will likely continue to perform well.

After five years of decline, the company has seen a significant share price increase since 2020.

Current conditions suggest investors are enthusiastic about the changes the company has made with ownership of the Victoria’s Secret brand.

Share prices are currently at their highest point in six years. 

YETI Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: YETI)

YETI Holdings, Inc. is an American company based in Austin, Texas, and sells products like coolers and insulated drinkware.

The company got its start in 2006 after two brothers decided the current insulated products on the market just weren’t up to snuff.

Although starting with coolers, YETI has recently branched out into other insulated accessories to appeal to a broader range of people.

A relatively new company, YETI’s market cap is listed at $9 billion and has been trending upwards for years.

It sits above $100 per share at the moment, and new innovations will likely see it continue to increase.

The beta value of 2.63 demonstrates a large amount of volatility.

Fortunately, all signs point to the company continuing to grow as time rolls on.

High Beta Automotive Stocks

Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII)

9 best beta stocks featured

Polaris Inc. is an American company that has been in business for over 65 years in the power sports vehicle space.

Manufacturing one of the first snowmobiles, the company has since branched into all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, and more.

In May of 2021, interim CEO Mike Speetzen was promoted to the role permanently and looks to push Polaris into a broader customer demographic.

Polaris saw its all-time highest stock price in April 2021 and has only dropped slightly despite corporate restructuring.

These changes point to market volatility, and Polaris currently has a 2.02 for its beta score.

That being said, the company’s push towards brand awareness and more diversity show potential for long-term profits.

Should You Buy High Beta Stocks?

High beta stocks come with high risks, but they also have a huge potential for reward.

Not all high beta stocks are created equal, so it’s essential to research before making any investment decisions. 

The higher a stock gets from a beta score of 1.0, the more volatile the stock becomes.

Volatility often comes with huge returns, but it can also set you up for huge losses. 

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High Beta Stocks: Final Thoughts

High beta stocks have huge potential, but they also come with plenty of risk.

Some industries are inherently volatile, which reflects in the stock market performance of these companies.

It’s also common for stocks to experience volatility if they’ve struggled with public controversies or have had multiple acquisitions in a short period of time. 

It can be challenging to figure out exactly why a stock is volatile.

However, these stocks can be great for investors with a high risk tolerance, as they come with huge potential for returns. 

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Noah is an American copywriter on a mission to help clarify the nuances of the financial world. When he's not working, you’ll likely find him running or traveling.