Today, electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and discount retailer Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) are my two largest individual stock holdings. My positions in these stocks have grown over the years not because of stock splits, but rather because I’ve continued to put money behind them during dips in the stock prices. Until recently, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was my largest holding by a long shot. However, we’ll get to that later. First, here’s a bit of history on when I made my initial investments in Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), how they’ve performed since then, and how long I plan to hold them into the future.
Taking the plunge
Tesla Motors won my attention after the company’s CEO Elon Musk came to speak at Fool headquarters in 2011. I had no prior knowledge of the business before meeting Musk, and honestly no intention of investing in an auto manufacturer — a start-up EV maker, nonetheless. What changed my mind? I believed Musk was a disruptive innovator, and that Tesla would shake up the auto industry like never before.
When I finally decided to buy shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), it was one of the most shorted stocks on the Nasdaq. However, Musk’s company has passed many milestones since that time. In fact, it delivered its Model S sedan ahead of schedule, and later took home the academy award of autos when it’s zero-emissions vehicle won Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year. Despite these achievements, the market’s lack of confidence in Tesla isn’t without merit.
This is because the Silicon Valley-based company is trying to find its way in an industry where economies of scale favor global giants such as Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM), and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). Then again, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s CEO has an impressive track record of beating the odds. Musk was a co-founder of payments processor PayPal, which eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) later purchased for a cool $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, his other company, SpaceX, made history last year after launching the first commercial spacecraft to reach the International Space Station.
As long as Musk is driving Tesla, I am happy to be along for the ride. Musk vowed to create not only the best electric vehicle ever built, but also the best performance sedan in the marketplace — so far, he’s done just that. But that’s not all. With the help of ex-Apple executive George Blankenship, Tesla is hoping to change the way people shop for cars.
The company is opening mall stores to showcase its all-electric cars in high foot traffic areas around the world. This is disruptive in an industry in which traditional automakers rely on franchised dealerships for distribution. While the stock will likely remain volatile in the near term, I’m betting on Tesla’s future revenue potential as the driving force behind widespread EV adoption. Of course, this isn’t going to happen overnight, which is why I plan to be a Tesla shareholder for many more years to come.
Now let’s look at my second-largest holding: Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT).