Investors looking to add to their fintech holdings may want to look at Nelnet (NNI 0.49%) and Upstart (UPST -19.71%). In this clip from “The Future of Fintech” on Motley Fool Live, recorded on June 30, Fool.com contributors Lou Whiteman and Matt Frankel discuss the cash-heavy businesses that have been attracting attention.
Lou Whiteman: These are two top 15 positions for me and I don’t intend to abandon any of them. I think very different businesses in terms of maturity, in terms of risk-reward so I wouldn’t necessarily call that a fair swap. Nelnet for people who don’t know they have a massive portfolio of government-backed student loans on their books, which Jim Gillies likes to describe as a slowly melting iceberg of cash. It’s billions of cash.
If we somehow see student loan relief, these are the government-backed ones so it’s basically the government writing Nelnet a check and they get that money quicker so there isn’t that risk even though there is some headline risk there. They also have a huge servicing portfolio where they’re making fees off these other businesses.
It’s basically a capital allocation play because they have all this cash and what they do with it from here is the question. If you have a child in private schools if you’ve paid money to FACTS Management or go on PowerSchool (PWSC 1.36%), I think or any of these products, a lot of these financial management projects for the colleges too. They have a lot of those businesses. I really like that business. I am a holder of that business, but it is a very different risk-reward than Upstart. I personally hold them both, I wouldn’t trade one for another, but I certainly love both of those companies. Do you own Nelnet?
Matt Frankel: I do not own Nelnet. I think it’s a safer play of the two.
Frankel: I would go so far as to say that. They’re two different types of businesses.
Whiteman: Yeah. I stumbled upon that company when my daughter is now going to be a sophomore in high school when I hadn’t started making massive payments to a company called FACTS Management back when she was in kindergarten and who the heck is this? They just have a printing press for money and then discovering what else was in the business, so yeah.
Lou Whiteman has positions in Nelnet and Upstart Holdings, Inc. Matthew Frankel, CFP® has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Nelnet and Upstart Holdings, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.