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Investing in lithium stocks

A precious metal with increasing demand — what you should know before you invest.

Lithium has multiple applications from consumer to military. But investors should be wary of lithium’s delicate supply and demand levels before diving into this stock.

What is Lithium?

Lithium is a chemical element on the periodic table. This metal is soft and white, giving it the nickname “white petroleum.” While lithium has been traditionally used in ceramic and glass production, it’s now more popularly used in rechargeable batteries in smartphones, laptops and electric cars.

Lithium also strengthens other metals. For example, lithium alloys, such as aluminum-lithium, are used in bicycle frames and aircrafts. And in the pharmaceutical industry, lithium is used to balance neurotransmitters in the brain to treat bipolar disorder.

Chile, Australia and Argentina are the three largest lithium producers in the world, according to a 2020 US Geological Survey.

Trajectory of the lithium market

There are two main ways to invest in lithium: lithium producers and companies that rely on lithium as a raw material.

Companies that produce lithium can either mine hard rock or harvest lithium-brine deposits. Mining removes lithium from a mineral using a drill, while harvesting brine deposits extracts lithium that has dissolved in groundwater through evaporation. The brine technique takes approximately 18 months, which is slower than traditional mining.

On the other hand, companies that use lithium generally focus on lithium-ion batteries and devices. For example, electric vehicles rely on lithium as the basis for its green technology. So price fluctuations and changes in the lithium market can directly affect company stocks that use lithium as a raw material.

Why invest in lithium stocks?

The world is progressively more technology-driven. Rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have multiple applications — from consumer smartphones and laptops to military voice and data radios. Lithium plays an essential role across mobile technologies, with the demand for lithium-ion batteries set to triple by 2025, according to S&P Global.

And as the global market for electric vehicles grows, the annual lithium demand for batteries is expected to skyrocket. According to Global EV Outlook’s technology report from June 2020, the global electric vehicle stock is set to grow by 36% every year, totaling 245 million vehicles by 2030 — or 30 times more than in 2020.

Risks of investing in lithium

Although the demand for lithium is soaring, lithium stocks have been drowning in a surge of new lithium producers from Chile, Argentina and Australia. When supply grows faster than the demand, it can trigger a sharp price drop and cause stocks to become undervalued.

Lithium-ion batteries also require cobalt to produce. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making its supply susceptible to political instability. And since global cobalt mine supplies are also at risk to disappear in 2020, there may not be enough cobalt to manufacture these batteries.

And it doesn’t help that there’s no benchmark price for lithium. So investors can only base the value of the industry on a handful of companies. You’re flying blind without a full sense of the global market, leaving investors and banks struggling to manage risk.

Lithium stocks

You can invest in lithium stocks by purchasing shares of a specialty chemical company that produces lithium or a business that uses lithium technology. Select a company to learn more about what they do and how their stock performs, including market capitalization, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio and dividend yield. While this list includes a selection of the most well-known and popular stocks, it doesn't include every stock available.

What ETFs track the lithium category?

Some ETFs follow the full lithium cycle from mining through battery production, while others specialize in the battery industry.

  • Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT)
  • First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge Smart Green Energy ETF (QCLN)
  • Amplify Advanced Battery Metals and Materials ETF (BATT)

Compare trading platforms

You’ll need a brokerage account to take the plunge with lithium stocks.

Compare trading platforms

Compare online trading platforms by fees, asset types and bonuses to find the best for your investment in lithium stocks.
1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Asset types Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$10 - $100
when you open an account and place a first crypto trade of $50 - $5,000+
A free way to invest in most equities.
eToro
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
8%-12% of your deposit
when you sign up and deposit at least $50. T&Cs apply.
Trade stocks in the app or online with $0 commissions. Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
Public
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Receive a free stock slice worth between $3–$300
when you sign up for an account and deposit at least $20.
Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.
Tastyworks
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$200 in US stocks
when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
Trade stocks, options, ETFs and futures on mobile or desktop with this advanced platform.
JPMorgan Self-Directed Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$125 - $625
when you open and fund an account with $25,000 - $250,000+
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Robinhood
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Get a free stock
when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Make unlimited commission-free trades, plus earn 3% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold.
Tradier
Stocks, Options, ETFs
N/A
Customize your trade platform or build your own Deep tools, charts and screens Analyzers to help you study before you trade
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Compare up to 4 providers

*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Bottom line

We can find lithium products in our everyday lives. The increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries in mobile devices and electric vehicles keeps this stock on investors’ radars.

But to invest in lithium, you’ll need a brokerage account. Weigh a few trading platforms to find a brokerage firm that best fits your investing needs.

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