Several fintech stocks reversed course and moved higher this afternoon after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, during a highly anticipated press conference, said that the Fed is preparing to slow the pace of its interest rate hikes. Shares of the artificial intelligence-assisted lending platform Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ: UPST) traded nearly 3% higher in the final hour of trading today. Meanwhile, shares of the digital bank SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ: SOFI) traded nearly 4% higher, and shares of the buy now, pay later company Affirm Holdings (NASDAQ: AFRM) were up close to 6%.
If 2022 ended right now, it would be the worst year for the stock market since the financial system collapsed in the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. As of this writing, the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 index is down 28% year to date, though that's a modest decline compared to many formerly high-flying companies that have shed 50% (or more) of their value in 2022. 2022 hasn't been a good year to be in the lending business, particularly for financial technology company Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ: UPST).
With that in mind, investors should consider adding Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ: UPST) and Riskified (NYSE: RSKD) to their portfolios. Banks rely heavily on FICO scores when making lending decisions, but those three-digit credit scores are based on a relatively limited number of variables. Its lending platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to measure more than 1,500 data points per borrower -- about 100-fold more than traditional credit models -- to help lenders quantify risk more precisely.