Where to invest in 2016: Apple or Amazon?

Apple versus Amazon in 2016
Apple versus Amazon in 2016   

Apple and Amazon both impressed tech watchers with innovation in 2015, but only one company impressed investors with outsize returns. Amazon shares doubled in 2015, while Apple ended the year with its first negative performance since 2008.

Expect a change in momentum in 2016 for both tech heavyweights, according to one expert.

Cathie Wood, chief executive and CIO at ARK Invest says Apple will outperform the market fairly significantly in 2016, while Amazon will be in line or slightly ahead of the market.

A man checks the Apple Music streaming site using his Apple Inc. iPhone 6s.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A man checks the Apple Music streaming site using his Apple Inc. iPhone 6s.

Apple investors need a catalyst, and the company's upcoming $32-a-month upgrade subscription plan may be it, Wood said. She added that the subscription plan could make investors perceive Apple more in the same vein as Netflix, a subscription-based business whose stock doubled in 2015.

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"Apple is moving to a subscription model so we're going to see people upgrading every year instead of every two years and our early checks on this $32 per month offering is that roughly 37 percent [of consumers] are going to subscribe in this way," Wood said. "That's a big difference in terms of the valuation for this stock."

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She said Amazon's willingness to invest at the expense of earnings has set it up for years of leverage, and that Apple is going to have to also invest more in order to keep up.

Disclosure: Wood owns all companies mentioned through her fund.