Eyeing big data buys, experts seek an 'economic moat'

Big data, big opportunity: wealth managers

When looking to make big data buys, Christopher Retzler, portfolio manager at Needham Funds, looks for companies that have a technological moat.

Retzler likes two semiconductor equipment firms, Applied Materials and Lam Research.

"The [two firms] have been the consolidators in the space; they are platform companies with great management teams," he said.

He added: "They have an absolute leadership role in the products they're providing their customers. And so they have won most of that business going forward, and we think due to that, that gives them this technological moat, or they should be successful going forward for the remainder of this year."

Tesla is the first car to allow over-the-air updates for performance. No other company can do that.
Catherine Wood
founder and CEO of ARK Invest

Catherine Wood, founder and CEO of ARK Invest, also looks for technological moats and feels Nvidia, which designs graphics processing units for the gaming market, is in a position to take the top spot away from Intel. Retzler also said he is now shying away from Intel.

"We think [Intel] has more structural issues with the PC market that's been ever evolving and changing, and that had been their bread and butter," he explained.

As for Wood, she also likes Tesla Motors. "More than a third of our industrial innovation fund is devoted to autonomous vehicles," she said. She admits that while many people may question that investing logic, she is very bullish on Tesla.

"They're [autonomous vehicles] not even here yet, but it's moving very quickly," Wood said. "Tesla is the first car to allow over-the-air updates for performance.

"So if they want to change the way the brakes are working, it can happen over the air," she added. "No other company can do that.

"This is the beginning of autonomous vehicles," Wood continued. "So they're well on their way, and the key is data."

Portfolio manager disclosure: The following stocks mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's Portfolio Perspective video segment:

Catherine Wood owns shares in Nvidia (NVDA) and Tesla (TSLA).

Christopher Retzler owns shares in Applied Materials (AMAT) and LAM Research (LRCX).

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