The key behind any long-term winning stock is a well-executing business that is riding a larger, long-term trend. In the even-better cases, these companies are executing and have multiple long-term secular growth trends to ride. These seven stocks to buy all meet that criteria.
At the end of the day though, it’s simple: Without industry-wide growth, most businesses in that respective industry will struggle for growth too. Obviously there are exceptions to that observation, but by and large, stocks need the underlying businesses to do well in order to do well, and for those businesses to do well — again, by and large — the industry needs to have longevity.
You can sail into the wind, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to work with a tailwind rather than a headwind. Here are seven stocks to buy that are riding long-term growth trends:
- Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU)
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
- Jumia (NYSE:JMIA)
- Ford (NYSE:F)
- The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD)
- Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)
- Meta (NASDAQ:FB)
Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Trends: Roku (ROKU)
I have been writing about Roku a lot lately, but it’s for one simple reason: video streaming.
Whether it’s YouTube (the second most popular website in the world) or the push to streaming platforms like HBO and Hulu, the trend is clearly continuing for cord-cutting. That’s going to be an obvious benefit for Roku, even though the stock is out of favor at the moment.
Shares are down more than 50% from the all-time high, yet business continues to boom. One would have thought that the immediate quarters following the initial Covid-19 outbreak would be “peak streaming.”
Guess what, though? It wasn’t!
Streaming hours and active users continue to climb for Roku. At last count, Roku generated 18 billion hours of streaming last quarter, up 21% year over year. Active accounts climbed too, up 23% year over year to 56.4 million customers.
Now the company is expanding internationally and while there’s always been fear for larger competitors, Amazon and others haven’t been able to knock Roku off.
Speaking of Amazon, the company has established itself in several different long-term growth categories. While Roku is firmly entrenched in the video streaming world, Amazon has its hands around two big ones: cloud computing and e-commerce.
No matter what seems to happen, a larger and larger percentage of retail sales are occurring online. Whether it’s shopping for pet food, buying hard-to-find items or getting a subscription-based replenishment of everyday items, e-commerce continues to fill the void.
For its part, Amazon has dominated the e-commerce world in the U.S., even though others have stepped up to the plate as well. In fact, many traditional retailers have significantly upped their e-commerce game. Despite that, it hasn’t been at Amazon’s expense. That’s because the e-commerce market continues to get bigger.
On the other side of the coin, the company has a dominant position with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit. It continues to soak up growth in the cloud industry and despite what Amazon is known best for — online sales — its AWS business is the main driver behind its growth (and profit).
Throw in all the other stuff Amazon has going on — media and entertainment, logistics, a push into pharmacy management, etc. — and this one is a good bet on the long-term continuation of multiple industries.
Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Trends: Jumia (JMIA)
If Amazon is big and broad, Jumia is a bit more specific. The company mainly operates out of Africa with a major focus on e-commerce. However, e-commerce works a bit differently in Africa than how it works in Europe, Asia or the U.S.
Because Africa does not have the same infrastructure, Jumia has to handle a lot of the logistics and shipping on its own. It also offers payment services for its customers too.
Obviously this creates a lot of obstacles, headaches and above all, risk.
However, the digitalization of commerce is taking place one way or the other. That’s as true here in the U.S. as it is in Africa. There will be setbacks and disappointments, but there will also be huge wins and swings in momentum. And if Jumia is able to build out the platform and the infrastructure to facility the industry’s success, then it will have a near-impenetrable moat.
Right now, Jumia stock is out of favor and that makes it one of the harder stocks to buy. For long-term investors though, the short-term gyrations in the stock are not important. Instead, it’s where the direction of that market is going and while there’s always a risk that Jumia won’t end up leading the charge in Africa, it’s doing so now.
If that continues, Jumia could be a big winner down the road.
Shifting from the internet to the automotive world, Ford may be a name to keep on your radar.
While the world is seeing many new electric vehicle (EV) companies crop up, Ford is making the pivot as well. It’s got the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit and the F-150 Lightning in the pipeline or on the road.
For the Lightning pickup specifically, the company has stopped taking reservations as the list has already hit 200,000 customers — the company has announced that it is nearly doubling production to 150,000 Lightning vehicles per year. The F-Series pickup is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. and has been for years.
If Ford can successfully electrify its fleet, it already has the profit and production to shift into a higher gear. That should garner praise on Wall Street and hopefully results in a higher stock price.
The caveat here? Valuation.
For years, popular automotive stocks like Ford and General Motors (NYSE:GM) traded with an insultingly low price-to-earnings ratio. That’s despite some years with very strong growth and generally speaking, solid profitability. Still, Wall Street didn’t want anything to do with it.
Now investors are dishing out massive valuations to EV stocks regardless of profit or production. In some cases, these companies are worth more than Ford!
So the caveat is that perhaps at some point, valuation will again be a headwind rather than a tailwind and that could negatively impact Ford stock.
Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Trends: The Trade Desk (TTD)
The Trade Desk has multiple levers to pull for its long-term growth stocks. For one, digital advertising only continues to improve. The more efficient it becomes with its customers, the more valuable it is for the company that provides it (like The Trade Desk).
However, the company takes it a step further.
While advertising juggernauts like Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) and Meta are barred from operating in China, The Trade Desk is not. Not only does this present a massive opportunity given the country’s size, but it gives The Trade Desk a massive advantage versus the larger industry titans.
At the same time, China could grow to be a risk in the future if it ever wants to force The Trade Desk out.
Beyond China, The Trade Desk also boasts a customer retention rate of 95%. Further, growth remains robust. From the company’s most recent earnings report:
“We’re seeing growth across all channels, and none more so than Connected TV, as viewers shift to new digital, streaming services and advertisers apply data to TV ad campaigns for the first time.”
Notice how The Trade Desk’s fastest growth channel also circles back to the first growth trend we talked about: streaming video.
Nvidia is perhaps my favorite name on this list when it comes to analyzing long-term growth trends. In February, it will be my fifth year writing for InvestorPlace and in that time, I have never been bearish on this wonderful company.
I have been fortunate enough to attend some of Nvidia’s larger conferences in years past and as much as investors like to say “keep emotions and biases out of investing,” it can be difficult to do.
Maybe it was patience or perhaps it was a bias. Either way, I saw what this company was doing and what it was capable of and have remained bullish over the years as a result.
Now it has its hands in virtually every meaningful secular growth story in tech.
For its part, Nvidia’s products are helping to power cloud computing and datacenters, machine learning and artificial intelligence, autonomous driving solutions, supercomputing and high-powered graphics, drones, robotics and more.
It’s what has allowed the company’s market capitalization to swell from less than $100 billion just a few years ago to its current $717 billion value.
It won’t always rally like this, but Nvidia has a clear path to a stronger business in the years to come.
Stocks to Buy for Long-Term Trends: Meta (FB)
Last but not least, we can’t neglect Meta — formerly known as Facebook.
At its core, Meta is a giant communications platform and advertising network. It knows more about its users than just about any other company and when that user count is in the billions, then that knowledge becomes incredibly valuable.
On the surface though, Meta is a social media platform via Facebook and Instagram. It also owns WhatsApp. Because of the engagement it creates with social media, Meta is able to capitalize on its users via advertising.
There is a raging moral debate about the role Facebook has played in our society. There are some obvious positives and some clear negatives. Regardless though, it’s unlikely that social media will ever go away — it’s just the world we live in.
As a result, Meta will likely continue to ride the social media growth wave, relying on a growing user base and more efficient advertising. Of course, it helps that it has one of the strongest balance sheets in the stock market.
On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell held a long position in ROKU, JMIA, NVDA and TTD. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell.