A decade might as well be an eternity for the equity markets, but that shouldn’t stop investors from trying to identify the 10 best stocks to hold onto for the long haul. Of course, there are countless variables that can influence a stock, a sector, and the economy at large over such an extended period, and that makes trying to identify the 10 best stocks from the thousands that trade each day a daunting task.
Still, it pays to take the cover off the crystal ball from time to time and try to prognosticate as to which companies will give investors the best chance of a long-term profit.
Investors should start with the famous Shakespearean line, “What’s past is prologue,” meaning the companies that performed well over the past decade are ones to watch in the next decade. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and those that made the 10 best stocks list last decade might not come close to making the list for the coming decade.
Equally important is identifying a company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions. The mark of any “best stock” is a company’s acumen when it comes to creating new products and/or keeping revenue and profit streaming in regardless of economic conditions. That’s what the following stocks, listed in alphabetical order below, have done over the past several decades, and that’s what each should continue doing over the next decade.
Best Stock – Amazon.com
The company that essentially started the online retail revolution, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), is a true American success story. Founder, Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos is a bona fide business genius, and his vision has almost singlehandedly changed the way we buy everything from books to clothing. The stock was one of the darlings of the 1990s, and again in the 2000s. As we keep buying more and more products online over the next decade, look for AMZN shares to continue to deliver stellar returns.
Best Stock – Apple
The iconic personal technology firm, co-founded by the inimitable Steve Jobs, has been one of the greatest stories in corporate history. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) products have changed the way we live our lives, from computing with the Mac and the iPad, to communicating via the iPhone, to listening to music with our iPods and buying music via iTunes, the Apple revolution has had a profound effect on society. Steve Jobs may be gone, but his spirit lives on in Apple products.
See also: The Worst Stocks to Own Now
Best Stocks – AT&T
Talk about an iconic company that’s been around for decades, AT&T (NYSE:T) is a stalwart with a storied corporate history that continues providing telecom services to new generation of customers around the world. The latest high-profit area for AT&T is cellular phone service, but who knows where the possible revenue streams will come from over the next 10 years. One thing for sure is that wherever there’s money to be made in telecom services, AT&T has the fiscal might and management acumen to adapt and overcome to virtually any challenge the future may pose.
Best Stock – Caterpillar
A growing global economy requires equally huge construction projects to reshape the landscape for human use. Those projects involve big, heavy-duty construction equipment of the type made by Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT). The iconic brand can be found in nearly every corner of the globe, and with big infrastructure projects in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia over the next decade, you can bet that Caterpillar will have a serious revenue pipeline coming in to support its shares.
Best Stock – Coca-Cola
No brand is more ubiquitous around the world than Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). The beverage giant can be found even in the far reaches of the third world, and as third-world nations become second-world nations, and as second-world nations grow their way into first-world status, we are liable to see the already mammoth Coca-Cola brand become exponentially bigger. KO shares have been huge winners over the past decade; however, the fizz is by no means over.
Best Stock – Exxon Mobil
Oil is the lifeblood of the global beast, and providing that oil to a thirsty world is Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). This is one of the most profitable companies in history, and that’s because Exxon has managed to keep the cost of finding, extracting and refining oil into usable petroleum products well below the price at which it can sell those products. Global demand from burgeoning emerging markets will be the key to Exxon Mobil’s growth over the next 10 years.