It’s looking like the U.S. will raise rates in December even though the rest of the world will still be easing.
This major contradiction is why it’s crucial to find the best stocks to invest in during these turbulent times to come.
That’s why we have picked our 10 highest rated stocks to buy now — AMN Healthcare (AHS), INC Research (INCR), TAL Education (XRS), Iradimed (IRMD), Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Flagstar Bancorp (FBC), Matson (MATX), United Fire (UFCS), Comfort Systems (FIX), CSG Systems (CSGS) — to start out 2016 strong.
There’s no point in trying to outsmart the market at this point — it’s “don’t fight the tape” time. Pick the best stocks and let them get past the volatility. That’s why we’ve built our analysis to anticipate which stocks are best suited to thrive in current — and future — market conditions.
In these 10 you have an array of sectors represented. Pick the ones that you are most comfortable with and use these stocks to point your way through the tumult the global economy may very well dish out in coming weeks and months. And even if everything transitions smoothly, these stocks will be great choices.
Stocks to Buy: AMN Healthcare (AHS)
AMN Healthcare (AHS) is in one of the top sectors and is strategically well placed to garner a lion’s share of growth in its niches.
It offers staffing services — temp, daily and permanent — for clinician and physicians at healthcare facilities and private practices around the nation. Whether you’re looking for a radiologist, an LPN, a neurosurgeon or a CFO, AMN can help.
AMN also provides management consulting services to help analyze and optimize facility staffing for organizations.
AHS stock is up 55% year to date, and that impressive return is after it came off its highs. The long-term trend in US healthcare plays perfectly into AMN’s strengths.
Stocks to Buy: INC Research (INCR)
INC Research (INCR) is in a rapidly growing sector in the healthcare markets as well.
Many drug and device companies are very good at developing new products, and they’re built around those pipelines and marketing the products that get through the pipelines.
But drug and device trials are slow and costly. Because these companies aren’t big enough to have a dedicated drug trial division — but they also need to get the trials done as quickly and efficaciously as possible — a new niche is being carved out by drug trial subcontractors.
That’s what INCR is all about. You make the drug or device and they will run the trials. Everything from Phase I to Phase IV. This phenomenon is a boon to new biotechs. And that’s why the stock is up 77% year-to -date.
Stocks to Buy: TAL Education (XRS)
In many Asian cultures, education is as important as food and air. And performance is crucial, especially in population-dense countries where competition is fierce.
TAL Education (XRS) provides an edge to Chinese students looking to stand out. It offers tutoring services to K-12 students throughout China, in almost any subject you can imagine.
It also offers online classes for students that live too far away to make showing up at a learning center realistic, although it has more than 550 centers in 19 cities throughout China. This is a pure China play — not on its current challenges but on its future prospects.
XRS stock is up 60% year to date and just begun its rise.
Stocks to Buy: Iradimed (IRMD)
Three decades ago, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was cutting edge technology that was popping up a big medical clinics and research hospitals.
Now, MRIs are ubiquitous and many patients get more MRIs these days than X-rays. And given the fact that MRIs use magnets as opposed to radiation, they’re a much preferred option if given a choice.
Iradimed (IRMD) has built its business around MRI diagnostic equipment and supplies.
IRMD is the world’s first and only provider of non–magnetic IV infusion pumps designed specifically for MRI use. This is a big deal because the magnets that power MRIs are extremely powerful, and no metal can be present. These pumps allow patients to receive imaging liquids, anesthetics and meds while they’re still in the MRI.
That’s a big deal when it comes to productivity and efficacy.
Stocks to Buy: Cirrus Logic (CRUS)
Cirrus Logic (CRUS) is one of the forefathers of the telecom revolution. Founded in 1984, CRUS is a prime audio and voice IC and software solutions provider for mobile communications, including automotive and consumer audio applications.
Basically, if you have a mobile phone, a car stereo a bluetooth headset or wireless speakers, you’re likely to be a CRUS customer indirectly. It has chip sets or software for almost any modern device we use today.
And given its relative longevity in such a dynamic market sector, you can be sure no one’s going to jump out of nowhere and to eat its lunch. Cirrus know the business well and has continued to stay on the bleeding edge of the tech.
And that’s why CRUS stock is up 50% year-to-date.
Stocks to Buy: Flagstar Bancorp (FBC)
Flagstar Bancorp (FBC) is a Michigan-based bank, but it has a very active mortgage division which has been helped a great deal by low interest rates.
What’s more, because FBC can borrow at virtually 0% from the government and can lend at significantly higher interest rates for mortgages, loans and credit cards, those margins have been huge boons for the bottom line.
The irony is that, even in a higher interest rate environment FBC will be a winner since it holds a large chunk of its cash reserves in U.S. Treasuries. And when rates rise, so will the bank’s profits off those holdings.
This well managed bank is up 59% year to date.
Stocks to Buy: Matson (MATX)
Matson (MATX) is a Pacific shipping company that specializes in container ships. Being based in Hawaii makes it a perfectly situated shipped to and from China to the U.S. West Coast. And, it has a key Shanghai-to-Charleston, SC route to the U.S. East Coast as well.
It also has been growing it routes to Alaska both from China as well as the West Coast.
MATX represents the solid, reliable service that is required in smaller nations and islands in Micronesia, as well as Guam and similar farflung locales. This provides MATX with a unique niche in the shipping business that helps keep its revenue stream consistent, since it’s not completely reliant on its China — U.S. trade.
MATX stock is up 41% year to date with much of that coming in the last quarter.
Stocks to Buy: United Fire (UFCS)
United Fire (UFCS) is a property and casualty and life insurance company.
Insurance companies are in a very good spot now and will be significant beneficiaries of an U.S. interest rate rise.
You see, insurance companies get premiums from clients. All that cash can be put to work by the insurance company until it’s needed for approved claims. UFCS keeps monies it needs in reserves in U.S. Treasuries, which are cash equivalents.
When interest rates rise, UFCS will see its Treasuries returns rise, which will be a good boost to its returns on investment. That’s a key reason why this conservative insurer is up 32% this year and the stock rises every quarter the U.S. rate increase becomes more likely.
Stocks to Buy: Comfort Systems (FIX)
Comfort Systems (FIX) is a national HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems engineering and maintenance company for industrial, professional and government clients.
With interests so low, companies sitting on a lot of cash and looking to build more modern offices in more strategically located sites are pulling the trigger.
Also, companies and governments that are looking to retrofit older, less efficient office HVAC systems with smarter technologies are also seeing the benefit of spending now to save for years to come. FIX is a national leader in helping make buildings smarter.
FIX stock is up 90% year to date and has plenty of legs as the economy continues to recover.
Stocks to Buy: CSG Systems (CSGS)
CSG Systems (CSGS) is a business support firm. Basically, it supplies the staff for help desks in various industries and well as the customer service strategies for clients.
And it has an impressive client list, to be sure: Comcast (CMCSA), Verizon (VZ), American Express (AXP), Wells Fargo (WFC), and the list goes on. CSGS has more than 500 clients and has been in business for more than 30 years. It’s the industry leader.
This is a business segment that is only going to increase as prompt and attentive customer service both inbound and outbound is a key component in generating and capturing revenue.
CSGS stock is up more than 40% year to date and still kicks off a nearly 2% dividend.
Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, PortfolioGrader.com. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.