College represents a life-changing experience for many reasons. Primarily, higher education provides students with the credentials necessary to spark hopefully fruitful and satisfying careers. However, it also provides a trial period toward adulthood. This can include planning financially for the future with lucrative and viable stocks to buy.
Investing in the markets is never really a black-and-white affair. It’s safe to say that most people focus on the price component. However, the x-axis, or time component, is just as important. After all, what good is a tenbagger if it takes a hundred years to materialize? And this point segues into the advantages for college students seeking great stocks to buy.
With young age comes less pressure. For instance, if your target investment takes a hit, you can easily ride out the volatility compared to older buyers. Thus, you can reasonably open yourself up to take more risks. In fact, many financial planners recommend exactly that.
Another factor favoring collegiate youth is the dynamic and complex arguments supporting certain stocks to buy. For example, some companies or industries may require time for fundamental or political factors to play out. That won’t deter young contrarians as it might those who have been around the block.
Finally, youth doesn’t just bring advantages for those seeking upstart stocks to buy. Rather, well-established stalwarts bring much to the table because they offer stability in uncertain market phases. After all, young investors should expect several bull and bear cycles.
So with that, here are my top 10 stocks to buy for college-aged buyers:
Aurora Cannabis (ACB)
Peruse InvestorPlace’s listing of popular stocks to buy, and you’ll invariably come across green investments. And no, I’m not referring to environmentally friendly organizations. Instead, I’m talking about marijuana picks like Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB). Recently, this industry has suffered due to generally disappointing earnings performances, and ACB stock was no different.
Of course, I’ve always been a fan of investing in legal marijuana. As such, I believe the current volatility presents a viable discounted opportunity. That said, if you’re a college-aged investor, ACB stock takes on greater importance.
For one thing, youth love ACB stock based on current trends at the millennial and Gen Z-focused Robinhood trading platform. But more importantly, attitudes toward marijuana have shifted over the decades. Today, a majority of Americans support legalization. Tomorrow, the vast majority could support going green.
Once that happens, full federal legalization will almost surely be the law of the land, skyrocketing ACB stock.
Back in the analog days, being called a square was quite an insult. But fast forward to today, and Square (NYSE:SQ) is the name for one of the most transformative investments ever. Better yet, I anticipate SQ stock to remain relevant well into the future.
If you want a detailed explanation why, I highly recommend that you read my extended analysis on SQ stock. Sure, I’m tooting my own horn, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s one of my best works for InvestorPlace. For those that want the abbreviated version, I’ll sum it up accordingly: Square finds opportunities to enhance the small-business ecosystem.
As a prime example, I’ve referred to Japan as a goldmine for SQ stock. As a largely cash-driven economy, Japanese consumers have been reluctant to switch to plastic. However, the convenience and comprehensive umbrella that Square provides small businesses could change minds. If so, Square is uniquely positioned to benefit handsomely from the shift.
And here’s another point that I’ve never brought up about SQ stock: Square CEO Jack Dorsey’s age. At 42, he barely fails to qualify as an old millennial. But he’s still very young all things considered. That means Dorsey’s visionary and strategic acumen could stay with Square for a long time.
No list of stocks to buy for young people is complete without mentioning semiconductors. After all, they form the backbone of this digitization era. And due to factors such as momentum and a “cheap” sticker price, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is popular among youth. That said, I encourage college students to also consider Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and NVDA stock.
Contrary to angry comments on Reddit, I don’t hate AMD nor am I a paid shill for Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). I simply believe NVDA stock has the right mix between stability and upside potential.
If I had to pick one idea that drives my bullishness toward Nvidia, it’s coverage diversity. Most young people recognize Nvidia as the leading name among gaming-centric graphics processing units (GPUs). And while I think this is a viable avenue for NVDA stock, I also recognize that AMD and other rivals are closing the performance gap. Therefore, to survive and thrive requires expertise across a broad spectrum.
This is where NVDA stock truly shines. Nvidia has a wealth of knowledge and innovations in lucrative areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation. Figuratively speaking, when you grow out of gaming, Nvidia powers all the adult technologies that you’ll eventually utilize.
Speaking of gaming stocks to buy, it’s time to discuss my old stomping grounds: Sony (NYSE:SNE). I worked at Sony for eight years as a senior business analyst, acquiring valuable life experiences. I also learned the good, the bad, and the ugly about climbing the corporate ladder in America. In other words, don’t do it!
But I will do SNE stock for several reasons. Primarily, although Sony receives criticisms for being as irrelevant as Japan Inc., it still dominates gaming. And don’t take my biased word for it: At the start of this year, the Sony PlayStation 4 had sold nearly 92 million units since its introduction. That’s an impressive feat considering that the PS4 is nearing the end of its product cycle.
Better yet, management is protecting its core moneymaker with smart business decisions. Directly, Sony has implemented its PlayStation Now game-streaming service. Indirectly, Sony has quietly but surely built out a content empire, boosting prospects for SNE stock.
It’s brilliant because no other gaming power has the attractive licenses that Sony levers. That means the company can launch exclusive titles that gamers actually desire. This de facto cash machine is a core reason why young investors should consider SNE stock.
If you really believe in the power of content, you should look no further than Disney (NYSE:DIS). In terms of entertainment stocks to buy, most young investors eyeball Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). I’ve got nothing but love for Netflix since streaming is clearly the present and the future. It’s also an investment that millennials understand. Still, DIS stock is the old but viable contrarian in the streaming party.
Let’s back up for a moment. While Disney’s flavor of the week is the Disney+ streaming service, what powers it is content. Without that lucrative content library, its foray into Netflix’s stronghold would be meaningless. And it’s this factor that makes DIS stock one of the top plays for young investors: the company has timeless content that can generate endless revenue streams.
I’m not just talking about Star Wars, although I’d be remiss not to mention it. If you think about it, Star Wars is a baby boomer brand geared toward Generation X. Yet it continues to find unprecedented relevance today. And the same principle applies to Disney’s portfolio of children’s classics. Therefore, you can reasonably expect DIS stock to deliver the goods several decades from now.
AT&T (T)It might have very old roots, but I genuinely believe that AT&T (NYSE:T) is one of the best stocks to buy for college-aged investors. Although I’m removed from my college days, I’m not terribly old, and I bought into T stock. What’s more, I find the telecom industry boring and very convoluted.
That said, there’s nothing convoluted about the 5G network rollout, at least from an investment perspective. Without exaggeration, the 5G network represents the backbone of most digitization technologies moving forward. For example, the automotive industry and government bodies are not quite ready for fully automated vehicles. When they are, however, 5G will provide the lightning quick platform necessary to make automated tech a reality. That’s one big reason to consider T stock.
The other tailwind is geopolitics. China has unambiguously stated their ambition to dominate technology with their “Made in China 2025” initiative. Russia is eyeballing AI as a means to attain superpower status and rival the U.S. On top of this, we’re constantly battling cyber-attacks from rogue nations like North Korea.
The underlying theme here is tech. To win this war means we must win in the platforms that facilitate tomorrow’s technologies. In this environment, I see AT&T gaining critical importance. Thus, I’m long-term bullish on T stock, and you should be too, especially if you’re young.
An easy way to help narrow down stocks to buy for college-aged investors is to consider longer-term relevancy: will people talk about this company decades down the line? And if that company is FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE), I believe chances are good that the answer will be yes.
For a variety of reasons, FEYE stock appeals to young buyers. First of all, shares on a nominal basis are cheap at under $20 a pop. However, as my colleague Vince Martin may argue, price isn’t everything. In terms of valuation, FireEye is pricey. Moreover, management has disappointed stakeholders in the recent past for disappointing guidance.
Martin notes that better choices in the cybersecurity industry exist. I completely agree. However, if you factor in the youth element, I think you can make a much stronger case for FEYE stock. As I mentioned, young buyers can ride out the volatility.
More importantly, FEYE stock has the backing of an incredibly supportive industry. Today, the average cost of a single cyber attack is $1.7 million. That’s a hefty sum that will almost certainly increase. Therefore, with such a viable market, FireEye can work its way out of its doldrums. It just needs time, which you young bucks have.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS)
Many older millennials may remember watching the movie Top Gun. Undoubtedly, many fighter pilots and naval aviators today drew inspiration from that classic blockbuster in their childhood. However, military contractors like Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (NASDAQ:KTOS) may soon put these people out of a job. And that’s exactly the reason why you should consider KTOS as one of your top stocks to buy.
That sounds a bit cold, so let me explain: Investing in KTOS stock gives you broad exposure to multiple advanced military technologies, including drone warfare. Kratos specializes in unmanned vehicles and specifically, the ultra-cool XQ-58A Valkyrie. An unmanned warbird, the Valkyrie can launch ordnance without risking a service member’s life, which is the biggest plus.
But as Forbes’ contributor Todd Harrison pointed out, drones also have positive fiscal impacts. For instance, training a drone operator is significantly cheaper over the long run. Also, simulators provide an almost identical experience to the real thing, thereby eliminating the need for training aircraft.
To sum up, drones are the future of warfare, which is why you want exposure to KTOS stock.
Over the next several years, the impact of automation will become increasingly prevalent. Jobs, especially in the lower-skilled categories, face elimination. But it’s not all bad news. For investors seeking longer-term profitable opportunities, automation stocks to buy represent solid bets.
However, figuring out which name to pick is sometimes a daunting task. That’s why I think Honeywell (NYSE:HON) is a wise choice due to its wide-ranging specialties. Sure, that’s not the most exciting approach, but HON stock tends to get the job done in various market cycles. And it’s no slouch in terms of returns, gaining 34% year-to-date.
In terms of automation, Honeywell is perhaps most notable for its work in HVAC systems for corporate buildings. But the company is also developing systems for broader infrastructural needs. For example, Honeywell has partnerships to forward video analytics that identify and report potential threats. It’s this kind of innovation that makes HON stock a worthy idea.
First Majestic Silver (AG)
When it comes to stocks to buy for young investors, our natural instinct is to recommend similarly young companies. But rounding out my top 10, I’m going to go with the oldest investment I can think of: precious metals. Specifically, I’m speculating on the silver mining sector with First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG).
Why silver and AG stock? Recently, I had a chance to interview David Morgan, one of the most respected experts in the field. Unexpectedly, the discussion lasted twice as long as I originally anticipated. Nevertheless, some great talking points sprang from that interview, with the underlying theme that silver is ridiculously undervalued.
Logically, the fundamentals speak for themselves. Silver is an indispensable physical commodity within the industrial and technological sectors. And because its price is currently so low, it’s not economically feasible to recycle them from trashed electronic products. Stated differently, supply is declining while demand is rising.
Regarding AG stock, I find benefit in the underlying company’s exposure to a single, stable nation: Mexico. Plus, with silver’s strong correlation with gold, the precious metals complex should move up, either from industrial demand or the fear trade. Thus, don’t ignore AG in your list of stocks to buy.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long SNE stock, T stock, and gold and silver bullion.