We continue to break through to new highs in the U.S. market. And while that may continue and it’s a great feeling, that doesn’t mean you can get lazy about picking the best stocks to buy now.
Many times, when the markets get hot, investors start to think they can just type in any three or four letter combination and buy it.
But the fact is, this is the time when you need to be strategic, and particular. You want to add quality stocks that can survive the hype and continue to grow because of their underlying value and the long-term promise of their sector.
Below, I found the seven top-rated stocks to set up your portfolio for today and tomorrow. The have passed my Portfolio Grader with flying colors and are great buys now, for now and beyond.
Top-Rated Stocks to Buy: Paysign (PAYS)
Paysign Inc (NASDAQ:PAYS) is a small-cap company but it has built a very big footprint in the pre-paid card industry.
This niche has become a big hit in recent years and has a variety of practical uses, as cash and checks become more cumbersome alternatives.
It’s great for securely sending money to citizens that are getting money refunded from governments on every level. It’s great for small businesses and paying part-time employees.
And once you have a card, it can be reloadable from either the employer or the cardholder.
The fact is, it acts like cash or a debit card but is secure and convenient.
That means the stock more accurately reflects the trend.
And PAYS stock is up 147% in the past year. Triple-digit growth might not be a regular occurrence, but it is in the right place at the right time.
E.L.F. Beauty (ELF)
E.L.F. Beauty Inc (NYSE:ELF) is in one of the hottest spaces there is in retail: cosmetics. Consumers are spending like never before, which is a key theme of my Growth Investor recommendations, and there are many analysts that expect this particular group to double or even triple in coming years.
ELF has staked out the lower end of this growing business. It sells low-priced lines of cosmetics under its e.l.f. (eyes, lips, face) brand in retailers like CVS (NYSE:CVS), Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT), as well as online.
It has had some recent issues with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a quarterly filing, but it doesn’t at this point look like anything menacing.
There’s also the possibility that someone may come in and buy ELF if it continues its growth run. There are plenty of cosmetics companies and retailers that would love to extend their lines into the lower end space without sacrificing the premium brands they’ve built.
Sandstorm Gold (SAND)
Sandstorm Gold Ltd (NASDAQ:SAND) is a Canadian gold mining company that has a market cap just over a billion dollars.
That’s not a major player, but it’s a good-sized firm, especially now that gold is a hot commodity again. And one of the key reasons gold continues to rally is because the dollar is weaker than it has been.
Since gold is priced in dollars and it takes more dollars to buy gold, the price is higher. And SAND is not so big that it can’t take advantage of pricing and it’s not so small that it doesn’t have enough supply to make money.
Plus, if the market does turn down for whatever reason, gold becomes a key downside hedge. And SAND is small enough to take full advantage of that.
PennyMac Financial Services (PFSI)
PennyMac Financial Services (NYSE:PFSI) is a mortgage provider that originates and services mortgages around the U.S.
In the midst of a persistent low-interest rate world, with low unemployment and rising incomes, that’s a pretty good industry to be in.
And don’t forget that Gen Xers are now getting to the point where they’ve paid down or paid off their student loans and have started families. Maybe they’re not buying McMansions, but they are starting to buy homes, whether that’s a two-bedroom bungalow or a condo.
The share price reflects this. It’s a powerful stock in my Growth Investor system, up 63% in the past year, yet its trailing price-to-earnings ratio is just 9. It’s still a value stock, even after all that growth.
Store Capital (STORE)
STORE Capital Corp (NYSE:STOR) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that actually has an acronym for its own name as well — Single Tenant Operational Real Estate.
Basically that means it specializes in triple net lease properties to single tenants, like drug store chains, restaurant franchises and retail store chains.
Operating as a triple net lease company means its tenants pick up the costs of taxes, maintenance and insurance as well as the rent on the properties. That means far less operational costs for STOR, which helps boost cash flow for investors as well as funds from operations, the key indicator of a REIT’s profitability.
It focuses on small- and medium-sized companies, rather the bigger players to avoid competition with larger triple net lease REITs in that space.
And it’s doing a pretty good job. In 2017, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) bought nearly 10% of the outstanding shares. And in the past year, the stock is up 26%, while delivering a respectable 3.7% dividend.
With the death of the shopping mall, this is the new trend in brick-and-mortar retail.
Galapagos NV (NASDAQ:GLPG) is currently a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company out of Belgium. It has a number of promising drugs in the pipeline, focused currently on arthritis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and ulcerative colitis.
What sets it apart from other biotech hopefuls is a 10-year partnership deal with Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD). This is a significant vote of confidence in this firm and means that GILD has bought into an R&D firm with a solid drug pipeline.
Currently its drug filgotinib is in stage 3 trials for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. This is a very competitive area, so the fact that it’s doing well in trials means it’s competitive with some of the biggest blockbuster drugs out there.
The stock is up 117% in the past 12 months, yet its trailing P/E is just 45. And that’s just the beginning of the profit opportunities I see out there now.
Genmab A/S (NASDAQ:GMAB) is a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company with a solid $14 billion market cap. It has two oncology drugs in the marketplace. It has a subsidiary in the Netherlands as well as a lab in Princeton, NJ.
One is Darzalex for multiple myeloma. And the other is Arzerra, for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Darzalex can also be used to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It also has three other uses for Arzerra in stage 3 clinical trials. And GMAB is partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) on the drug’s development and marketing.
GMAB has a few other drugs in the pipeline, and the fact that it has found a strong partner in late-stage development is a good indicator that the company has good backing and global marketing.
The stock is up 46% in the past year, and while a bit pricey, it could easily grow into its investors’ enthusiasm.
These days, innovation is everything, which brings me to the next major development I’m keen on now: artificial intelligence (A.I.)
The AI Master Key
If artificial intelligence sounds futuristic, even far-fetched — well, keep in mind, you’re already using it every day! If you’ve ever used Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Assistant or Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri … if you’ve had Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) recommend a movie or Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) recommend a house … even an email spam filter … then you’ve used artificial intelligence.
In this new world of AI everywhere, data becomes a hot commodity.
As scientists find even more applications for artificial intelligence — from hospitals to retail to self-driving cars — it’s incredible to imagine how much data will be involved.
To create AI programs in the first place, tech companies must collect vast amounts of data on human decisions. Data is what powers every AI system. As one AI researcher from the University of South Florida puts it, “data is the new oil.”
To cash in, you’ll want the company that makes the “brain” that all AI software needs to function, spot patterns and interpret data.
It’s known as the “Volta Chip” — and it’s what makes the AI revolution possible.
You don’t need to be an AI expert to take part. I’ll tell you everything you need to know, as well as my buy recommendation, in my special report for Growth Investor, The A.I. Master Key. The stock is still under my buy limit price — so you’ll want to sign up now. That way, you can get in while you can still do so cheaply.
Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.