While the novel coronavirus pandemic has been a trying time, many Americans are not letting it dampen their spirits. Instead, they’re refusing to let a “good” crisis go to waste. And an example of this dynamic is the volume surge in the markets. Ordinarily, you’d think that the worst pandemic in modern U.S. history would kill speculative sentiment. That hasn’t turned out to be the case, supporting the case for growth stocks to buy.
However, the names that most people are piling into read off like a who’s who of swing-for-the-fences market wagers. Granted, in the new normal, white-collar employees who are working from home have the luxury of time on their hands. But eventually, once this pandemic fades, several workers will be recalled. And unsurprisingly, many organizations are finding out that remote work isn’t always so productive.
Therefore, once we return to normal — or some semblance of it — investors should really think about mature growth stocks to buy. Of course, they don’t have the appeal of the hyper-growth names that so many younger or inexperienced folks are jumping onto. But the tried-and-true companies have an attribute that you can’t get with speculative bets: reliability. And that’s an attribute you’ll need when you’re back in the office and can’t watch your portfolio like a hawk.
You’ll often hear people say that it’s not about how much money you make, but how much you keep. Well, conservative buy-and-hold investing principles work the same way. Yeah, that innovative technology startup could be the next big thing. But too often, investments that carry high-risk profiles often collapse, leaving you with nothing. At least with mature growth stocks, you’ll have greater probabilities of success.
Believe me, the warnings about falls from grace aren’t anecdotal. Not too long ago, seemingly everybody was talking about 3D printing stocks. On the surface, they seemed to be the next step in consumer technology innovation. But theory and reality don’t always mix, as was the case with this sector. Now, very few are talking about it. Thus, if there’s a lesson here, you should instead consider these mature growth stocks to buy:
- Merck (NYSE:MRK)
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)
- Costco (NASDAQ:COST)
- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
- NortonLifeLock (NASDAQ:NLOK)
- ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN)
- Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY)
Finally, approach the investing game like a high-quality baseball player. Yeah, you can try for a homer every time you step on the plate. But the chances of you doing so are minimal at best. Instead, go for productive singles and build your victories with these proven growth stocks to buy.
Growth Stocks to Buy: Merck (MRK)
Although Merck is probably best known for being a dividend play, I believe MRK stock has surprising upside potential. As you know, many pharmaceutical giants have pivoted to developing a novel coronavirus vaccine. Finally, Merck entered the space via its buyout of biotechnology firm Themis. But why would this be one of the best growth stocks to buy if it’s throwing its hat in the ring far too late?
As I explained with companies like Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), the race to a Covid-19 vaccine is an incredibly complex one. Essentially, no one has the knockout punch, with each vaccine candidate featuring multiple pros and cons. Thus, while Merck is one of the last people to enter through the door, it’s by no means irrelevant.
Indeed, recent news suggests that MRK stock has a chance to positively impact this market. According to a Pew Research Center study, the number of Americans who are willing to take a Covid vaccine has declined sharply. This cuts across multiple demographic categories, such as race, gender and education level.
Here’s where it gets interesting for Merck. As a single-dose and oral-delivery candidate, Merck’s vaccine offers logistical and psychological benefits. Basically, it should be easier to distribute such a platform while making it palatable for those afraid of needles.
Plus, the other reason why MRK stock is a viable name among growth stocks to buy is that once the pandemic fades, the underlying company can focus on its core cancer-fighting drugs.
It’s hard to imagine but Netflix went public in 2002. For a consumer technology firm, that might as well be a century ago. And that’s why some investors don’t include the company in their portfolio of growth stocks to buy.
Sure, Netflix essentially introduced millions of people to the concept of streaming original content and on-demand viewing. But because it has done so well over the years, there doesn’t appear to be much upside remaining.
However, that thinking could shift. Admittedly, it may take some time. But the coronavirus pandemic has been a huge marketing boost for NFLX stock. As you know — because you probably do know — streaming demand surged during the worst of this crisis. With millions suddenly forced to work from home and with other entertainment options nullified, many turned to Netflix for entertainment.
Of course, this storyline has been priced in. But what may not be priced in yet is the political implications for NFLX stock. Either this coming January or four years later, President Donald Trump will leave office. When he does, cable news will lose much of its relevance and dare I say it, entertainment value. That leaves Netflix at the backdoor, ready to scoop up demand.
It’s a bit cynical, but that’s what makes NFLX one of the more intriguing growth stocks to buy.
Growth Stocks to Buy: Costco (COST)
During the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, moderator Chris Wallace noted the key difference between their economic perspectives. On one hand, the incumbent is a big proponent of a V-shaped recovery. However, the challenger is skeptical, suggesting that we could see a K-shaped recovery.
It’s an interesting point of contention because I could see both sides. For Trump, the quicker-than-expected drop in the unemployment rate is a major plus for his administration. For Biden, he may be referring to the fact that communities of color have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic.
That said, this brings me to Costco and the reason why you should put the warehouse retailer in your list of growth stocks to buy: with COST stock, it doesn’t matter what letter the economy chooses.
From the long lines that you see in your local Costco store, it’s clear that those who have the money haven’t lost their appetite for physical in-store consumption. Yeah, some of the attractions, such as taste-testing, is out the window from what I understand. But again, the important point here is that customers are coming with their wallets wide open.
Furthermore, with Costco members averaging close to a six-figure salary, this is the last segment that will suffer financially. Thus, you can trust COST stock through most market environments.
Long known for developing the finest in computer chips, Intel has seen its brand diminish significantly as longtime rival Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) kept churning out innovative products one after the other. That left INTC stock in a completely unfamiliar role: playing catchup.
But when Intel announced that it was going to delay its next-generation 7-nanometer chips until 2022, investors had enough. It wasn’t just this particular delay. For anyone who has followed INTC stock, this was a long string of disappointments in what is supposed to be levered to one of the world’s greatest tech companies.
Naturally, Intel shares took a beating. Worse yet, they have traded sideways in a frustratingly aimless manner. So, does that mean the case for INTC is busted?
Admittedly, this is one of the riskier names among the growth stocks to buy on this list. However, Intel is more than just fabricating chips. I’m particularly interested in its big data analytics initiatives. Due to the disruption of Covid-19, there’s never been a more important time for companies to improve their forecasting and supply chain efficiencies.
That requires specialized processing power and technical acumen, areas in which Intel thrives. Therefore, if you’re willing to take some risks, you shouldn’t ignore this presently out-of-favor tech firm.
Growth Stocks to Buy: NortonLifeLock (NLOK)
As one of the oldest cybersecurity firms in the business, NortonLifeLock has the advantage of a reputable and trusted brand. However, reputation alone isn’t enough to win over investors in the new normal. Frankly, I’m not sure what is enough. We’ve seen so many companies, including some bankrupt ones with no realistic future ahead, gain the support of speculators.
Nevertheless, I believe NLOK stock could do well over the coming years. While I wrestle with how the next few years will look for corporate America, let’s assume that remote work becomes a permanent fixture in the professional world. That would mean broader demand for cybersecurity products as corporate secrets are now spread across a wider spectrum.
But even if upper management recalls their worker bees back to the cubicles, NLOK stock has great upside potential. What’s significant about the coronavirus pandemic as it relates to the corporate hierarchy is that employees have had a taste of independence. According to a New York Times article, remote work has offered benefits many people don’t want to give up.
Tough, some managers might say. In that case, we could see tens of thousands of workers join the gig economy. There, the need for personal online security will become readily apparent, making NortonLifeLock one of the underappreciated but viable growth stocks to buy.
With everyone sitting happy in their pajamas while they crack away at their spreadsheets — or whatever it is that office workers do — it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of complacency. Undoubtedly, many are thinking that this ideal bliss will go on forever. Most likely, though, they are dreadfully wrong.
As evidence, Disney (NYSE:DIS) made a not-so-surprising disclosure that it’s laying off many of its workers. Still, the sheer weight of it all, or 28,000 employees, is staggering. These aren’t just employees but rather human faces, folks with parents or children, brothers and sisters. While billionaires continue to rake in more billions, the regular folks are getting the short end of the stick.
Unfortunately, this segues into a discussion on workforce solutions specialist ManpowerGroup. Before the pandemic, it was clearly a job-seeker’s market. It got so skewed in that direction that the concept of ghosting potential employers became a real phenomenon. However, no one is ghosting anybody anymore, which bodes well for MAN stock.
Additionally, we may only be scratching the surface of the economic fallout. Going back to Disney, though most of the laid-off workers are part-timers, that leaves a significant amount who are not. In other words, we could be facing a tough jobs market, which favors MAN stock.
Growth Stocks to Buy: Panasonic (PCRFY)
Back during the 1980s and 1990s, Panasonic was one of the most recognizable Japanese brands. Of course, that was back during the analog era. Nowadays, companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have displaced Panasonic, making PCRFY stock irrelevant in the consumer technology front.
However, a small organization called Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) came around and partnered with Panasonic on lithium batteries for electric vehicles. Despite Tesla’s research and development into advanced battery technologies, it appears that its relationship with Panasonic will continue moving forward. Obviously, that’s good news for PCRFY stock, which has been a frustrating investment over the years.
But during this decade, that narrative can change and quite dramatically. If so, you should place Panasonic on your list of growth stocks to buy now, while shares are under the radar. With more interest picking up in the EV space, Panasonic will have plenty of opportunities to showcase its acumen.
For instance, it announced a joint venture with Toyota (NYSE:TM) for EV battery development. As more companies realize the viability of EVs, Panasonic can extend its leadership in this arena.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.