In what may be perceived by virtually everyone as the longest year on record, 2020 will be forever scarred by the novel coronavirus. Next month, this will bring us to the point one year ago when the Covid-19 pandemic really gained unfortunate and tragic momentum. Moreover, the outbreak still rages, which will play a heavy role in influencing the must own stocks for February.
As you’ve probably heard, the U.S. death toll due to the coronavirus reached a grim milestone of 400,000. Certainly, mistakes were made across the political spectrum by both federal and state agencies – that’s not deniable. But at the end of the day, we could have half-a-million families torn apart because of this dreadful virus. And with cases still elevated, the must own stocks for February are levered to companies that can effectively navigate this crisis.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that investors should focus on pharmaceutical plays. Indeed, I haven’t included any on this list of must own stocks for February because I’ve covered that segment plenty of times earlier. Instead, I’m focusing today on businesses that will be relevant in what would probably be an extension of the new normal.
For instance, many consumers are still worried about getting infected. With widescale vaccination still a challenge, the longer this crisis lasts, the more people are likely to take this pandemic seriously. Thus, we could see an escalation of demand for various contactless services.
As well, the Covid-19 outbreak has one of its most conspicuous impacts on the professional environment. Many hot spots throughout the country are in lockdown mode, which means millions are still working from home, whether they want to or not. That will also play a huge factor for these must own stocks for February.
- PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)
- Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG)
- Insperity (NYSE:NSP)
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
- AT&T (NYSE:T)
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
- Eat Beyond (OTCMKTS:EATBF)
- Mind Cure Health (OTCMKTS:MCURF)
Nevertheless, I believe investors are best served with a cautionary approach. Frankly, we don’t know what’s around the corner. And how the new administration will deal with the catastrophic economic damage remains to be seen. Therefore, take a long look at these must own stocks for February, but also keep the powder key dry.
In terms of technology-related must own stocks for February, very few are as pertinent as PayPal. For one thing, the company specializes in digital payments. That is still a robust catalyst for PYPL stock. According to a Fortune.com article last August, most Americans reported being afraid of touching paper currency. Despite substantive evidence that cash is an infectious medium for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it’s the perception that counts.
Beyond that, PayPal has big ambitions, one of which is to digitally connect more people across the world to the financial system. Essentially, without the ability to access credit, many vulnerable communities will remain impoverished due to a vicious cycle. To help bring financial connectivity to those who are not served by traditional banking institutions, PayPal offers valuable tools such as debit cards and mobile check deposit.
Finally, PYPL stock is a play on the burgeoning gig economy. While the crisis has impacted several segments in this labor subsegment – particularly those in the transportation and hospitality sectors – many worker bees now have a taste of the telecommuting life. They may want more of it, which invariably benefits companies like PayPal.
I’m almost tempted to justify Datadog’s inclusion on this list of must own stocks for February simply because it has the greatest name ever. Also, check out the ticker symbol – DDOG stock, what’s not to love here?
Joking aside, Datadog is already supremely relevant in the new normal thanks to its core business. As a monitoring service for cloud-scale applications, the company offers mission-critical services for several industries as they were forced into online operations. However, that has provided ample opportunities for nefarious actors to wreak havoc on businesses of all sizes. Datadog’s security monitoring platform detects threats in real time, allowing managers to respond appropriately.
According to information by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach across all industries was $3.86 million. But the magnitude of disruption in the new normal is much more severe than it was pre-pandemic. Since we’re still in a recession, every dollar of sales counts.
Further, Datadog helps companies better understand the consumer experience when they visit their websites or applications. With Datadog’s platform, client corporations can identify any obstacles to customer satisfaction, addressing issues immediately to maximize revenue-generating potential. This will be massively critical moving forward, which is why investors should consider DDOG stock.
At first glance, Insperity may not immediately strike you as one of the must own stocks for February. Formerly known as Administaff, Insperity provides human resources and administrative services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Well, the problem is that small businesses are desperately hurting during this crisis. Therefore, you might expect NSP stock to suffer volatility moving forward.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed so you want to be careful with any investment. Nevertheless, I think the pessimistic headlines tell only one side of the story. The other is that small- and medium-sized businesses represent the engine of the U.S. labor force and thus, the economy. It can’t be that all of them fail.
But in order to thrive in this challenging period, human resource services are a must. In this regard, NSP stock is incredibly relevant. Offering both full-service HR and self-service human capital management – what a brilliant term by the way! – Insperity has something to fit any corporate budget.
Yes, budgets are tight these days. However, having an HR solution in the long run is so much better than no HR at all. Smart companies understand this, which is why NSP could be a surprising hit next month.
When it comes to must own stocks for February and March and April and…you get the idea, you want to go with names that won’t let you down (at least, over the long run). In my opinion, there are few candidates as qualified to take this mantle than Microsoft.
Listen, I get that MSFT stock doesn’t have the 100x potential that everyone seems to be chasing these days. You know those big stock picks that get bigger and bigger and bigger? The ones that are in the first inning and then will go to the second and third and fourth and yada yada? Well, Microsoft is the conclusion of those rare 3:00 a.m. infomercial pitches that actually make it.
So I’m afraid you’re (probably) not going to get rich with MSFT stock. At the same time, the chances are good that you won’t go poor with MSFT either. Remember, nearly 20% of Americans were stashing cash at home because they feared a recession…in October 2019.
Folks, if the path to economic prosperity was to introduce a deadly virus in society, we’d be reenacting the film Contagion every year. That’s one of the reasons why I’m still hesitant on the V-shaped recovery deal.
Anyways, Microsoft is any “everyman” investment. From video games to telecommuting platforms to crucial Software as a Service solutions, MSFT does it all. That kind of versatility commands a premium the longer this crisis lasts.
Now that I’ve covered the safe-ish must own stocks for February, I’d like to explore the more speculative side of the spectrum. Frankly, these are the ideas that people love to read about and I’m all about providing value for our readers.
First up is AT&T, the telecommunications giant that you either love or hate. If I may be brutally honest, I’m not a big fan of the company’s customer service. I think it’s horrible, really. But I do see long-term potential in T stock, which is why I own it.
Granted, this is a rough business laden with a worrying debt load and some awful legacy strategic blunders. However, it’s one of the stalwarts that hasn’t recovered from its pre-pandemic levels, which is what makes T stock intriguing. After all, the company owns the streaming service HBO Max via its WarnerMedia Direct subsidiary.
However, you can make the argument that the market is not pricing in the holistic benefits of HBO Max, either directly through subscription sales or as a synergistic asset to keep customers under the AT&T umbrella. Still, it is risky so take my thesis with a grain of salt.
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Is it time to consider big oil for must own stocks for February? On one hand, I can understand why people are hesitant on names like Exxon Mobil. Obviously, President Joe Biden strongly favors green energy. That places XOM stock as the odd man out.
As well, I’ve hit on the economics of oil firms. Near the onset of the crisis, I’ve argued that it doesn’t matter what happens to supply. If people don’t want to drive or fly or do whatever that requires fossil fuels, investments like XOM stock will suffer. Recently, I checked my odometer to see how much I drove in 2020.
The number is disturbingly low.
However, that’s in the past. Over the past few months, oil prices have been swinging higher. Relatively speaking, XOM is trading at a discount against oil indices. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to consider it as a speculation play.
Also, data from CouponFollow.com indicates that travel sentiment is strong despite Covid-19. However, people are electing to drive their personal vehicles whenever possible. That’s a contrarian catalyst for Exxon Mobil that many may not appreciate.
Eat Beyond (EATBF)
Although I find the idea of plant-based meats intriguing, I’ve been skeptical about Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) specifically. Naturally, this has led some enthusiastic BYND fans to question my developmental abilities, to put it nicely.
Generally, the consensus of the commentary is that I’m the dumbest person at InvestorPlace, an ignominy of ignominies. And to be fair to my critics, depending on how you define intelligence, I very much could be the dumbest person here.
But here’s a company that’s not so stupid, Eat Beyond. I featured this on Dec. 18 via my game-changing stocks article and since then, EATBF stock has consistently moved higher. Hey, I guess a broken clock is right two times a day! Here’s the brief rundown of Eat Beyond:
On paper, Eat Beyond is an “investment issuer in Canada focused on the global plant-based and alternative food sector.” What this means in laymen terms is that the company identifies and acquires equity in diverse global corporations involved in the plant-based meat market. Therefore, you can get valuable, comprehensive exposure through one investment umbrella.
Since plant-based meats can easily become a commoditized market, a broader play like EATBF stock makes sense. Therefore, I still like Eat Beyond as one of the must own stocks for February despite its prior rally.
Mind Cure Health (MCURF)
Although psychedelic medicine firm Mind Cure Health is easily the riskiest investment among my must own stocks for February, it’s the one that I believe is the most compelling. Remember what I said about Microsoft and it’s mundane but stable nature? MCURF stock is the opposite. With enough capital, Mind Cure Health can make you rich.
Now, I want to be clear: over-the-counter penny stocks are incredibly treacherous. You can easily lose everything you put into them. Therefore, you absolutely don’t want to jump into this sector with money you can’t afford to lose.
However, I see massive potential for MCURF stock, which is why I’ve put skin in the game. As you know, legalization trends are moving favorably for previously maligned platforms that legitimately offer medicinal possibilities. Moreover, the psychedelic drugs market could exceed $6.8 billion by 2027, according to industry experts.
True, the implosion of the cannabis market has many people worried about these alternative investments. But Mind Cure Health should benefit from a higher barrier to entry. Since the approval process to work on controlled substances is incredibly strict, only serious players are applying. Once more people understand the narrative here, MCURF could skyrocket.
But obviously, it’s best to get in before this potential wave.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto held a long position in T and MCURF.
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.