Investing in long-term stocks as a 30-year-old is a tricky proposition. On the one hand, you’ve likely got something close enough to a disposable income that you can afford to sock away extra cash into retirement accounts or a taxable brokerage. On the other hand, you’re likely more risk-averse than you were in your 20s. My 20s were spent chasing leveraged ETFs and penny stocks in the hope of striking it big without spending a ton of cash. But when you enter your 30s, preserving your hard-earned capital is as important as growing it, particularly if you have a family and mortgage.
To that end, you’re likely looking for long-term stocks to buy. And while you could go after the safest bets on the market, you’re also missing a key investment function: growth. To find the best long-term stocks for 30-year-olds, you’ll need to pick blue-chip stocks with a solid financial underpinning to help maintain balance in tough economic conditions. At the same time, stocks should have sufficient upside potential to grow over the next 10+ years – especially if you’re investing in a retirement account.
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) tops the list of best long-term stocks to buy for 30-year-olds as it satisfies the two basic criteria best. MDT, a medical device manufacturer, is as blue-chip as it comes while offering massive upside potential in light of its artificial intelligence and automation initiatives alongside long-term healthcare trends.
Private equity giant Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) is eyeing a majority stake in two of Medtronic’s subsidiaries for as much as $7 billion, which tells investors that the medical device industry’s future is lucrative enough for “smart money” consideration. At the same time, Medtronic is finding its footing in a post-pandemic world as surgery rates increase due to a backlog of non-urgent procedures leveling out. The company’s most recent earnings posted a revenue surprise, caused by that steady demand coupled with the company’s adaptation to tightened economic conditions.
Beyond basic demand, Medtronic is also on the cutting edge of AI-powered healthcare. The company partnered with AI giant Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) earlier this year to better deliver diagnostics and improve patient outcomes. This is just one of many next-gen medical devices Medtronic is developing and leveraging to stay on top of the industry, which is likewise expected to grow 5% annually through 2030.
Long-Term Stocks: SharkNinja (SN)
Consumer discretionary stock SharkNinja (NYSE:SN) is a relative newcomer to the market, having gone public this summer. Since then, the stock has risen an impressive 43% but there’s more upside potential. Sales across the company’s enterprise, encompassing coffee makers, blenders, and more, have risen 20% annually since 2008. That’s impressive considering the multiple economic cycles SharkNinja’s sales experienced, and the company’s growth trajectory points to a strong understanding of consumer needs coupled with intelligent financial management. To prove the point, the company’s recent filing posted a 34% earnings growth alongside a 15% sales bump year-over-year.
But SharkNinja is one of the best long-term stocks to buy based on fundamental undervaluation. Research firm Jefferies positions SharkNinja’s fair per-share price at $67, marking a 55% upside potential. Across all analysts covering the stock, 100% say shares are worth a Buy with a consensus estimate closer to $60 – which is still 40% above current pricing. SharkNinja will likely ride this bullish wave over the short term, but its long-term stock potential lies in its resilience and popularity among consumers.
PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) dominates online payment processing, which sets this fintech stock apart as a long-term stock to buy. The long-term fintech winner owns 40% of the global online payment processing market, doubling its closest competitor, Stripe. Market penetration and first-mover advantages reign supreme in the industry. Once consumers and, more importantly, businesses integrate a specific processor within their payment ecosystem, they’re unlikely to switch. Switching costs in this domain are high, both financially and in terms of time spent, and a business will likely stick with its pick for the long haul. PayPal’s position as the first and most well-known processor among competitors ensures its long-term stock viability.
But PayPal’s adaptation to shifting trends also ensures relevance among consumers. The company’s stablecoin (PYUSD), the first of its kind among major financial services companies, marks an inroad for the company to begin capturing the growing crypto sphere. The relatively slow adoption, marked more by unease surrounding the entire industry, belies an important point: consumers want and need greater diversity in payment options, and embracing stablecoins is an important milestone for PayPal to retain its long-standing position.
Long-Term Stocks: ManpowerGroup (MAN)
It’s a trite aphorism, considering how often it’s repeated, but the future of work is changing. And ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN) is a long-term stock positioned to benefit from that trend. Manpower Group offers global staffing solutions that pair both contract (short-term) and permanent employees with enterprise and small businesses alike. The industry is already worth $650 billion globally, with limited indication it’s slowing down even as labor markets contract slightly.
MAN’s executive team is also proving adaptable to changing economic conditions and hiring trends, as they pushed their highest-margin brands to the fore (which now make up about half the firm’s profits). Critically, MAN is positioning itself right where businesses need it most: temporary recruitment and outsourcing. Temporary staffing rose 20% in recent years as companies realized short-term assistance is cheaper and more beneficial to the bottom line than hiring full-time to solve a discrete problem or tackle a specific project. As remote work and global connectivity increase, this trend will likely accelerate further – making ManpowerGroup one of the top long-term stocks to capture changing labor markets.
Edison International (EIX)
Renewable energy stocks tumbled in recent months, mostly due to higher interest rates and general penny-pinching. At the same time, utilities haven’t fared much better. However, this collective short-term weakness creates a perfect long-term entry point for EIX.
What sets EIX apart is its unique status as a growth stock, in contrast to most utilities operating within defined markets with limited growth prospects. EIX’s potential for expansion is rooted in two core value propositions. Firstly, its home base in California boasts the country’s highest concentration of electric vehicles. Secondly, California is at the forefront of efforts to overhaul its entire energy infrastructure to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.
Despite facing stringent state regulations, EIX stands out as one of the pioneer utilities entrusted with building the future grid from the ground up. Edison International is already introducing a range of commercial and enterprise fleet EV charging solutions, showcasing its ability to generate revenue streams even in a low-margin industry.
Long-Term Stocks: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B)
Berkshire Hathaway’s extensive portfolio encompasses more than 50 companies spanning various industries, such as real estate, transportation, energy, and consumer goods. This diversity offers an effortless means of achieving a well-rounded investment portfolio without selecting numerous stocks individually.
Furthermore, investing in Berkshire Hathaway allows you to align with the investment strategy and market outlook of the renowned “Oracle of Omaha” himself. For instance, Buffett’s cautious stance, as evidenced by his decision to reduce holdings in Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and other underperforming stocks to bolster cash reserves, serves as a prudent “rebalancing” tactic to safeguard your portfolio against adverse economic conditions. Down the road, you can ride the wave of Buffett’s eventual deployment of that cash in pursuit of opportunities as companies face further challenges.
Investing in Berkshire Hathaway represents the simplest means of tracking the savvy investment decisions of one of the most successful investors in history. Few investment managers possess a track record as impressive as Buffett and his team. For long-term investors, few stocks beat Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) took a beating this month on the heels of rating downgrades, but don’t let that scare you from this long-term stock. The downgrades, primarily driven by short-term electric vehicle demand, obscure ALB’s long-term potential.
Albemarle’s core production focuses on lithium, and the outlook for lithium demand is exceptionally promising. Projections indicate lithium demand will outstrip supply by 500,000 tons annually by 2030. These robust growth prospects not only mitigate concerns about the viability of lithium producers but also underscore that Albemarle’s current weakness isn’t based on long-term visions.
What sets Albemarle apart is its unique positioning to tap into the largest sector of lithium demand, making it a stock with the potential to triple in value by 2030. Experts foresee that China will account for nearly half the global lithium demand by 2025. Albemarle’s strategic advantage lies in the geographic proximity of its refineries to Chinese manufacturing facilities, facilitating streamlined supply chains. This positions Albemarle as the premier lithium producer to satisfy China’s burgeoning demand for this critical resource – and a perfect long-term stock to capture sustainable and green energy transitions.
On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held a long position in Medtronic, SharkNinja, and Edison International. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.