The 3 Best Stocks Beginning Investors Can Buy: February 2024


  • Stocks for beginning investors should offer an attractive mix of brand strength, stability, income generation, and potential growth.
  • UnitedHealth Group (UNH): The healthcare giant boasts a strong track record of increasing dividends for over a decade.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY): BMY recently bolstered its product portfolio through targeted acquisitions, aligning with its strategic growth objectives.
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM): JPMorgan has announced plans to open over 500 new branches to broaden its reach to underserved communities nationwide.
Stocks for Beginning Investors - The 3 Best Stocks Beginning Investors Can Buy: February 2024

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Picking the best stocks for beginning investors is crucial as they enter the world of long-term investing. With a myriad of options available, it’s essential to focus on stocks that offer growth potential and stability. Despite the short-term market volatility, investing in stocks remains one of the most reliable ways to build wealth over time.

In this article, we’ll introduce three stocks for beginning investors that deserve your attention in February 2024. They not only provide a solid foundation for your investment journey but also offer growth prospects that may align with your financial goals.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

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UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), one of our stocks for the beginning, stands as a leading player in the healthcare sector, offering both health insurance (UnitedHealthcare) and technology-driven care solutions (Optum). This diversified approach grants UNH significant market share across multiple healthcare segments. The healthcare sector is known for its defensive nature and relative stability even during economic downturns.

UnitedHealth Group’s recent financial results reflect this stability. The healthcare giant’s 2023 revenues grew 14.6% year-over-year (YOY) to $371.6 billion, including double-digit growth at both Optum and UnitedHealthcare segments. Full-year 2023 earnings from operations were $32.4 billion, an increase of 13.8% when compared with 2022. Diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) for 2023 came in at $23.86.

UNH boasts a strong track record of returning value to its shareholders through dividends. For new investors looking to generate stable income alongside potential capital appreciation, UNH’s dividend payouts with yields currently at 1.5% will be attractive.

UNH stock has declined 1% year-to-date (YTD) and is trading at 18.6 times forward earnings (P/E) and 1.3 times trailing sales (P/S). Analysts remain optimistic with a 12-month median price forecast for UNH stock at $595, suggesting a potential 15% upside. 

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)

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Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) is a prominent player in the biopharmaceutical arena. Leveraging its diversified portfolio, BMY continues to pioneer innovative medicines across oncology, hematology, immunology, and cardiovascular diseases. Strategic partnerships and a deep pipeline of investigational medicines pave the way for future revenue expansion through new product launches. Moreover, BMY recently bolstered its product portfolio through targeted acquisitions, including Karuna Therapeutics, RayzeBio, and Mirati Therapeutics, aligning with its strategic growth objectives.

The pharma name released full-year results for 2023 in February. Revenues came in at $45 billion with an adjusted EPS of $7.51, both registering a 2% decline from 2022. Despite the slight decline in revenue, the second choice among our best stocks for beginning investors boasts a strong track record and healthy financials. Its reliable dividend payout of 4.9% remains significantly higher than the industry average of 2.3%, offering beginning investors a compelling option. This makes it one of those stocks for beginning investors.

BMY stock has lost around 3% since the beginning of 2024. Shares look undervalued at 6.8 times forward earnings and 2.3 times sales, making it a solid choice for beginning investors. The average analysts’ price target for BMY stock is $58.15, signaling roughly a 17% upside.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

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The final company on our list of stocks for beginning investors is JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). As the largest US bank by assets, it offers diverse financial services through its retail, commercial, and investment banking divisions. The banking giant leverages its extensive reach and multi-segment structure to generate diverse revenue streams, mitigating exposure to any single market or economic cycle. 

Management released the fourth-quarter earnings in January. The company delivered solid top-line performance, with revenue up 12% YoY to $39.94 billion. However, diluted EPS dipped 53 cents to $3.04, compared to the year-ago period. Meanwhile, the bank maintains a healthy 2.4% dividend yield.

The financial giant has announced plans to open over 500 new branches, renovate 1,700 existing ones, and hire 3,500 employees by 2027. This strategic move positions JPM to broaden its reach, bringing affordable and convenient financial services to underserved communities nationwide. This makes it one of those stocks for beginning investors.

JPM stock has returned over 4% YTD and currently trading at all-time highs. The shares are changing hands at 10.8 times forward earnings while the price-to-book (P/B) ratio stands at an attractive 1.7. The median 12-month price forecast for JPM stock is $192.3, suggesting an upside of about 7%.

On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Tezcan Gecgil, PhD, began contributing to InvestorPlace in 2018. She brings over 20 years of experience in the U.S. and U.K. and has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Publicly, she has contributed to and the U.K. website of The Motley Fool.

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