Looking to spot the best long-term stocks to buy right now? Here’s how to find them

Build wealth over time when you put the best long-term stocks to buy right now into a well-balanced and well-diversified portfolio

Long-term investment strategies aren’t built by aiming to make a fast dollar, or profiting from inside information. They are built over time, and most importantly, by learning how not to repeat the market mistakes of the past.

Meanwhile, the best long-term stocks to buy right now include a mix of blue-chip stocks, value stocks and growth stocks.

True Blue Chips pay off

Learn everything you need to know in 'The Best Blue Chips for Canadian Investors' for FREE from The Successful Investor.

Canadian Blue Chip Stocks: Bank of Nova Scotia Stock, CP Rail Stock, CAE Inc. Stock and more.

Consider a mix of value and growth investing strategies while looking for the best long-term stocks to buy right now

The core of the long-term value investing approach is identifying well-financed companies that are established in their businesses and have a history of earnings and dividends. They are likely to survive any economic setback that comes along, and thrive anew when prosperity returns, as it inevitably does.

When you look for stocks that are undervalued, it’s best to focus on shares of quality companies that have a consistent history of sales and earnings, as well as a strong hold on a growing clientele.

Academic studies suggest that on average, value investing produces better results than growth investing. But these studies mostly look back on what would have happened in a particular historical period, if you followed a particular set of rules. Most distinguish between growth and income investing by looking at average p/e’s (per-share price-to-per-share earnings ratios). They assume high p/e’s are a marker for growth stocks and low p/e’s for value stocks. As any serious value or growth investor can tell you, it’s more complicated than that.

All in all if you balance and diversify your portfolio as we recommend, it should include both growth and value selections. In both areas, however, you should avoid extremes.

Spotting the best long-term stocks to buy right now will start with blue chip companies

We believe that investors should devote the biggest part of their portfolios to large, well-established “blue chip” securities. At the same time, though, a strong portfolio anchored with blue chip stocks offers the opportunity to invest a smaller part of your portfolio in promising smaller companies without subjecting yourself to excessive overall risk. And the best of these smaller companies may one day grow into blue chips themselves.

Shares of large, well-established companies generally have a market “cap” (that’s short for “capitalization,” or total value of shares outstanding) of billions of dollars. They usually rebound better than other stocks from downturns.

“Small caps” are smaller companies with a market capitalization below some arbitrary figure, such as, say, $1 billion. They are typically more volatile—rising more quickly in bull markets, but often falling quicker in market downturns, and rebounding more slowly.

To succeed in today’s volatile markets, you’ll need to own shares in a variety of companies of varying sizes. But here’s one thing your best choices will have in common: each will be about the right size to succeed in the business it is in.

The best long-term stocks to buy right now can include growth stocks

Although growth stock picks can be volatile, they can make good long-term investments. They may be well-known stars or quiet gems, but they do share one common attribute—they are growing at a higher-than-average rate within their industry, or within the market as a whole, and could keep growing for years or decades.

For most investors in growth stocks, you should limit your aggressive growth investment holdings to a smaller part of your overall portfolio. But growth stocks typically have the potential for higher returns, especially if you always focus on investment quality first.

Here are some tips for selecting the best growth stocks as long-term investments:

  • Always review the balance sheets of the growth stocks you want to invest in.
  • While you are looking at balance sheets, look for hidden assets like real estate. At times, the hidden assets in a company’s real estate can even come to exceed the market value of its stock.
  • When investing in more speculative growth stocks, use our “sell-half” rule. This says that if a stock you own has doubled, you should sell half so you get back your initial stake. If you are too slow to sell speculative stocks in your growth portfolio, your profits, and even your principal, can evaporate all too quickly.
  • Try to find growth stocks that have ownership of strong brand names and an impeccable reputation. Customers keep coming back to these businesses and will try their new products.

Use our three-part Successful Investor approach to fit the best long-term stocks to buy right now into your portfolio

  1. Hold mostly high-quality, dividend-paying stocks.
  2. Spread your money out across most if not all of the five main economic sectors: Manufacturing & Industry, Resources & Commodities, Consumer, Finance and Utilities.
  3. Downplay or stay out of stocks in the broker/media limelight.

Some investors prioritize short-term returns instead. Do you agree or disagree with focusing on short-term investing over long-term strategies?

How is your portfolio divided between growth stocks and value stocks?


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