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For well over a year now, I've been doing my best to help the world invest better. Every month, I publicly call out a few stocks that I'm considering adding to my Roth IRA; on Friday, I'll let you know which stock made the cut.
So far, my monthly picks have returned about 14.7%, outperforming the S&P 500 return over the same time frame by 2.3 percentage points.
Read below to find out what five stocks I'm thinking about buying and why, and at the end I'll be offering up access to a special premium report that digs super-deep into the details of one of the companies I'm considering.
Two stocks being unfairly punished
It seems like all anyone can talk about these daysis Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) . And I can't blame them. Formerly the world's biggest company, Apple saw its stock fall 12% last week, and 37% since late September. An earnings miss and weak guidance are the main culprits this time.
But let's consider the following: Over the past 12 months, Apple has increased revenue by 29% and earnings by 25%. Today, the stock trades for just 10 times earnings, and 12 times free cash flow. I know there are legitimate concerns here, but there's no denying the stock is silly cheap.
The other stock I think has been unfairly punished -- for quite a while now -- is the parent company of China's largest search company, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) . I could go on and on about why I think this stock is a steal right now, but instead of my wasting the space here, you can read about why I bought it for my IRA in January.
Three companies that are on fire
Oftentimes, investors go for companies that they think are being ignored by the market -- like the two options given above. That's fine -- but focusing only on such companies is a huge mistake. Long-term investors can do just as well by buying into companies that are firing on all cylinders and could continue doing so.
First on my list for such a company is Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) . The maker of the da Vinci robotic surgery system wowed Wall Street with its most recent earnings announcement, garnering the company's stock a 14% appreciation last week. The company increased revenue by 23%, earnings by 13%, and -- probably most important -- procedures by 25% over the last quarter.
Intuitive now trades for about 38 times earnings, which isn't cheap. But with doctors continuing to experiment with procedures beyond the bread-and-butter hysterectomies and prostatectomies, I think there's nothing wrong with buying in today.
Second on my list for heavy hitters is Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM ) . I'll be the first to admit that when CEO John Mackey grants an interview or pens an op-ed piece, I cringe. That said, what he's done with the company is great. And in the end, Whole Foods represents a movement of Americans rediscovering their connection to what they put in their bodies.
No, the company hasn't released earnings recently -- they're expected to do so on Feb. 13 --but I still think there's evidence it's firing on all cylinders and has room for growth. The company's revenue and earnings are up 14% and 30%, respectively, over the past year. And consider this: Organic purchases still account for only 4% of all food purchases in America.
The main reason earnings grew by less than revenue is that Google is continuing to invest in its future, which could be a very bright one as the world grows ever more connected via the Internet.
Read up on Apple
There's no doubt that, of the five picks here, Apple is the one that draws the most interest. And the main question is, of course, whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more important, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.