It's been over a year now since I introduced the World's Greatest Retirement Portfolio to Foolish readers. This was, has been, and will continue to be my way of helping the world to invest better. Putting my money where my mouth is, I pledged to put at least $4,000 behind each stock and attempt to hold each one for at least three years.
Since I began, the market has returned 10.2%, not bad at all by historical measures. But this portfolio has lived up to its moniker as the "World's Greatest," far outperforming the broader market.
Below, I'll show you why it's doing so well, offer up three stocks that I think are excellent buys right now, and offer access to a premium reports that go much further in depth with some of these stocks.
Vs. S&P 500
|Google (Nasdaq: GOOG )
||June 26, 2011
||June 28, 2011
||July 15, 2011
|Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG )
||July 25, 2011
|National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV )
||July 28, 2011
||June 21, 2011
|Whole Foods Market
||July 5, 2011
||July 12, 2011
|Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL )
||June 30, 2011
|Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ )
||Aug. 1, 2011
This mark's a high-water mark for the portfolio, as the $40,000 invested has grown to $52,160, beating the market's return by over 20 percentage points.
Two companies that have helped push the portfolio higher over the past month are Apple and National Oilwell Varco. Though Apple may have missed earnings and dropped thereafter, the stock has rebounded nicely. If you like following the day-to-day news, keep your eyes open on Sept. 12, when the company plans to introduce its iPhone 5.
National Oilwell, on the other hand, continues to benefit from its ubiquity in providing parts necessary to extract energy from the earth. The company's most recent earnings release demonstrated that the company's services are in high demand, evidenced by their bulging backlog.
I like Apple and National Oilwell a lot, but they didn't make this month's best buys. Take a look and see who did...
Best buys right now
The first company on my list is one that I included just last month: Intuitive Surgical. Not a whole lot has changed since then, so I'll keep it short and sweet.
Intuitive's earnings release showed that both revenue and earnings are growing at a healthy pace, but some are worried about a slowdown in Europe. In my opinion, this is a short-term worry, and the daVinci robot could potentially be used in many more procedures in the future. In the long run, the company looks as healthy as ever, especially with 58% of revenue now coming from recurring purchases.
Second on my list is Google; like Intuitive Surgical, the company was on my list last month as well. Even though Google's stock is up over 8% since the beginning of August, I still think it's pretty cheap today. The company's earnings release didn't disappoint, and fellow Fool Joe Tenebruso has explained how mobile isn't necessarily eating away at standard searches on lap-and-desktop computers.
Throw on top of that the fact that the company is trading for just 20 times earnings and just over 17 times free cash flow. At these prices, I think Google deserves some attention.
Finally, I'm hoping fellow Fools will take a look at Johnson & Johnson. The company has everything someone could want from a stalwart medical conglomerate. The steady business is being overlooked because of recent missteps on the company's part. This would be a big deal with smaller, less-established companies -- and still could develop into one here -- but big companies like Johnson & Johnson can live through their mistakes.
As it stands now, the company is offering up a nice 3.6% dividend. More important than that, only 74% of earnings or 50% of free cash flow are being used to pay the dividend, which means it is relatively safe.
Let's be honest, though. There's no way I can provide you with all of the information you need on these 10 companies in one article. That's why we're now offering special premium reports on select companies. Of those in my retirement portfolio, we have prepared special reports for Amazon, Apple, and Whole Foods. All three are worth a look, but if you're like me and only have time for one, I would strongly suggest looking at Amazon, my favorite company out there. Get your copy of the report today!