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If You're in Your 50s, Consider Buying These 3 Stocks

By Jeremy Bowman - Jun 25, 2016 at 8:02AM

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If you're eyeing retirement in another 10 years, these stocks offer the combination of growth and stability to set you up for a happy retirement.

If you're in your 50s and are investing for retirement, you'll want a combination of growth and safety from your stocks. You're looking to maximize the value of your portfolio before you hit your golden years, but you also want stocks that will withstand a recession and are on their way to paying a dividend, if they don't already. It's a time to invest in proven winners, but also stocks that have room to grow. 

If you're looking at retirement around 10 years down the road, here are three stocks that are growing and getting stronger. As a bonus, all three are trading at a discount, down more than 10% from recent highs. 

1. Starbucks

This is the company that pioneered the fast-food coffee industry and is essentially synonymous with it today, and after 25 years of rapid growth, there are still plenty of opportunities for it ahead. With a market cap of $82 billion, Starbucks (SBUX -1.73%) dwarfs rivals like Dunkin' Brands, at just $4 billion.  

CEO Howard Schultz has proven himself to be a master at customer experience and has made the company a global powerhouse. While Starbucks may seem ubiquitous today, same-store sales have grown by 5% or more in each of the 12 quarters, a testament to the popularity and consistent growth of the brand.

Image source: Fool Flickr.

The company is miles ahead of the competition on mobile payments as the Starbucks loyalty card has attracted 20 million global customers, giving the company a powerful relationship with its core customer and an additional revenue stream to boot. The newly launched Mobile Order & Pay program has doubled in use in the last year, and Starbucks is exploring new opportunities with delivery and express stores that should allow the brand to further penetrate the domestic market. The Starbucks card is also an opportunity in itself as the company has partnered with Visa to offer a prepaid card that be used anywhere to earn Starbucks points.

Internationally, Starbucks has been well received in China, and it plans to open 500 stores a year there for the next five years. As that economy grows, the coffee giant will blossom along with it.

On the income front, the company introduced a dividend in 2010 and has raised it by 20% a year or more. Though it pays a modest yield of 1.4% today, that track record means Starbucks' dividend could easily triple over the next 10 years. With the company set to grow EPS by another 20% this year, I'd expect another big hike this fall.

2. Alphabet

Like Starbucks, Google parent Alphabet (GOOG -3.47%) (GOOGL -3.30%) is the dominant force in search, but it still has ample growth opportunities remaining.

Alphabet has monopoly-like power in search with a near 70% share domestically and even more in Europe, and the search and advertising business continues to grow each year even as the cost-per-click rate falls. In its most recent quarter, Google's operating income increased more than 20% on a 17% increase in revenue. That business should continue to grow as the internet advertising industry should only get bigger. 

The company has a history of making savvy acquisitions like YouTube and Android, which have enabled it to establish leading positions in video and smartphones, complementing and boosting its ad business.

Meanwhile, Alphabet is investing in its Other Bets segment, or its moonshots, as analysts often refer to it, which include potentially lucrative products like smart thermostat-maker Nest, internet provider Google Fiber, and its own self-driving car. Last year, the Other Bets segment lost $3.6 billion, but with more than $16 billion in total profits, Alphabet can fund such projects in a way few companies can. The tech giant is one of the leaders in self-driving technology, which could disrupt the trillion-dollar auto industry. It's hard to understate the potential of that kind of innovation.

The company has yet to pay a dividend, but with its massive cash hoard, the demands for a shareholder payout are growing. Alphabet has more than $80 billion in cash and investments and just $5 billion in debt, and last year, management announced its first share buyback, allocating $5 billion to repurchases, which could be a prelude to a dividend. Google's cash balance will only grow in the coming years, as will shareholder demands. I'd expect the company to begin paying a dividend at some point in the next decade.

3. Under Armour 

With a price-to-earnings ratio of around 70, Under Armour's (UAA -2.14%) (UA -2.99%) valuation may give some investors vertigo, but the company's growth opportunities and insurgent position in the sports apparel market justify its high price as well as a place in the portfolios of those looking to retire a decade from now.

Image source: Fool Flickr.

The company has done something no other sports brand has been able to do in a generation: present a legitimate challenge to Nike. It's done so thanks to a relentless focus on technology, savvy branding, and attracting big-name stars. Under Armour just posted its 24th consecutive quarter of at least 20% revenue growth, a streak that's unmatched in apparel or retail by a company its size. 

Today, Under Armour is seen as equally popular as Nike among kids and on the playing field, but the company still has plenty of growth opportunities internationally, in casual wear, and in wearable tech.

It's signed a bevy of popular young stars including Stephen Curry, Cam Newton, Bryce Harper, and Jordan Spieth, who should help promote the brand for the next decade, and it's just now tapping new markets like international and footwear. Footwear sales grew 64% in the most recent quarter, driven by sales of the Curry shoe and new running offerings. International revenues were up 65% on a constant-currency basis in the quarter.  

Looking ahead, the upcoming launch of the Under Armour Sportswear line presents another promising revenue stream. Rivals Nike and Adidas make 25% of their revenue from such casualwear, which is an untapped resource for Under Armour. Finally, the company has also invested heavily in wearable tech, or a category it calls connected fitness. Such products include a smart running shoe and "UA Health," which monitors behavior like sleep and fitness activity.

The company does not currently offer a dividend, but considering its revenue growth, there's a good chance it will be returning cash to shareholders within the next 10 years.

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Stocks Mentioned

Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,240.15 (-3.30%) $-76.52
Starbucks Corporation Stock Quote
Starbucks Corporation
$76.34 (-1.73%) $-1.34
Under Armour, Inc. Stock Quote
Under Armour, Inc.
$9.13 (-2.14%) $0.20
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,251.43 (-3.47%) $-81.02
Under Armour, Inc. Stock Quote
Under Armour, Inc.
$8.11 (-2.99%) $0.25
Visa Inc. Stock Quote
Visa Inc.
$198.12 (-2.67%) $-5.44
Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.
NIKE, Inc. Stock Quote
NIKE, Inc.
$102.78 (-6.99%) $-7.72
adidas AG Stock Quote
adidas AG
$88.56 (-2.72%) $-2.48

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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