You could spend a whole lifetime debating how to be a successful investor, and there are plenty of theories about how to consistently beat the market. But one of the best ways to do it is to invest in a diversified group of growth stocks. That will give you the greatest chance of owning the kinds of multibagger stocks that can make you wealthy over the long term.
A high-yield energy dividend
Travis Hoium (TerraForm Power): To be a successful investor, you don't have to hit a home run with every stock. Often, slow and steady wins the race. One company that should be a steady money-maker is TerraForm Power, a yieldco that owns wind and solar assets around the world. The company owns 2,310 megawatts (MW) of wind and 1,330 MW of solar projects that are backed by long-term contracts to sell electricity to utilities. This revenue is then used to pay a dividend to investors.
What's great about the business model is that cash flow is highly predictable over the long term. The average contract backing assets has 14 years remaining, giving management visibility into cash flow for over a decade.
However, not all of the excess cash coming into TerraForm Power is used to pay a dividend. The company keeps 15% to 20% of funds to buy growth projects, which management intends to use to increase the dividend 5% to 8% each year. With a starting dividend yield of 7.1% today, TerraForm Power is a high-yield stock with predictable cash flow and solid growth potential. That's the kind of company successful investors want to buy.
A proven winner
George Budwell (AbbVie): Successful investors know how to appreciate a proven winner, and the large-cap biotech AbbVie is undoubtedly a champion at producing top-notch growth. Since becoming an independent entity in 2013, for instance, AbbVie has grown its top line by an astounding 112%, thanks largely to the strong performance of its flagship anti-inflammatory medicine Humira.
As a result, AbbVie's shares have appreciated by a healthy 174% over this period. Equally impressive is that the drugmaker has also grown its dividend at one of the fastest rates among big-pharma stocks -- leading to a total return on capital of 236% for shareholders over the last five years.
The best part, though, is that AbbVie's growth party is set to continue for years to come. Despite the upcoming expiration of Humira's patent, Wall Street's current consensus estimate has AbbVie's earnings rising at a jaw-dropping 16% per year, on average, for the next five years.
What's the main source of this industry-leading level of growth? Although Humira is projected to keep rolling along without any serious dips well into the 2024 time frame, the bulk of AbbVie's future growth is expected to come from the company's outstanding clinical pipeline.
For example, AbbVie recently won approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the blockbuster-in-waiting Orilissa, a treatment for moderate to severe pain associated with endometriosis. Moreover, the drugmaker also recently advanced other key pipeline assets into the regulatory review stage.
AbbVie thus has a real shot at introducing multiple new blockbuster products to the market within the next year or so. As such, this top biotech stock seems poised to keep heading higher for the foreseeable future, and that fact should appeal to any growth-oriented investor.
Lucky in love
Jeremy Bowman (Match Group): Successful investors know that market leaders and first movers have inherent advantages, and Match Group has been the leader in the online dating industry since it launched Match.com in 1995. Though the stock has only been publicly traded for a few years, it has already put up impressive returns, more than tripling since its initial public offering in 2015.
Much of the company's recent growth has been fueled by Tinder, the swipe-based app that revolutionized online dating, and subscriptions for paid Tinder products like Tinder Gold have nearly doubled year over year. Dating sites and apps benefit from built-in economic moats like switching costs and network effects.
An app like Tinder is likely to remain popular as the millions of users on it attract more users. And making a profile or answering questions, which can be a time-consuming task on some sites, also makes the platform sticky -- daters would rather not fill out ten different profiles.
The irony of a business like Match is that success, at least in the form of creating a new relationship, means losing a customer. But there's always a pool of new online users, and its new product Tinder U, focused on college students, taps into that pool of the youngest online daters.
Its recent acquisition of Hinge also gives it another growth opportunity, so investors can be confident that the company isn't too heavily dependent on Tinder.
Finally, a subscription-based, user-driven business like Match creates wide profit margins, and those will only get wider as the business grows. In its most recent quarter, operating margin expanded from 27% to 36%, and operating income grew 81% on a revenue increase of 36%, to $421 million.
If those aren't signs of a successful business, I don't know what is.