When I go shopping for great companies, it's always to buy and hold them over years, even decades, if need be. The power of compounding makes growth stocks the perfect candidate to multiply your wealth over the long term. That said, we have to be selective in what we choose to buy and hold, as a wrong choice could end up eroding our wealth, rather than growing it.

Attributes I look for in ideal growth stocks include a strong competitive moat and brand name. This makes loyal customers keep coming back for repeat purchases. The company should have a distinctive edge when it comes to innovative products or services that surpass the competition. Also, it should come up with plans to continuously grow and expand the business, and be able to execute on these initiatives. A great management team that is adept at capital allocation should be part of the equation, too.

Here are two of the top stocks that I believe investors can buy and hold for the next decade and beyond.

A woman holds a latte in a mug.

Image source: Getty Images.


Starbucks (SBUX 0.65%) has been steadily growing over the years, as the coffee chain expands outside of the U.S. and into other regions such as China and Latin America. Led by CEO Kevin Johnson, who took over from founder Howard Schultz back in 2017, the company has been actively embracing the latest trends and taking up the mantle of sustainability. Its brand name is also synonymous with a relaxing, inviting ambience coupled with an affordable cup of coffee.

Starbucks has a solid digital flywheel strategy that not only generates strong loyalty among customers but also helps to customize their experience according to individual preferences and tastes. This has helped to grow the active Starbucks Rewards Membership base to 18.9 million for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2020, up 16% year over year.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in China back in January, Starbucks proactively took steps to shut stores to control the spread of the illness. At peak closures in early February, around 80% of all Starbucks stores in China were shut or operating at reduced hours. Johnson and CFO Patrick Grismer have released revised guidance for the second quarter of the fiscal year 2020, where earnings per share are expected to take a hit of $0.15 to $0.18 (around 28% to 34% of the second-quarter fiscal year 2019's earnings per share of $0.53). 

New store development in China has also been temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but is expected to resume once the authorities declare the virus to be contained.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak became mainstream news, investors who bought Starbucks' stock five years ago would have seen their money double, as the share price climbed steadily from $46 to a recent high near $100. With the stock price now having fallen back by a third due to a one-time hit to earnings, there is a golden opportunity for investors to pick up the shares on the cheap.


Nike (NKE -0.36%) has always been a market leader and innovator in sports footwear and apparel. From the year founder Phil Knight brought the company public until today, its stock price has multiplied an astounding 500 times. Still, I think there is more that investors can look forward to with this progressive company.

Investors should know that Nike has not only managed to come up with new technology and innovations for shoes, it has also done a great job growing both its top and bottom lines. For the first half of fiscal-year 2020, Nike has once again reported impressive growth, with revenue up 9% year over year and net income up 28% year over year.

As with Starbucks though, COVID-19 has caused short-term disruptions to the business, with half of Nike-owned stores in China temporarily closing in early February. The company will provide an update on the operational and financial impact in its third-quarter conference call, but the share price has already corrected sharply from its recent peak.

Considering the company is continuing to come up with new types of shoes such as the Vaporfly, which have been overwhelmingly popular with Olympic athletes, I would not worry too much about the short-term impact of the virus. Instead, investors should view this as an opportunity to scoop up shares in this solid company at a rare bargain.

Short-term blips, long-term rewards

Though both companies will undoubtedly suffer some financial impact from the coronavirus outbreak, investors should view this as a mere blip in a long-term growth story.

Starbucks and Nike have the right ingredients to continue growing for many years to come, and are perfect candidates for investors who are looking for stocks to own for the next decade and beyond.