COVID-19 is a fearsome and relentless enemy. The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has infected more than 2.2 million people worldwide, and nearly 150,000 have died. Efforts to combat the pandemic are having severe economic ramifications, including millions of job losses and devastating damage to countless businesses.
Yet hope remains.
An army of doctors, scientists, and researchers around the world are working tirelessly to find a cure. Optimism is growing that an effective treatment for COVID-19 will be found soon. And the financial markets have begun to recoup their losses as investors look ahead to an eventual economic recovery.
So now could be a good time to consider investing some money in the stock market. Even if the markets pull back again, investing in great businesses tends to be a very wise and profitable decision, particularly over the long term.
If you're fortunate enough to have $10,000 to invest, here are three stocks that can help you grow your money into a fortune.
Perhaps no company is better positioned to capitalize on the current environment than Amazon.com (AMZN -3.01%). With many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers forced to close their stores due to social distancing directives, the online retail giant has served as a lifeline for people in need of food and other vital supplies. Amazon, in turn, is enjoying booming sales during the COVID-19 crisis.
Moreover, many people are shopping on its website for the first time. Once they experience Amazon's incredible selection of goods, low prices, and convenient delivery options, these new online shoppers are likely to remain loyal customers.
Microsoft (MSFT -1.27%) is a valuable partner for the countless businesses now forced to manage their workforces remotely. Its Azure infrastructure platform powers many businesses' cloud-based operations. Additionally, Microsoft's Office 365 applications -- which include cloud-based versions of its popular Word and Office software -- make it easier for people to work from home.
Importantly, with more than $60 billion in net cash on its fortress-like balance sheet, Microsoft has the financial strength to weather even a severe coronavirus-driven recession. The technology titan also generates bountiful cash flow, including over $10 billion in cash from operations in the second quarter alone. Microsoft is committed to passing a sizable portion of this cash on to investors via a steadily rising dividend, which currently yields 1.1%.
Software giant Salesforce.com (CRM -2.09%) is enjoying higher demand for its digital transformation services, and that's likely to continue after the pandemic as well as more businesses seek to transition their operations to the cloud to better enable remote work and a more broadly distributed workforce.
In addition to being the global leader in customer relationship management software, Salesforce also provides best-in-class tools that allow businesses to aggregate and analyze data from a wide variety of sources. Global spending on services that enable the digitization of business products and practices will reach an astounding $2.3 trillion by 2023, according to market research firm IDC. This massive market offers plenty of room for expansion, even for a $140 billion enterprise like Salesforce. Investors who buy shares today should be well rewarded as this software star fulfills its tremendous long-term growth potential.