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Investing in Your 20s: 3 Stocks to Watch

By David Butler – Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 4:08PM

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In your 20s you can afford to take investing risks. It also pays off to make sure you pick up some stable stocks along the way.

If you're investing in your 20s, there are two main variables you're likely dealing with. You don't have as much money as someone further along in life, and you are looking at a much longer time horizon. Obviously, the time factor is a huge advantage. The lack of cash balances it out though. How do you make investments in your 20s that make the most of these two factors? You look for some long-term growth names that could be big, and you balance it out with some stability.

A tech play that complements business as well as personal lives

Much to my dismay, digital meetings are most likely only going to increase in prevalence. Zoom Video Communications (ZM -0.33%) is at the forefront of that world.

Take that "stocks to watch" phrase to heart here. The tech company's share price went on an astronomical run during the COVID-19 shutdown. While such a prolonged pause in many office activities certainly benefits a virtual meeting product like Zoom's, it'll take a pretty big number in order to justify $245 per share. Analyst estimates are looking for around $1.55 per share in non-generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) earnings next year. That makes current share pricing a tough sell.

Man watching stock charts on different screens.

Image Source: Getty Images

After climbing nearly 300% in six months, Zoom seems poised for a pullback to more realistic values. Someone in their 20s looking for a long-term investment could look for a buy-in on that pullback, as the pandemic seems to have exposed enough users to the platform to significantly improve its revenue guidance. The company now expects to do $1.77 billion in business for fiscal 2021, compared to analyst estimates of $935.2 million.

The potential for video conferencing is big. It makes it possible for an executive in New York to have a meeting with someone in San Francisco without the flight. It makes it possible for families in different states to get in touch. This is a space to be invested in.

Banks never go out of style

Stick to a name that's steady. I like JPMorgan Chase (JPM -0.75%). Credit markets are always going to be essential to business. Banks are never going away. Within that industry, JPMorgan sports a strong return on equity of 11.6%.

Shares fell last week after news came out that the Federal Reserve will be requiring banks to resubmit capital plans, based on stress testing. The Fed is also putting pressure on dividends, which will be capped through the third quarter.

Why choose a bank like this at a time when the economy and incomes are filled with uncertainty? It's the time horizon. Investing in your 20s gives you that long time horizon. The stock is down now, but JPMorgan was a strong performer before COVID-19 began, creating 12.3% growth in net income last year. It can be a strong performer again after the pandemic is over. 

Taking out the trash

Let's face it, we humans create a lot of garbage. To that end, we'll always need services that can dispose of our waste. What better name to have in your portfolio than Waste Management (WM -0.21%).

The important thing to understand here is that Waste Management doesn't just collect your garbage bags on Monday nights. The company owns many of the landfills where your trash ends up. That makes the company a convenient business partner for many different areas. Even if a bit stagnant at times, Waste Management's revenues are strong almost every year. It finished 2019 with $15.46 billion in sales and earnings per diluted share of $3.91.

Waste Management is strengthening its hold on the industry this year through its acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services for $4.6 billion. The deal should close at the end of the third quarter, and the two companies will be selling off some assets in order to follow a review by the Department of Justice.

The company doesn't have the wild growth rates of some more popular names, but the stock has outpaced the S&P 500 index by 437% over the last 20 years. Until we as a society find a way to stop trash, this company and its 2% dividend make a simple and appealing play for anyone's portfolio.

David Butler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool recommends Waste Management and recommends the following options: short August 2020 $130 calls on Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
$105.36 (-0.75%) $0.80
Waste Management, Inc. Stock Quote
Waste Management, Inc.
$161.57 (-0.21%) $0.34
Zoom Video Communications Stock Quote
Zoom Video Communications
$74.22 (-0.33%) $0.25
Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. Stock Quote
Advanced Disposal Services, Inc.

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

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