What a topsy-turvy year it's been for equities. During the first quarter, the broad-based S&P 500 sank like a stone, with the index losing 34% of its value in less than five weeks. However, this was followed by the strongest rally in history to fresh all-time highs from the March 23 bear market bottom. All told, it took a bit under five months to recoup everything that was lost.
Although periods of heightened volatility may not seem like any fun, they usually turn out to be incredible opportunities for patient investors. Since 1950, there have been 38 stock market corrections in the S&P 500 of at least 10%. In each of those instances, a bull market rally eventually put any downside firmly in the rearview mirror.
Perhaps the best aspect of the wealth-making machine that is the stock market is that you don't have to be rich to take hold of your financial future. If you have just $50 to spare -- that is, that you don't need to cover emergencies or pay bills -- you have more than enough to begin building wealth.
Here are three of the best stocks you can buy right now with $50.
Didn't get in on the ground floor following Facebook's initial public offering in 2012? No worries, because you have a second chance at redemption with Pinterest (NYSE:PINS).
Whereas most social media sites eventually hit a wall in terms of monthly active user (MAU) growth, that's not yet the case for Pinterest. At the end of June, approximately 416 million people were visiting Pinterest each month, which is up 39% (116 million) from the year-ago quarter. Though some of this growth can be attributed to people being forced to stay home more due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it's not as if Pinterest was slouching in the MAU growth department before the crisis.
What's notable about Pinterest's user growth over the past 1 1/2 years is that the majority of it is coming from international markets. For instance, roughly 106 million of the 116 million MAUs added from the prior-year period are from outside the United States. The downside to this is that international users generate far less in ad-based revenue for Pinterest, at least in the very near term. But on the flip side, there's a huge runway to grow overseas average revenue per user (ARPU) this decade. Pinterest already doubled its full-year international ARPU in 2019, and it has the potential to do so a few more times before the decade is over.
Also, don't overlook Pinterest's e-commerce ties. Think about this for a moment: Pinterest is a social website where users share exactly what products and services interest them. It's only logical for Pinterest to connect small businesses with these clearly motivated users. By partnering with e-commerce platform Shopify and upping its use of video to keep users engaged, Pinterest should see its platform blossom into an e-commerce powerhouse.
Not everyone is a fan of investing in physical gold. But after more than two decades of investing, I can't recall a time when the stars have aligned so perfectly for the lustrous yellow metal and underlying producers like Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY).
On the one hand, physical gold has catalysts galore at its sails. Global bond yields have been plunging for years, and the U.S. Federal Reserve has pledged to keep its federal funds rate at a record-tying low for perhaps two to five more years. This means that surefire income sources like government bonds and bank CDs aren't going to generate much in nominal income. They could actually lose real money once inflation is factored in. With few avenues to generate inflation-topping income, gold could well become the preferred store of value for the first half of the 2020s.
Beyond just higher spot prices, Yamana Gold offers plenty of promise. This is a company that's expanded production by bringing the Cerro Moro mine online. It has also improved output from the flagship Canadian Malartic, which is owned 50-50 between Yamana Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines. With the company calling for 890,000 gold equivalent ounces (GEO) of production in 2020 and at least 1 million GEO in 2021 and 2022, Yamana is peaking right as gold prices hit all-time highs.
Furthermore, Yamana Gold has done an excellent job of reducing its debt and giving itself better financial flexibility. In a five-year stretch, net debt has fallen by roughly 55% to $768 million in the June-ended quarter. With free cash flow liable to soar in the years to come, Yamana Gold is the type of stock that could make investors' portfolios glisten.
Green Thumb Industries
Another one of the best stocks you can buy right now with just $50 is U.S. cannabis company Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBIF).
Although marijuana stocks were virtually unstoppable for years, the past 17 months haven't been pretty. But a small number of vertically integrated multistate operators are really beginning to shine through, and Green Thumb has the potential to lead that pack.
Currently, Green Thumb has 48 operational dispensaries, but has licenses to open as many as 96 retail locations in a dozen states. Make no mistake about it, the number of stores opened, as well as the states that Green Thumb is targeting, will play a key role in its success. Recently, Green Thumb has been opening new dispensaries in Illinois, which aims to become a billion-dollar market by 2024. Green Thumb also bought its way into the Nevada market. The tourist-heavy Silver State looks to lead the country in cannabis spending per capita by mid-decade.
Green Thumb also stands out for its revenue generation from derivatives. Derivatives are non-flower products, such as edibles, infused beverages, or vapes. Derivatives boast significantly higher margins than dried cannabis, making them imperative to the bottom lines of licensed cannabis producers. Green Thumb is generating approximately two-thirds of its sales from these higher-margin pot products.
In the company's most recent quarterly report, Green Thumb delivered 167.5% year-over-year sales growth, 16.6% sequential quarterly growth, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $35.4 million, which is up almost 39% from the sequential first quarter. In other words, Green Thumb is very close to turning the corner to recurring profitability.