There doesn't seem to be much that Democrats and Republicans can agree on these days, but one area where they see eye-to-eye is the need to send another round of Economic Impact Payments -- more commonly referred to as "stimulus checks" -- to Americans.
It's no secret that Democratic leaders support another direct payment, but support on the other side of the aisle came into question when Senate Republicans introduced a so-called "skinny bill," which didn't include a second stimulus check. However, at a recent congressional hearing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that the Trump Administration still supports another $1,200 payment to most Americans.
If and when a second stimulus check arrives in your bank account or mailbox, what should you do with it? Obviously, if you're hurting financially (because of the pandemic or otherwise), the best use of the money is to help cover essential expenses. However, if you're fortunate enough that you don't need the stimulus money right away, it is a great opportunity to invest for your or your kids' future. And here are two great stocks to consider that could thrive in a post-pandemic world.
A stock for the stay-at-home world as well as for normal times
One stock that I've bought and added to several times since the COVID-19 pandemic started is Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS).
Here's my thesis on why Disney is a great long-term investment now. Not only does the stock trade for roughly 12% less than where it started 2020, but the pandemic could end up being a long-term positive for the company.
Disney launched its Disney+ streaming service in late 2019, a few months before the pandemic hit. And it set an intermediate-term target of 60-90 million subscribers by 2024. Well, the stay-at-home economy of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of the service, and Disney hit its 2024 goal already. This adds a stream of recurring revenue that is likely to not only last beyond the pandemic but should continue to grow.
Speaking of beyond the pandemic, demand for the suffering parts of Disney's business is not going anywhere long-term. Its theme parks will be as crowded as ever once it's safe to operate at full capacity. Its movie studios will continue to produce blockbuster hits. And its idled cruise ships will one day hit the seas again (and retain their pricing power over rivals).
The bottom line is that once the dust settles, Disney will have its previous revenue generators plus a new and unexpectedly large stream of recurring revenue. And the stock trades at a discount.
A great bank stock no matter what the economy is doing
The financial sector has been one of the worst performing parts of the stock market during the pandemic, and it's not hard to see why. Not only could the elevated U.S. unemployment rate cause billions of dollars in loan defaults but record low interest rates don't exactly create a great environment for profitability for banks.
However, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is a different story. For one thing, while it has a consumer banking division and does make loans, that's currently a relatively small part of the business. Goldman has done an excellent job of building the Marcus saving and loan platform, getting into the credit card business with the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Card, and recently launched small business lending partnerships with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT). And while Goldman could have a very bright future in consumer banking if it keeps growing at it this rate, the pandemic came at a time when its damage will be minimal in the context of Goldman's entire business.
What's more, some key aspects of the investment banking business do better during volatile markets. Equities and fixed-income trading, which is Goldman's largest business segment, is one of them. Goldman's equity and fixed-income trading revenue in the turbulent second quarter were the highest they've been in 11 and nine years, respectively. And when it comes to general investment banking revenue (M&A advisory, equity and debt underwriting), Goldman's second quarter was the best its ever had.
The bottom line is that if the economic effects of the pandemic are significantly worse than expected on the banking industry as a whole, Goldman should be just fine. When combined with the long-tailed growth potential in the consumer business, Goldman has the potential to seriously outperform its peers.
Turn your stimulus check into much more
To reiterate, if you need a second stimulus check to cover your expenses, by all means use it on that. But if you don't, it would be smart to think twice about putting it to work for your future instead of going out and spending it. If you're like me and would rather turn that $1,200 into several times that amount over the coming years, these two stocks could help you do just that.