Nearly since the last presidential election in 2016, some investors have obsessed over what would happen in 2020. As new government policies took effect over the past four years -- most notably with tax reform -- Americans realized what was at stake in the 2020 elections.
Yet for investors, politics are largely a distraction. Good companies find ways to outperform regardless of the political climate. Business success rarely hinges on who's in the White House or which party has control of Congress.
Looking for great businesses transcends election results. With that in mind, here are three stocks that should keep going strong no matter what's happening in Washington.
For more than 20 years, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has concentrated on a simple mission: giving its customers what they want. Starting from its modest beginnings as a bookseller, Amazon quickly expanded its online marketplace to cover an ever-growing array of products in just about any category you can think of.
But Amazon wasn't content to stop with domination of e-commerce retail. It's also tapped into demand in much different markets, ranging from video streaming and home smart speakers to cloud computing infrastructure services. That combination of products and services gives Amazon nearly universal appeal -- and it's only getting started.
Amazon isn't afraid to spend money to make money, and that sometimes makes shareholders nervous. In its most recent earnings report in late October, Amazon posted far better sales and earnings results than anticipated, but investors still sold off the stock. That's made Amazon a more attractively priced stock right now, and despite some calls to regulate tech giants more closely, Amazon is in position to keep doing what it does best and capture an ever-growing share of its expanding market.
Social media has seen explosive growth in the past decade, but the social media experience leaves much to be desired for many users. That's what makes Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) stand apart, as the image-focused social media company has a much more positive and supportive vibe that helps create a true community feel among its more than 440 million users. Many people use Pinterest with an eye toward self-improvement and aspiration.
One concern among Pinterest investors has been that monetizing such a supportive user base could risk taking away what's helped make the social media company what it is. But late last month, Pinterest provided some reassurances for those who were worried about that, reporting a massive 58% gain in revenue year over year. With user counts soaring, especially internationally, Pinterest was able to boost ad sales and chart a course toward keeping everybody happy about its service.
Unfortunately for those looking to buy the stock, those strong results sent the stock to new highs. But there's still plenty of growth runway left for Pinterest ahead.
3. Zoom Video Communications
Finally, Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) has been in the front of nearly every investor's mind in 2020. The video collaboration software platform provider has jumped into the spotlight as Zoom has become an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zoom owes its success to plenty of factors. A committed workforce, a strong founder/CEO, and the company's ability to scale up its service offerings without compromising on quality have helped Zoom jump on the opportunity it's been handed.
Just about no one argues that Zoom's service is groundbreaking. What's debatable, though, is a fair valuation for the stock. With huge gains already in 2020, it's understandable that you might feel uncomfortable making a big commitment to Zoom shares.
Yet with many parts of the world preparing for yet another wave of COVID-19 cases, any expectation that Zoom will give way to in-person communication in the immediate future is subsiding quickly. That makes Zoom a reasonable long-term bet as it expands beyond its core services to find complementary offerings.
Take a deep breath and get back to investing
Politics are important, but so is managing your money effectively. These three stocks are a great place to start in getting your mind back on doing everything you can to find investing success.