Some decisions change everything. As Robert Frost wrote in his famous poem, The Road Not Taken:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
This sentiment is true for investing. Deciding to buy some stocks can make a huge difference for your financial future. But which stocks are most likely to be game changers? There are quite a few stocks that could qualify. Here are three fantastic growth stocks that could set you up for life.
1. Intuitive Surgical
I sat down recently to think about the best healthcare stocks to buy for 2021. It was a pretty easy decision to include Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) at the top of the list. The robotic surgical systems pioneer is not only a great pick for this year, but also for the long term.
There's currently an awful lot of variation between outcomes with surgical procedures in general. Even a slight twitch in a surgeon's hands can cause a problem. Intuitive Surgical's goal when it began business more than two decades ago was to reduce this variation by using robotic technology. The company has made significant inroads toward achieving this goal.
More than 1.2 million procedures were performed in 2020 with Intuitive's da Vinci robotic surgical system. That's only a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 234 million major surgeries performed worldwide annually. And that total will almost certainly rise with aging populations in the U.S. and many other large countries.
Intuitive Surgical continues to invest heavily in research and development to expand the types of procedures for which robotic systems can be used. The company is already pretty big, with a market cap of around $95 billion. I think it will grow much larger over the next couple of decades and will make today's investors a lot of money along the way.
2. Sea Limited
What are some fast-growing trends that have already created massive markets and continue to gain momentum? My answers would definitely include online gaming, e-commerce, and digital payments. Sea Limited (NYSE:SE) is one of the few stocks that's a major player in all three arenas.
The company is an absolute rock star in Southeast Asia. Its SeaMoney unit is a top digital payments provider in the region. Sea's Shopee division is the biggest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. But Sea Limited is also known globally thanks to its Garena unit, which develops and publishes some of the most popular mobile games on the market, including FreeFire and Call of Duty: Mobile.
Sea Limited's growth story is impressive. The stock skyrocketed nearly 400% in 2020. Its revenue almost doubled year over in the company's latest reported quarter. Sea Limited isn't profitable yet, but that's mainly because the company continues to invest heavily in expansion.
The Southeast Asian middle class is projected to more than double by the end of this decade, adding nearly 200 million people. In addition to this high-growth market, Sea Limited's gaming apps are also experiencing success in Latin America. My view is that the potential for Sea Limited is nearly unlimited.
Let's go back to the digital payments trend mentioned above. There's no question that society is moving away from cash to digital payments. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this move. Who wants to touch paper currency and coins that other people have held with a deadly virus circulating? Square (NYSE:SQ) ranks as one of the biggest winners from this trend.
For years, Square was known mainly for its small credit card readers. The company made a big splash in serving small- to mid-sized businesses. This is still a big and growing opportunity for Square.
Square now has a much bigger focus and a much bigger market. Use of the company's Cash App has soared. Cash App started out supporting peer-to-peer payments. Square has increased its functionality significantly to include new functionality, such as trading stocks and bitcoin.
I think that the growth story for Cash App is far from over. However, I also look for Square to deliver strong long-term growth in other ways, including launching a bank this year to provide loans to its small- to mid-sized business customers. Square will likely become a road more traveled with time -- but one that still makes a huge difference for investors.