Don't you wish investing had an "easy" button? You'd only have to press the button to make smart buys of stocks set to take off in a big way.
Unfortunately, this button doesn't exist. However, there are stocks that are relatively easy picks based on their huge growth prospects. Here are three no-brainer stocks to buy that should soar this year.
1. Cresco Labs
Mark my words: This will almost certainly be the most pivotal year in the history of the U.S. cannabis industry. That makes marijuana stocks more enticing than ever. I think that Cresco Labs (CRLBF -2.35%) ranks among the most attractive pot stocks on the market.
Cresco's market cap currently stands around $3 billion, which is lower than several of the multistate cannabis-operator's peers. However, Cresco's sales in its latest reported quarter were neck and neck with these rivals. I wouldn't go so far as to call Cresco a value play, but it's about as close as you're going to get with cannabis stocks.
The company recently announced that it won a license in Arizona to sell recreational marijuana at its Phoenix dispensary. Look for Cresco's sales in the Grand Canyon State to soar as the rec market picks up momentum. Don't be surprised if the company also makes a move into New Jersey, another big new recreational-marijuana market that will soon open for business.
I suspect that the biggest catalysts for Cresco, though, are on the way courtesy of the Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress. My view is that major cannabis-reform legislation will be passed in 2021 that decriminalizes marijuana and makes banking services readily available to cannabis companies. This could very well be enough to send Cresco's shares soaring 100% or more by the end of the year.
Two of the biggest stories of 2021 so far have been the rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines and the short-squeeze craziness. I think that Square (SQ 8.52%) will be a beneficiary of both this year.
The company's payment platform supporting small- to medium-sized businesses has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. With vaccines becoming more widely available over the next few months, though, there's reason to be optimistic about an economic recovery. Square's core business would almost certainly pick up significantly if such a recovery is on the way.
But how does Square factor into the short-squeeze story that has obsessed many investors? One key part of this story is Robinhood's decision to restrict trading on some of the stocks that were targeted as short-squeeze candidates. Square's Cash App, which supports buying and selling stocks, seems to be gaining new customers who have left Robinhood because of those restrictions.
There's an even more important reason why Square is a great pick, though. The trend away from cash toward digital-payment methods is an unstoppable one. Square stands out as one of the best stocks to profit from this trend.
3. Guardant Health
Guardant Health (GH 11.63%) delivered an impressive 65% gain in 2020, and the stock is up more than 20% so far this year. I think it has plenty of room to run for a couple of key reasons.
First, Guardant Health recently reported results from a study that shows its Guardant360 liquid biopsy clearly outperformed tissue biopsy in genomic profiling of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Guardant360 analyzes DNA fragments of tumor cells in the bloodstream with no surgical biopsy required. The study found that the liquid-biopsy product uncovered nearly 24% more actionable mutations than did tissue biopsy. I suspect this new data will help boost Guardant Health's already fast-growing sales.
Second, the company plans to launch two exciting new products in 2021. It's rolling out GuardantREVEAL in the first quarter. The product is the first blood-only liquid biopsy targeting residual cancer detection and recurrence monitoring. Later in the year, Guardant Health will launch a next-generation tissue assay that it thinks will address many of the issues associated with current tissue assays.
Over the longer term, Guardant Health's growth prospects should get even better. It's conducting clinical testing on its liquid-biopsy product for early cancer detection. Success on that front could open up a U.S. market of at least $50 billion per year for the company to go after.
With its leadership position in liquid biopsy, new products on the way, and a massive market opportunity, Guardant Health is absolutely a no-brainer stock to buy right now.