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Play the Field With These 4 Winning Stocks

By Robin Hartill, CFP® - Feb 6, 2021 at 7:42AM

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These four companies will go the distance and give you a Hall of Fame-worthy stock portfolio.

About half of Americans plan to bet on the 55th installment of football's biggest event, according to a recent LendingTree survey. The Kansas City Chiefs are favored over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though plenty of smart money is betting Tom Brady will take the Bucs to their second-ever Big Game win.

If you don't want to bet on either team in the upcoming championship because it looks like a toss-up, you might want to consider instead building your own winning bet by investing in a few stocks that are as close as you can get to a sure thing.

Here are four stocks that will give you a Hall of Fame-worthy investment portfolio.

An American football sitting on a football field.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Disney

Walt Disney (DIS -0.70%) is a fan favorite of young and old investors alike -- even after incurring a net loss of $2.83 billion in fiscal 2020, its first annual loss in 40 years. Despite theme parks still being closed or operating at limited capacity and cruises canceled into at least May, there are plenty of reasons to keep betting on Disney -- namely, the 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers, a number expected to grow to a range of 230 million to 260 million by 2024. 

Pent-up demand is likely to cause theme park attendance to surge once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widespread. Disney has already made the tough but savvy move to help its parks return to profitability by suspending its annual pass program to focus on more lucrative guests.

As of the market's close on Feb. 4, Disney was trading at close to its all-time high at around $180 a share. But its die-hard fans and smart management make it a top player at any price.

A miniature online shopping cart with packages sits on a keyboard.

Image source: Getty Images.

2. Shopify

Shopify (SHOP -7.02%) stock price soared 192.5% in 2020, as merchants flocked to the Canadian e-commerce facilitator's tools to set up online stores in response to the pandemic. Its latest quarter of earnings was its best ever for the second time in a row. Revenue was up 96% year over year, while gross profits rose 87%. 

Shopify estimates it has a total addressable market of $78 billion from the small- to medium-sized businesses that have been its core customers thus far. Its tools for smaller businesses range in price from $29 to $299 a month. It's now going after major brands with its Shopify Plus platform, which starts at $2,000 a month. With big names like General MillsBeyond Meat, Dior, and Staples now using Shopify Plus, it's hard to guess how much room Shopify has to grow.

A grocery cart in the aisle of a warehouse.

Image source: Getty Images.

3. Costco

Warehouse giant Costco Wholesale (COST -1.54%) easily beat the market in 2020, with returns of 27.4% versus 16.26% for the S&P 500 index. The membership-based retailer's sales have surged in 2020 as people stocked up in bulk on essentials and prepared to hunker down due to the pandemic.

Costco is a strong defensive play for your portfolio because it mostly sells consumer staples that people still need even during a recession. What makes its business model unique is that most of Costco's profits come from its membership fees (which start at $60 annually) rather than sales. It uses those fees to generate much of its profits while offering wholesale prices to its members that creates fierce loyalty. About 91% of Costco customers renew their memberships. As a bonus, Costco has a history of surprising investors every few years with a special dividend payment, most recently in December 2020, when it paid out $10 a share.

A man holds a remote control in front of a TV screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

4. Netflix

Netflix (NFLX 1.56%) faces tough competition from Disney+ and Amazon Prime. But Netflix still has ample room for growth, even though it recently reached more than 200 million subscribers. Fewer than 40% of those subscribers live in the U.S. and Canada, and 83% of new subscriptions come from Netflix's international markets.

As of December about half of U.S. households had four or more streaming services, with the average customer spending $47 a month -- and they spend more hours a week watching Netflix on average than any other service, according to a recent J.D. Power survey. Subscribing to multiple streaming services remains a bargain compared to a cable package or regular trips to a movie theater. Even if the competition gets fiercer, there's plenty of room for Netflix and its rivals to keep charging forward.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
DIS
$102.42 (-0.70%) $0.72
Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
NFLX
$186.35 (1.56%) $2.87
Costco Wholesale Corporation Stock Quote
Costco Wholesale Corporation
COST
$416.43 (-1.54%) $-6.50
Shopify Inc. Stock Quote
Shopify Inc.
SHOP
$363.85 (-7.02%) $-27.48

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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