"Our favorite holding period is forever." -- Warren Buffett
As long-term investors, we should aim to make our stock-buying decisions with the idea of keeping them in our portfolios forever. But it can be hard to have that kind of time horizon considering the pace of news and trading these days.
Today, I want to highlight four stocks I take a very long-term view of and plan to hold for at least the next decade -- and potentially forever. They have big macro tailwinds behind them, as well as great operations, and I think they could be some of the most valuable companies in the world in the next decade. The stocks are Spotify Technology (SPOT 3.22%), Square (SQ 16.13%), Zillow Group (Z 0.58%), and Snap (SNAP 0.65%).
Let's find out a bit more about them and why these four stocks should be bought and held until at least 2030.
1. Spotify: The future of audio
Spotify's primary business is streaming music, but that's not its future. It's building a secondary platform in podcasts that could make it a truly revolutionary company. Podcasts started as a simple RSS feed of conversations with some advertisements sprinkled into some of them. Lately, they've become a big business despite the lack of a centralized advertising and distribution platform. And that's where Spotify comes in.
Over the last few years, Spotify has built out the tools for creators to record podcasts, a platform to connect them with listeners, and now an advertising platform. The value is in bringing millions of listeners together with thousands of podcast producers, and potentially millions of advertisers. And no company is positioned to bring together all three segments of this market like Spotify can. If it succeeds, the company could generate tens of billions in revenue from podcasts. And that would make this a great investment even a decade from now.
2. Square: Transforming finance
If you think Square only is a payment processor for businesses and a peer-to-peer money transfer company, that would be underestimating Square's potential. I think the way to think about Square is as the center of finances for businesses and individuals.
The Square ecosystem is one of the most powerful for businesses, with a payment processor and an ecosystem of products like scheduling, payroll, marketing, capital, and much more. What's key is that this is an ecosystem of products that are both necessary and sticky for thousands of businesses.
On the consumer side, the Cash App started as a peer-to-peer money transfer app, but it's expanded to be so much more. You can now buy stocks or cryptocurrency in the app and carry cash as well. With Square now approved to operate as a bank, the number of financial services the company offers will likely grow.
What makes Square so valuable long-term is the merger of the business and consumer ecosystems. It can process transactions without credit card networks, reducing fees for businesses, and provide a direct connection between millions of businesses and consumers. And if cryptocurrency becomes a mainstream form of payment, the company already has the infrastructure in place to facilitate transfers between consumers and businesses. As digital transactions grow, Square is well-positioned to grow as well, and that's why I'm holding the stock long-term.
3. Zillow: A new way to do real estate
The real estate business hasn't changed much in a century, and it's in desperate need of disruption. Realtors are still taking high fees for listing a home, despite the advent of tools like Zillow that put listing information in the hands of consumers. Zillow could grow its business just by becoming the central database for housing information and collecting fees from realtors for advertising on the platform. But that's not the company's future.
Zillow Offers is what's truly disruptive about the company. The business entails buying and selling homes without the friction of trying to sell while the owner lives in the home. Sellers simply get an offer from Zillow Offers, close on the date of their choosing, and walk away from the home. It takes the negotiations and showings out of the selling process for the homeowner.
For Zillow, the company can use all of the data it's collected on the real estate market to facilitate purchases at a price that they'll ultimately be able to make money on, because the company ends up turning around and selling the home back into the open market.
In 2020, Zillow Offers grew 25% to $1.7 billion in revenue and now accounts for over half of Zillow's revenue. But given the fact that Zillow recognizes the full sale price of the home as revenue, this could be a business that generates hundreds of billions in revenue as it grows. And Zillow could fundamentally change the way we see real estate transactions, which is why I'm holding the stock long-term.
4. Snap: The future of social media
Snap is known as a social media network, but I think it's clear we should be viewing it more as a technology company. The company's face filters started a massive investment in augmented reality (AR) tools and hardware that could dramatically change its future.
Tools like Lens Studio, Snap Camera, and Lens Ads are making it possible for creators and advertisers to build digital assets in the real world. As AR on smartphones improves and AR glasses are launched, these products could be revolutionary for the way we view the world. And given the immersive nature of AR, I think advertisers will be willing to pay for AR advertising.
Snap has also shown that its financials are improving rapidly. You can see below that revenue growth is accelerating, and while the company isn't yet profitable, it's getting closer as revenue grows.
I think Snap is the kind of company that could bring technology to the masses in extremely disruptive ways in the next decade. It's a clear leader in augmented reality and already making its own hardware, and if it's successful in growing AR, this could be a high-growth stock for more than a decade.
Buy and hold
Each of these stocks is likely to have some volatility over the next decade, but long-term they have the opportunity to disrupt the markets they're in and grow rapidly. That's why I'm excited to hold these stocks until at least 2030 -- and potentially a lot longer.