The wisdom of crowds can sometimes turn into the mistakes of the masses. Just because a lot of people on Reddit or another online community like a stock doesn't necessarily mean it's a smart long-term pick.
However, that doesn't mean at all that online groups don't have some good ideas that investors should check out. Here are three popular Reddit stocks that I'd buy right now without any hesitation.
A lot of Reddit users really like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). That's not surprising considering how popular Apple's products are and that it happens to be the biggest company in the world based on market cap. I've owned Apple for longer than any other stock in my personal investment portfolio. I still think the tech stock is a great pick to buy.
Some of the stocks that online investors cheer are speculative, but not Apple. It's highly profitable. Sales continue to soar. The company sits atop a massive cash stockpile.
High-speed 5G wireless networks are driving demand for Apple's newest iPhones. As more people buy iPhones, it creates bigger opportunities for the rest of the company's ecosystem, including apps, Airpods, and more.
I think the long-term prospects for Apple also remain bright. The company's next big thing, according to CEO Tim Cook, is augmented reality (AR). Look for Apple to roll out new AR devices over the next few years that fuel continued growth.
Few, if any, companies have transformed the travel industry as much as Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) has over the last decade. The company's initial public offering (IPO) ranked as the biggest last year. Even though the initial gains for the home-sharing stock have largely fizzled out, it makes sense that Reddit users still think highly of Airbnb.
To be sure, the company faced some hefty challenges with the global pandemic. And Airbnb isn't totally out of the woods just yet with many parts of the world still dealing with large numbers of COVID-19 cases. The good news, though, is that the increased availability of vaccines has helped turn the tide in a major way in the U.S.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in the company's Q1 update, "We expect the return of urban and cross-border travel to be significant tailwinds over the coming quarters." I suspect this trend will translate to a solid rebound in Airbnb's share price.
Over the longer term, the rise of remote work seems likely to boost demand for Airbnb's home-sharing services. My view is that we'll see a marked increase in profitability as the company scales up its business. Reddit users appear to be right on the money with Airbnb.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) stands out as another popular Reddit stock that I'm excited about. The company's graphics processing units (GPUs) remain the gold standard for gaming and data centers and have carved out a place in cryptocurrency mining as well.
In just a month or so, NVIDIA will conduct a four-for-one stock split. Granted, this won't change the real value of the company's underlying business one bit. However, the lower share price could make the stock even more attractive to retail investors (which is what NVIDIA is counting on).
The main reasons to buy NVIDIA stock right now relate to its business and not the stock split. New games require more processing power, which gives NVIDIA a perpetual upgrade cycle. It's a similar story with data centers, with increased use of artificial intelligence driving the demand for faster chips.
NVIDIA has established itself as one of the leaders in developing a platform for self-driving cars. It's also launching Omniverse -- a platform for developers and engineers to create virtual worlds that can be used to simulate factories and other parts of the physical world and foster virtual collaboration. I think these two markets could potentially be explosive for NVIDIA over the next decade and beyond.