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5 No-Brainer Stocks to Invest $200 in Right Now

By Sean Williams – Aug 9, 2021 at 5:51AM

Key Points

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A relatively small amount of cash can go a long way with these winning stocks.

This past week, the broad-based S&P 500 hit a fresh all-time closing high, which has been a common theme for the widely followed index this year.

But just because the benchmark index is higher now than at any point in its storied history doesn't mean it's not an opportune time to put money to work in the market. History has shown time and again that growth in operating earnings pushes the valuation of high-quality companies higher over time. In other words, even though stock market corrections happen frequently, they're inconsequential to the gains investors can generate from buying and holding great companies.

If you have $200 in cash ready to put to work, which won't be needed to cover bills or an emergency, the following five stocks are no-brainer buys that you can invest in right now.

Two slightly curled $100 bills set on a table.

Image source: Getty Images.

PubMatic

One of the smartest long-term growth trends investors can hop on board at the moment is advertising technology. And the company to consider is small-cap stock PubMatic (PUBM 0.06%).

PubMatic operates a sell-side-focused platform in the programmatic ad space. In English, this simply means that it helps publishers sell their display space to advertisers. But rather than leaning on humans to handle the negotiations, programmatic ad solutions allow for the real-time buying, selling, and optimization of ads by machine-learning algorithms. Although humans are capable of setting parameters, such as the minimum price a publisher will accept to sell its display space, PubMatic's platform is designed to efficiently automate the process.

As advertising goes digital, PubMatic's opportunity grows. According to the company, it foresees steady double-digit growth in mobile, digital video, and connected TV/over-the-top programmatic ads through at least 2024. And there's no reason to believe that this double-digit annual average sales growth won't continue beyond 2024 as content shifts online and cord-cutting picks up steam.

We already witnessed PubMatic's existing publishers up their spending by 30% in the first quarter from the prior-year period. This is an indication that PubMatic's programmatic ad solutions are resonating with publishers, and that it's well positioned within the advertising space.

An engineer speaking into a walkie-talkie while standing next to energy pipeline infrastructure.

Image source: Getty Images.

Enterprise Products Partners

Last year, the vast majority of oil stocks were a mess. A historic drawdown in crude oil demand caused by the coronavirus weighed heavily on crude prices and pummeled drillers. However, if you take a closer look at the 2020 operating results of master limited partnership Enterprise Products Partners' (EPD 0.16%), you'd hardly know there was a pandemic.

The reason Enterprise Products Partners has been so well insulated from oil industry volatility is its position within the energy complex as a midstream provider. Enterprise Products operates more than 50,000 miles of pipeline to move oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, and has 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage capacity. By leaning on fee-based contracts, the deals it strikes with drillers are often highly transparent and result in predictable cash flow.

The real beauty of Enterprise Products Partners is that its predictable cash flow allows the company to parse out a mammoth dividend that equates to an 8.1% yield. Not only does this payout crush the current inflation rate, but it's also sustainable. The company's distribution coverage ratio has fluctuated between 1.6 and 1.8 for the past year, implying there's no concern about covering its payout. What's more, it's riding a 22-year streak of increasing its base annual dividend.

For income investors, this stock is a no-brainer.

A person making a contactess payment in a cafe with a credit card.

Image source: Getty Images.

Fiserv

Fintech solutions and cashless payments are some of the most intriguing trends in the financial services space this decade. Fintech stock Fiserv (FISV 0.41%), which has three core operating segments devoted to payment facilitation and management, looks to be a smart way to play this cashless revolution.

What I refer to as the "numbers game" is the single biggest reason to buy Fiserv with $200 right now. In simple terms, Fiserv is a cyclical business. The company -- which handles everything from processing digital payments for banks and retailers, to managing bank loan and deposit accounts -- benefits when consumers and businesses are spending more. On the flip side, Fiserv, like most financial service stocks, can be hurt by recessions. The thing is, the U.S. and global economy spend a significantly longer amount of time expanding than contracting. In other words, buying Fiserv is a numbers game that heavily favors patient investors.

For value-stock investors, Fiserv is also, arguably, the biggest bargain on this list of no-brainer buys. It offers the potential for sustainable high single-digit or low double-digit growth, yet sports a price-to-earnings-growth ratio (PEG ratio) of a little over 1. Generally speaking, a PEG ratio of around 1 is viewed as undervalued by investors.

A gloved processor using scissors to trim a cannabis flower.

Image source: Getty Images.

Trulieve Cannabis

For growth investors, the cannabis industry is budding with opportunity. Though sales are rising pretty much across the board for U.S. marijuana stocks, it's Trulieve Cannabis (TCNNF 4.71%) that stands out as the no-brainer buy.

Whereas most U.S. multistate operators (MSO) have been planting their proverbial flags in as many legalized markets as possible, Trulieve has taken an odd approach that's worked wonders. Of its 96 dispensaries currently open nationwide, 87 are in Florida, where medical marijuana is legal. By completely saturating the Sunshine State, Trulieve has been able to effectively build up its brand, garner a loyal following, and keep its marketing costs down. This has helped push the company to 13 consecutive quarters of profitability.

But it's not just organic growth in Florida that's putting Trulieve on the radar. It's in the midst of making a $2.1 billion, all-stock acquisition of MSO Harvest Health & Recreation (HRVSF). Harvest Health has a five-state focus, but will most importantly allow Trulieve to take over its leading 15-dispensary presence in Arizona. As a reminder, the Grand Canyon State legalized adult-use weed in November and commenced sales in January. This deal could make Trulieve the United States' leading cannabis company.

A woman typing on a laptop, with a small dog seated on her lap.

Image source: Getty Images.

Pinterest

Social media up-and-comer Pinterest (PINS -2.81%) is another no-brainer buy, especially after the sell-off tied to its second-quarter operating results.

It's no secret that the pandemic helped Pinterest immensely. With people stuck in their homes, many turned to social media sites like Pinterest to seek entertainment and engage with others. But the reopening of the U.S. economy has caused Pinterest's sequential quarterly user count to reverse, at least temporarily. Nevertheless, long-term user growth remains well within historic norms.

What's truly noteworthy is Pinterest's average revenue per user (ARPU). Even with its user count down from the sequential first quarter, advertisers are paying up to reach the platform's 454 million monthly active users. Global ARPU rose by 89% to $1.32 from the prior-year period, with an impressive 163% increase from international users. These overseas users are Pinterest's key to sustainable double-digit growth throughout the decade.

Ultimately, I firmly believe we're witnessing an e-commerce star budding before our eyes. With Pinterest's users willingly sharing the things, places, and services that interest them, it's simply a matter of keeping users engaged, and connecting these potentially motivated consumers with merchants that can meet their interests.

Sean Williams owns shares of Pinterest. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Pinterest, PubMatic, Inc., and Trulieve Cannabis Corp. The Motley Fool recommends Enterprise Products Partners. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Pinterest Stock Quote
Pinterest
PINS
$24.86 (-2.81%) $0.72
Enterprise Products Partners Stock Quote
Enterprise Products Partners
EPD
$24.85 (0.16%) $0.04
Fiserv Stock Quote
Fiserv
FISV
$105.46 (0.41%) $0.43
Trulieve Cannabis Stock Quote
Trulieve Cannabis
TCNNF
$14.45 (4.71%) $0.65
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. Stock Quote
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.
HRVSF
PubMatic Stock Quote
PubMatic
PUBM
$15.84 (0.06%) $0.01

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

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