Most people want to be financially secure in retirement. To achieve that goal, many shrewdly turn to the stock market. Investing in stocks allows your money to grow substantially more than, say, in a traditional savings account. Of course, the stock market also comes with risks, but picking the right companies to invest in could help you hit that coveted $1 million mark before you retire. Guardant Health (GH 1.51%) and Pinterest (PINS 0.17%) are two stocks that can steer you toward this goal.

GH Chart

GH data by YCharts

1. Guardant Health

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Any technology that can effectively fight against the disease in a new way is likely to find some success, which is exactly what Guardant Health is counting on. With its arsenal of liquid biopsy tests, the company is helping patients, physicians, and drugmakers achieve better outcomes. Liquid biopsies are minimally invasive tests that allow for the detection of cancer cells from blood samples. 

Guardant Health's products include GuardantOMNI, a device used by biopharmaceutical companies to identify patients with the right molecular profile for their clinical trials. There's also Guardant360CDx, which helps match cancer patients with the best treatment options, and Guardant Reveal, designed for residual disease and recurrence monitoring in some early stage cancer patients.

Guardant Health is still in the early innings of a potentially explosive growth story. In the second quarter, ended June 30, the company's revenue came in at $92.1 million, 39% higher than the prior-year quarter. The company expects its top line for the full fiscal year to be between $360 million and $370 million compared to the $286.7 million it recorded last year. Guardant Health estimates its addressable market within early cancer screening and therapy selection to be worth roughly $21 billion.

The company's $370 million peak revenue projection for this year represents less than 2% of this opportunity. Moreover, Guardant Health is currently developing tests for the early detection of various cancers. Its Lunar-2 test for colorectal cancer has already shown promising results in clinical trials. Guardant Health's early cancer screening opportunity stands at $50 billion. If the company captures even a small fraction of this overall market, it will work wonders for its overall financial results. 

Guardant Health's shares dropped after it released its second-quarter results as investors weren't impressed with its revenue growth this time around. Its stock has lagged the market year to date. But zooming out provides more context: Since Guardant Health's initial public offering in late 2018, it has easily outperformed the market. The company is well positioned to shatter average market returns in the long run. That's why adding shares of this healthcare stock while they are down could help you retire with a handsome pile of cash. 

2. Pinterest

Add Pinterest to the list of companies that haven't performed well this year. The social media company benefited from people spending more time at home -- and on mobile devices -- during the pandemic. But the market seems to think Pinterest won't perform as well post-pandemic. The company's stock is down 15.4% year to date. With that said, long-term investors should keep their eyes on the prize. There are excellent reasons why Pinterest is likely to perform well for many years to come.

While the social media industry is highly competitive, Pinterest isn't just a copycat of its peers. As a social discovery company, it offers users an experience they can't find on any other social media sites. The selling point of the platform is that it helps users discover ideas and find inspiration pertaining to all sorts of creative endeavors and day-to-day activities, from cooking to fashion and much else besides. Users can save pictures and build a collection of these so-called "pins" over time. 

Smiling person holding a cell phone with both hands with digital notification graphics in the foreground.

Image source: Getty Images

In a world increasingly divided by political and social tensions, Pinterest prides itself on being a place where its users can, at least temporarily, avoid these tensions. As the company's CEO Ben Silbermann said: "Pinterest is not the place to read the news or debate politics with your cousin or compare yourself to other people. It is a positive place to be inspired and get ideas in your future life." As of the end of the second quarter, the company had 454 million monthly active users, 9% higher than the year-ago period. That's a mere fraction of the number of MAUs on Facebook's family of apps (3.51 billion as of the end of the second quarter).

In other words, there remains significant whitespace for Pinterest. Thanks to its unique business model and positive spin, the company can continue growing its user base. And with an increasing band of pinners, Pinterest's top line will remain on an upward trajectory. The platform is a great place to run targeted ads thanks to the analytical tools (including customer conversion metrics, automation tools, etc.) it provides that help businesses fine-tune their ad campaigns.

More users on the platform will attract more businesses looking to reach customers in a bit of a network effect. The result could be higher revenue, higher earnings, and a soaring stock price. In short, even with its shares getting hammered recently, Pinterest remains an excellent buy-and-hold stock and a great component of any retirement-focused portfolio.