Whether investors realize it or not, they've borne witness to stock market history over the past 19 months. They've navigated their way through the quickest decline of at least 30% in the benchmark S&P 500's history, and have enjoyed the strongest bounce-back rally from a bear market bottom of all time.

But just because the broader market is within a stone's throw of a new high doesn't mean there aren't still great deals to be had. If you have $1,000 in cash at the ready that won't be needed for bills or to cover emergencies, you have more-than-enough to invest in the following trio of no-brainer stocks right now.

A hand holding a folded pile of fanned cash bills by their fingertips.

Image source: Getty Images.


For investors with a long-term mindset, social media up-and-comer Pinterest (PINS 0.14%) might be one of the smartest stocks to buy right now with $1,000.

A quick look at Pinterest's share-price performance since late July might put some investors off. Shares were creamed following the company's second-quarter operating results, which featured a surprise sequential quarterly decline in monthly active users (MAU) to 454 million from 478 million in the first quarter. 

However, this slowdown was expected following a big uptick in coronavirus vaccinations during the first half of the year (i.e., more people are getting out of the house). If Pinterest's historic MAU growth is examined over multiple years, it's still well within its normal growth trajectory.

What's far more important is that advertisers are willingly paying big bucks to get their messages in front of Pinterest's large MAU base. Even though year-over-year MAU growth slowed dramatically in the June-ended quarter, global average revenue per user (ARPU) jumped 89%, with international ARPU catapulting 163%. Overseas users should be a treasure trove for the company, with international ARPU capable of doubling multiple times this decade.

Something else that shouldn't be overlooked is the potential for targeted advertising by merchants with Pinterest. Whereas most social-media platforms require advertisers to target broad audiences, Pinterest's entire platform is based on its MAUs freely sharing the things, places, and services that interest them. This makes it easy for Pinterest to effectively become an e-commerce bridge between motivated consumers and merchants who can meet their needs or interests.

Ultimately, Pinterest is still in the early stages of monetizing its platform. With the company offering sustainable double-digit growth and recurring profitability, it's a no-brainer way to invest $1,000 right now.

A small vial of cannabinoid oil placed atop a grouping of dried cannabis flowers.

Image source: Getty Images.

Green Thumb Industries

Another seemingly surefire opportunity for investors can be found in the cannabis space with U.S. marijuana stock Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF -2.57%).

To state the obvious, the U.S. is the cornerstone of the global pot market. Although worldwide weed revenue should move notably higher over the next couple of years, it's the U.S. and its 36 legalized states that are rightly generating the most buzz. This makes U.S. multistate operators (MSO) like Green Thumb a particularly smart investment choice in this fast-growing industry.

Green Thumb happens to have one of the largest physical presences among marijuana stocks in the United States. As of mid-September, the company had 65 operating dispensaries and held enough retail licenses in its back pocket to open another four dozen retail locations. 

Quite a few of the states Green Thumb is operating in are limited-license markets. In other words, regulators are purposefully limiting how many retail licenses will be issued in total, as well as to a single business. Even though Green Thumb isn't exactly a small fry, its management team is being smart by focusing on states where it'll have an opportunity to build up its brands and garner a loyal following without being steamrolled by its competition.

But arguably, the best thing about this company is its sales breakdown. A majority of the company's revenue is derived from higher-margin cannabis derivatives, such as vapes, edibles, oils, and infused beverages. Since derivatives are less prone to oversupply issues relative to dried cannabis flower, they're Green Thumb's ticket to recurring profitability.

A surgeon holding a one dollar bill with surgical forceps.

Image source: Getty Images.

Intuitive Surgical

A third no-brainer stock to invest $1,000 in right now is surgical-assisted robotic-systems developer Intuitive Surgical (ISRG -0.94%).

Usually, healthcare stocks are highly defensive. Since we don't control when we get sick or what ailment(s) we develop, there's always demand for drugs, devices, and medical procedures. But during the pandemic, Intuitive Surgical briefly fell victim to elective procedures being pushed further down the road. With this headwind now mostly in the rearview mirror, Intuitive can once again shine.

The first thing prospective investors should note about this company is its complete dominance of the surgical-robotics space. As of the June-ended quarter, Intuitive Surgical had 6,335 of its da Vinci systems installed worldwide, albeit most are located in the United States.

This might not sound like a large number, but it's more systems than any of its competitors on a combined basis. Considering how pricey these da Vinci systems are ($0.5 million to $2.5 million), as well as how many hours of training surgeons go through, Intuitive's clients tend to stay customers for a long time.

What's more, Intuitive Surgical's operating model is set up in such a way that it'll benefit from higher operating margins over time. Throughout the 2000s, the company brought in most of its revenue by selling its da Vinci systems. Unfortunately, these are complex and costly systems to build, so the margins associated with their sales were only modest, at best.

Today, a majority of revenue is generated from selling instruments with each procedure, as well as from servicing its systems. These are considerably higher margin channels for the company. As the installed base of da Vinci systems grows, so will Intuitive Surgical's operating margins.

The da Vinci system is also just hitting the tip of the iceberg in terms of its long-term potential. While it currently holds the leading share of urology and gynecology procedures, there's a long runway to grow its share in thoracic, colorectal, and general soft-tissue procedures. This is a transformative company that growth-seeking long-term investors are going to want to own.