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3 Top Stocks to Buy in November and Hold Forever

By Keith Speights – Nov 1, 2021 at 5:55AM

Key Points

  • Amazon.com is a customer-focused internet giant that's still like a startup in several ways.
  • Intuitive Surgical is only scratching the surface of the opportunity in robotic surgical systems.
  • MercadoLibre has two major ways to grow in Latin America.

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No mulligans are required with these great stocks.

Measure twice, cut once. That's a long-held practice of the best carpenters. The idea is that if you're extra sure to do something right the first time, you won't have to do it again.

This concept applies in lots of other areas as well -- even investing. When you do your homework and buy the right stocks, you won't have to quickly sell them to buy other stocks. Ideally, you'll never have to sell.

There's no time like the present to incorporate this approach into your investing strategy. Here are three stocks to buy in November and hold forever.

Smiling person with hands held behind head while sitting in front of a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Amazon.com

Amazon.com's (AMZN 2.10%) Q3 results fell far short of analysts' estimates. Higher costs due to a labor shortage and global supply chain disruption stood out as the biggest issue. But I think what Amazon is doing in response is highlights why this stock is one to buy and hold forever.

CFO Brian Olsavsky said in Amazon's Q3 conference call, "But we see ourselves as the shock absorber absorbing a lot of the costs so that the customer is not impacted and sellers are not impacted." He added, "Most companies would delay shipment or incur -- add fees or something. We don't think that is customer-centric nor productive..."

This focus on customers is what differentiates Amazon. The guiding philosophy extends throughout the company's operations and into its research and development. It's what has made Amazon highly successful so far. It's what should enable the company to continue its winning ways.

And there are lots of opportunities for Amazon to win. E-commerce still reflects only a fraction of total retail sales. Organizations are still flocking to AWS' cloud services. Gaming and healthcare have tremendous growth potential. Amazon might be a $1.7 trillion company, but in some ways it's still a start-up.

2. Intuitive Surgical

COVID-19 threw a curveball at Intuitive Surgical (ISRG 2.77%). Non-emergency surgeries were delayed for a while. Intuitive's typical strong growth was interrupted. 

Now, everything appears to be back on track for the robotic surgical systems pioneer. Procedure volumes have returned to strong growth. Shipments of Intuitive's systems are soaring. Even a global pandemic only temporarily hurt this resilient company's business.

After more than two decades of forging the path for robotic surgical systems, Intuitive is still only scratching the surface of its opportunity. There are five times as many procedures for which its technology could be used right now -- with no additional regulatory clearances needed whatsoever -- than were performed with Intuitive's systems last year. Continued innovation could easily more than triple that market. 

Probably the only speed bump in Intuitive's way is the increased competition in its market. However, the company's extensive track record, loyal customer base, and overall expertise should give it significant competitive advantages. This healthcare stock appears to be set to deliver huge gains over the next decade and beyond.

3. MercadoLibre

Some think of MercadoLibre (MELI 5.12%) as the Amazon.com of Latin America. There's already one Amazon already on the South American continent, but there's only one MercadoLibre.

The company is, like Amazon, a leader in e-commerce. In the second quarter of 2021, MercadoLibre sold nearly 245 million items and reached 37.8 million unique buyers. Its platform is especially strong in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico -- three of the largest Latin American markets. 

MercadoLibre should have a massive growth runway ahead in e-commerce. Morgan Stanley estimates that e-commerce made up 8% of total retail sales in Latin America last year. The firm projects that percentage will double by 2025. 

But there's also another reason to buy and hold MercadoLibre stock -- its fintech business. The company's MercadoPago payments platform topped $17.5 billion in total payment volume in Q2. With banking access still somewhat limited throughout much of Latin America, fintech should be a major growth driver for MercadoLibre.

The company's market cap remains below $75 billion even with shares quintupling in value over the last three years. I think that MercadoLibre's growth prospects make it a great stock to buy in November and hold forever.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Keith Speights owns shares of Amazon, Intuitive Surgical, and MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Intuitive Surgical, and MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon, long January 2022 $193.33 calls on Intuitive Surgical, short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon, and short January 2022 $200 calls on Intuitive Surgical. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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