The success you achieve as an investor will depend on many variables, but one of the most important is your holding period. A recent study from Putnam Investments illustrates this point perfectly. From 2005 to 2020, the S&P 500 generated an annualized return of 9.9%, a pace that would have turned $10,000 into $41,000. But if you had missed the 10 best days during that period, your annualized return would have been just 4.3%, and your initial investment would have grown into only $18,800. That's a big difference.

The point is this: No one knows which 10 days will ultimately be the best 10 days, so it doesn't make sense to try your hand at market timing. Chances are you'll get burned. Instead, a buy-and-hold strategy makes more sense. With that in mind, Globant (NYSE:GLOB) and Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) look like two great long-term investments.

Here's why.

Businessperson sitting at desk and typing on computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Globant

To remain competitive, businesses must evolve quickly and keep pace with technology. But building out a digital presence and implementing strategic changes can be a difficult task, and organizations often require external insight. To that end, Globant specializes in IT consulting and product engineering, offering its expertise across a range of trendy technologies like analytics, blockchain, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

Globant also has a portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools that streamline the implementation of new solutions. For instance, Augmented Coding is a product that predicts computer code to hasten software development. And Navigate is a product that leans on process mining and data science to evaluate workflow efficiency and anticipate bottlenecks. In short, Globant helps businesses accelerate their digital transformation initiatives.

Thanks to that timely value proposition, its business is growing quickly.

Metric

Q3 2019 (TTM)

Q3 2021 (TTM)

CAGR

Customers

744

1,018

17%

Revenue

$615.2 million

$1.2 billion

37%

Data source: Globant SEC Filings, YCharts. TTM = trailing 12 months. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

Looking ahead, Globant is well-positioned to maintain that momentum. The company puts its market opportunity at $154 billion by 2022, and the founder-led management team continues to innovate. Most recently, Globant announced Metaverse Studio, a set of services that will help businesses build metaverse experiences and keep pace with the industry as it evolves.

As a final thought, the International Data Corp. believes enterprises will spend $6.3 trillion on digital transformation between 2022 and 2024. As that trend plays out, Globant and its shareholders stand to benefit significantly. That's why this stock is a smart buy.

2. Zscaler

Technologies like cloud computing and software-as-a-service have seen widespread adoption, meaning many businesses depend on resources that exist outside of their private data centers. Likewise, remote work has become more popular, meaning many employees need to access corporate resources from off-site locations. Those changes have made traditional network security solutions (e.g., firewalls and costly on-site appliances) ineffective and inefficient.

Zscaler solves that problem. Its secure access service edge (SASE) platform spans 150 global data centers, delivering network services and cybersecurity from the cloud. That scale translates into better performance and more effective threat detection, and it has helped Zscaler parlay its first-mover status into an ironclad competitive advantage.

In fact, research company Gartner has recognized Zscaler as the industry leader for 10 consecutive years, citing greater capabilities and a more complete vision than any other vendor. Given that incredible track record, it should come as no surprise that the company is growing at a rapid clip.

Metric

Q4 2019 (TTM)

Q4 2021 (TTM)

CAGR

Customers

3,900

5,600

20%

Revenue

$302.8 million

$673.1 million

49%

Data source: Zscaler SEC Filings, YCharts. TTM = trailing 12 months. CAGR = compound annual growth rate. Note: Q4 2021 ended July 31, 2021.

Looking ahead, Zscaler has plenty of room to grow. The company puts its addressable market at $72 billion, and the founder-led management team has demonstrated its ability to execute. For instance, the company recently launched Zscaler Cloud Protection, a product that extends zero-trust security to workloads in the public cloud, an environment that has often been overlooked by businesses.

Moreover, Gartner believes 60% of enterprises will have explicit plans in place for SASE adoption by 2025, up from just 10% in 2020. That tailwind plays into Zscaler's strengths, and it should translate into market-beating returns for shareholders. That's why this stock belongs in your portfolio.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.