Were you struggling to find that perfect last-minute Christmas gift for someone on your shopping list? Is there still someone you haven't had a chance to exchange gifts with? Perhaps you want to give a gift you know will really matter in the long run, but just forking over some cash doesn't feel quite right.
You're in luck. While it may not be as fun as a new video game console or as showstopping as an expensive piece of jewelry, you can never go wrong giving someone stocks they can hold on to for a lifetime while they grow in value.
To this end, here's a bundle of five different stocks that anybody would be happy to own for the long haul, in no particular order.
1. Walt Disney
Walt Disney (DIS -1.83%) isn't an organization that needs an introduction. Its name is synonymous with fun all over the world, and rightfully so. Its movies, theme parks, and television shows draw millions of interested consumers year in and year out; it's also the operator of several resorts that aren't geared toward kids, as well as the parent to cable networks like ESPN and Freeform as well as the ABC TV network.
The point is, the company has numerous revenue-bearing platforms, and it's good at optimizing all of them. That's why it's been a perennial favorite among investors for decades now.
Apple (AAPL 0.83%) isn't a buy just because it's the biggest, most profitable company in the world. It's the biggest, most profitable company in the world because it gives consumers what they want. That also just happens to be the same reason you or a loved one would want to buy and hold the stock for a long, long time.
While its business will eventually evolve to defocus on its flagship business -- the iPhone -- Apple's got plenty of other levers to pull. Its App Store generates about a fifth of its total top line, and that proportion has steadily grown for years. More recently, Apple's foray into the streaming market with Apple TV+ is starting to get serious traction. Digital TV Research estimates the streaming service will be serving nearly 36 million viewers by 2026, well up from estimates of around half that figure right now. And of course, these subscriptions only make people more likely to remain plugged into Apple's already-enormous digital ecosystem.
Coca-Cola (KO 1.64%) has been around for 135 years now. And, given the nature of the business -- beverages -- it could easily be around for another 135. All consumers will eventually get thirsty.
If you think growing interest in healthier diets is a problem for the company, think again. While it is true that more consumers are steering clear of sugary sodas, Coca-Cola isn't just Coke anymore. It's not even just soda anymore. This company is also the parent to Dasani bottled water, Gold Peak iced tea, Powerade sports drink, Minute Maid juice, and Glaceau vitamin water, just to name a few. It's got something for everyone, in addition to some serious marketing firepower.
The kicker: Coca-Cola has raised its dividend 59 years in a row now. Given its Dividend Aristocrat status, it's likely to do whatever it can to keep that streak going.
4. Bank of America
With $2.4 trillion worth of assets under its roof, Bank of America (BAC 0.63%) is the country's second-biggest bank (JPMorgan Chase is the biggest, with an asset base of $3.3 billion).
Theoretically, the size of the bank shouldn't matter to investors. In reality, though, BofA is one of the biggest names in the business because it happens to be one of the best names in the business as well. From traditional consumer banking to investment management to institutional services, Bank of America can do it all, and do all of it well.
It's now prepping to do all of it well outside of America. While it's already doing some banking business in China, in early November it was reported that BofA is looking to establish itself as a brokerage firm in the Far East country as well. That's a market worth around $20 billion per year right now but could be worth considerably more in the future as the country's middle-class consumers evolve into investors.
5. Berkshire Hathaway
Finally, add Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 0.07%) (BRK.B 0.18%) to the list of tickers that would make up the perfect bundle of stocks to give as a gift in just about any holiday season.
In many ways, it's the perfect gift from one investor to another, as the fund's portfolio is changed as needed by Berkshire's managers rather than requiring Berkshire shareholders to make an outright buy/sell decision. And it's also a great long-term pick simply because it lends itself to long-term (even lifetime) holding periods rather than short-term holds that tend to eat into investors' prospective profits; we really don't know what Berkshire Hathaway has bought or sold until it's already been bought or sold. Moreover, while the fund owns lots of publicly traded companies, it also holds a bunch of great companies you can't otherwise invest in, like Duracell batteries, Geico Insurance, and Fruit of the Loom apparel.
More than anything though, owning a stake in Berkshire Hathaway is tantamount to owning a piece of Warren Buffett's legacy. He's arguably the world's most famous investor, and even though he's less involved in the business these days, his disciplined stock-picking approach lives on in the conglomerate he started back in 1965.