Retirement is a blissful period when you can do whatever you want with the time you have. However, to achieve this idyllic state, you'll need to ensure that your finances can hold up. To counteract the effects of rising inflation, you'll need to ensure you invest your money in companies that demonstrate consistent growth in both earnings and dividends.
Investing isn't as tough as it sounds. You need to look out for companies that have strong market positions, a great brand, tailwinds to sustain their business growth, and competent people at the helm. Once you've identified such candidates, you'll need to have the patience to hold on to these winners over the long term to let compounding do its magic.
Retiring as a millionaire is an objective that's within reach, and these three stocks can help to accelerate your journey toward that goal.
1. Match Group
The pandemic may have physically separated the world due to social distancing measures and border closures, but Match Group (MTCH -2.23%) is helping people to connect via its wide range of dating apps. The company owns popular dating apps such as Tinder, PlentyofFish, Meetic, and OKCupid, and has demonstrated steady growth in revenue and operating income over the last three years. Revenue rose from $1.7 billion in 2018 to $2.4 billion in 2020, while operating income climbed from $549.4 million to $745.7 million over the same period.
Match's growth momentum has carried on into the current year, with the first nine months of 2021 seeing a 25.1% year-over-year jump in revenue to $2.2 billion. Operating income increased by 16.2% year over year to $619.8 million, and the company's free cash flow rose by 26.2% year over year to $614.1 million.
The company continues to enhance its various brands by incorporating new and interesting experiences to create loyal users. Video and live-streaming have been featured in apps since 2020 and have been a useful tool in helping people get to know one another even better. Tinder also recently partnered with Spotify (SPOT -1.14%) to launch a new music feature where users can hear a 30-second clip of a potential match's chosen song. It's one of the many new ways Match is trying to enhance the matching process and get users hooked on its apps. Tinder's CEO is also contemplating a "Tinderverse" to blur the lines between the real and virtual worlds, as the company becomes the latest to join the metaverse craze. Users will get a chance to meet one another's avatars and engage in relationships at virtual dating venues within the simulated metaverse.
Etsy (ETSY 1.67%) is another company that has seen its fortunes surge sharply with the onset of the pandemic. The business runs an e-commerce platform that features unique, handcrafted items as a selling point. From 2018 to 2020, revenue has nearly tripled from $603.7 million to $1.7 billion, while net income has more than quadrupled from $77.5 million to $349.2 million over the same period.
Etsy continues to enjoy steady growth for the first nine months of 2021, with its gross merchandise sales (GMS) rising by 39.2% year over year to hit $9.3 billion. Revenue climbed in tandem, rising by 45% year over year, while net income surged by 65.4% year over year to $332 million. The company's operating metrics look healthy too, with active sellers doubling year over year to 7,461 and active buyers increasing by close to 38% year over year. GMS per buyer also jumped by 20% year over year to $132, and repeat buyers rose by 35% year over year to 36.1 million.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Etsy is investing in new experiences to continually engage its audience. Its platform is offering real-time personalization to enable quicker searches and an overall better customer experience. The company is also tapping on augmented reality by launching The Etsy House, an interactive experience that allows shoppers to conduct a virtual tour of a digital home filled with high-quality accessories and merchandise. With its strengthening ecosystem and the network effect kicking in, Etsy has room for more growth in the years to come.
Nike (NKE -0.16%) is well-known for its innovative sports footwear and apparel that has been worn by world-class athletes over decades. The strength of the company's brand has enabled it to overcome the pandemic-related closures during its fiscal year 2020 to post stronger results for the fiscal year 2021 (FY2021). Revenue for FY2021 stood at $44.5 billion, higher than the previous fiscal year's revenue of $39.1 billion. Net income had climbed from $4 billion to $5.7 billion, buoyed by Nike's pivot to digital sales to replace lost sales from its brick-and-mortar stores.
The sports footwear giant has maintained its momentum for the first half of fiscal year 2022 by posting an 8% year-over-year rise in revenue to $23.6 billion. Despite ongoing supply chain issues, Nike posted a 16% year-over-year increase in net income to $3.2 billion. CEO John Donahoe believes that the company is now in a "much stronger competitive position" than it was at the start of the pandemic. Nike recently launched its Alphafly Next Nature in line with its sustainability goals, as this new shoe has more than 50% of its weight consisting of recycled material.
Nike is also working with Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS 1.80%) to link the member accounts for both businesses together to provide exclusive offers and promotions. The company is also making a big bet in the digital space with the launch of NIKELAND, a three-dimensional immersive world, on Roblox (RBLX 0.05%). The tie-in with Dick's and its foray into the virtual world should ensure Nike continues to engage its customers and generate strong loyalty for its products, thus sustaining its growth trajectory over the long term.