Whether someone's a novice investor or has invested in stocks for years, it's no secret that we've been seeing a new type of volatility driving the peaks and valleys of the pandemic market. From fears about record inflation to concerns about the highly contagious omicron variant to the astronomical popularity of meme stocks and other more speculative investments, the investing landscape that the average retail investor faces today is very different from what it was a decade ago.
But, even in challenging periods, this shouldn't keep people from investing in great companies with solid businesses. History has taught us that the market favors those who stay in it for the long term. Over the past five years alone, the S&P 500 has delivered a total return of nearly 130%, while the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have generated respective total returns of 200% and 105%.
For investors hunting for stocks to beef up their portfolios as we head into the New Year, here are three to consider adding to the basket right now.
1. Intuitive Surgical
The field of surgical robotics is a rapidly expanding multi-billion-dollar industry. In fact, the industry is on track to hit a stunning global valuation of more than $10 billion by the year 2030. From cardiac surgery to pediatric surgery to general surgery, medical robots enable healthcare providers to perform a wide range of procedures with greater efficiency, shorter recovery times, and less discomfort to the patient. Leading this burgeoning and lucrative field is Intuitive Surgical (ISRG -0.96%).
The company controls more than three-quarters of the global surgical robotics market and is known for its da Vinci Surgical System, its flagship product. As a result, the company recently reported that its da Vinci system has been used in an eye-popping 10 million surgical procedures around the world in the more than two decades since it garnered U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. According to Intuitive Surgical, "there are more than 6,500 da Vinci surgical systems installed in 67 countries, and more than 55,000 surgeons worldwide have trained on the use of da Vinci systems."
In the third quarter, Intuitive Surgical's revenue jumped 30% year over year and its net income rose 21%. The company also reported that it shipped 72% more da Vinci systems during the three-month period than in the year-ago quarter.
The stock is up roughly 36% over the past year -- bear in mind, that's despite the fact that the company held a 3-for-1 stock split in September. The stock isn't anywhere close to exhausting its runway, so investors should take a second look now before shares jump even higher.
2. Innovative Industrial Properties
Speaking of revolutionary stocks, another great one for investors to consider right now is Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 1.27%). Because it's a real estate investment trust (REIT), this means that the company is required to pay out at least 90% of its income in dividends. Not only is the stock trading up about 40% over the trailing 12 months, but its current dividend yield is a healthy 2.3%.
The company currently owns a portfolio of 103 properties that span the nation in states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New York, and Virginia. It leases these properties to licensed medical marijuana growers, including Cresco Labs, Green Thumb Industries, and Trulieve.
During the first nine months of 2021, the company's revenue of $145.6 million and net income of $85.4 million exceeded that of the same period in 2020 by 82% and 92%, respectively. Innovative Industrial Properties also reported adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) to the tune of $126.4 million during the nine-month period, a 90% jump from the year-ago stretch.
Whether a longtime cannabis investor or someone newer to this space, this marijuana REIT is one to put on the radar ASAP.
What's more revolutionary than a company that's helping to change the future of work? With the onslaught of workers quitting their jobs and more people turning to careers that offer remote and hybrid options, the gig economy is a logical next step for many. Fiverr (FVRR -1.23%) is one of the top freelance platforms in the world. It provides the tools and the medium necessary for workers to connect with individuals and businesses that need their services.
From logo design to voiceover work to copywriting, buyers and sellers of freelance services can find just about any niche imaginable on Fiverr's platform. As of the end of the third quarter, Fiverr reported that it had 4.1 million active buyers on its platform, a jump of 33% year over year.
Meanwhile, the company's revenue and average spend per buyer rose by respective amounts of 42% and 20% during the three-month period compared to a year ago, while its take rate expanded 27% year over year. Even though Fiverr isn't profitable right now, it reported adjusted EBITDA of $7.3 million in the third quarter, up 74% from the year-ago period. In addition, the company has continued to generate positive free cash flows to maintain any current expenses.
With the stock trading at a discount of about 40% compared to just a year ago. Even as its business continues to grow and expand in a new phase of the pandemic, now looks like the right time to consider buying this stock on the dip.