Different people have different predictions about how stocks will perform over the next 11 months. And none of them know for sure whether stocks will go down, up, or sideways.
But long-term investors don't have to play this guessing game. Here are three unstoppable stocks to buy no matter what happens in 2022.
Alphabet (GOOG 5.34%) (GOOGL 5.32%) caused a frenzy last week by announcing a 20-for-1 stock split. This move really won't matter all that much, although it could spur some individual investors to buy the stock and perhaps secure Alphabet a spot in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index.
What makes Alphabet unstoppable (and such a great stock to buy) are its moat and its growth prospects. Few, if any companies, enjoy as strong of a competitive advantage as Alphabet does with Google Search and YouTube, especially, but also with Android, Chrome, and other products.
Advertising should continue to be a steady growth driver for Alphabet. However, the company has even bigger growth opportunities with Google Cloud and its "other bets" businesses, notably including its Waymo self-driving car technology unit.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai recently stated that the company is "definitely looking at blockchain" -- another great area for expansion. And with a cash stockpile of nearly $136.7 billion (including cash equivalents and marketable Alphabet has plenty of money to invest in other new opportunities. Regardless of how 2022 turns out, this company is built to survive and thrive over the long run.
2. Intuitive Surgical
Sure, the pandemic has disrupted robotic surgical systems leader Intuitive Surgical's (ISRG 0.42%) business to some extent. Many hospitals pushed back non-emergency surgeries due to surging COVID-19 admissions. It's possible that the coronavirus omicron variant and other emerging variants could continue to negatively impact Intuitive.
However, surgical procedures won't be pushed back indefinitely. Also, the availability of COVID-19 pills and potentially variant-specific vaccines could help bring the pandemic to an end. It's important to note that Intuitive delivered solid revenue and earnings growth in 2021 despite facing coronavirus-related challenges.
Even better, Intuitive's long-term tailwinds are much greater than its short-term headwinds. Aging populations across the world should fuel increased demand for surgical procedures that are ideally suited for robotic assistance. Intuitive has especially promising growth opportunities in international markets.
Currently, only a tiny fraction of total surgical procedures are performed using robotic systems. Intuitive Surgical's innovation should expand its market significantly over the coming years.
Nvidia (NVDA 2.40%) first made a name for itself by powering video games with its fast graphics chips. Gaming continues to generate 45% of the company's total revenue.
But Nvidia's data center revenue is likely to soon surpass its gaming revenue. The company's graphics chips are well-suited for the massive processing capacity needed by artificial intelligence (AI) apps.
Don't overlook Nvidia's professional visualization unit, though. It's actually the company's fastest-growing business. Nvidia's Omniverse platform for virtual 3D design and collaboration is already a big hit. Omniverse Avatar, which can be used to generate interactive AI avatars, could be a market opportunity in the tens of billions of dollars per year.
Omniverse is Nvidia's first foray into the metaverse, but the company could make even more money over the long term supplying graphics chips that bring the virtual world to life. Nvidia also has tremendous growth prospects with its self-driving car technology.
Some investors might be disappointed that Nvidia's planned acquisition of ARM Holdings is highly likely to go up in smoke this year. But with multiple ways to deliver tremendous growth, this stock has legs even without ARM.