Investing is a game of patience, and the wealth from getting rich slowly often far outlasts overnight fortune. Winning in the stock market is as simple as buying and holding solid companies for years at a time, but it's much harder in practice than most realize. Finding the right stocks to hold can be a daunting task, with roughly 2,800 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange alone!
So how about some help? These five stocks won't make you rich right away, but they have proven to be long-term winners if you have the patience to hold them.
1. Philip Morris International
Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PM -1.25%) is the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company by market cap and is worth more than $155 billion. It owns and sells the Marlboro brand of cigarettes and the IQOS heated tobacco system in global markets outside of the United States. The company made $31 billion in revenue in 2021.
Growth hasn't been stellar; revenue has grown just 3% per year, and earnings-per-share (EPS) just 5% annually over the past five years, but its IQOS product is hitting its stride and offers even better profit margins than cigarettes. Investors get a sizeable dividend that yields almost 5%, which can turbocharge total returns if reinvested. I think the continued growth of IQOS could lift Philip Morris in the years ahead.
2. Procter & Gamble
Household products conglomerate Procter & Gamble (PG 0.21%) is behind many of your favorite soaps, detergents, shampoos, and lotions. Its famous brands range from Tide to Pampers, and products number thousands more -- they added up to $76 billion in sales in 2021. The business is mature, growing revenue by 3% annually and EPS by 8% annually over the past five years.
However, consumers tend to buy Procter & Gamble's products through both good and bad times. As a result, investors have benefited from one of the world's most resilient dividends; management has raised the dividend annually for 65 consecutive years! Investors get a solid yield of 2.2% and feel can confident that those dividend checks will keep coming.
Many people are customers of Sherwin-Williams (SHW -1.54%) and don't even know it. Sherwin-Williams makes many of the paints, stains, and coatings you buy at home improvement stores and has a whole network of self-titled stores across North America. The company's 2021 revenue surpassed $19 billion and has grown 11% per year over the past five years, while EPS has grown 12% on average.
Paint may not be an exciting business, but the company keeps delivering year in and year out. The company's dividend yields just 0.9%, but it's been paid and raised for 43 straight years and seems poised to continue that streak. The hot housing market is helping the company thrive despite dealing with widespread supply chain issues. While the company's business may fluctuate with the economy over time, a multi-decade dividend track record should give long-term investors confidence in its ability to roll with the punches.
A stock in similar circumstances, Lowe's (LOW -2.71%) has benefited as one of the two major home-improvement retailers in the U.S. High demand for home projects due to stimulus and a hot housing market has propelled Lowe's to grow revenue by more than 10% over the past three years and EPS by a whopping average of 61% per year over the same time.
Again, don't make the mistake of thinking that this is a fluke. Lowe's is a storied dividend stock. The company's raised the dividend for 59 years in a row, more than almost any other public company. It has done so through multiple recessions and market cycles. The 1.5% dividend yield seems solid considering its steady increases. A house is the largest purchase most people make in their lifetimes, so I wouldn't expect money to stop flowing into Lowe's pockets anytime soon.
One of the world's most famous brands, McDonald's (MCD -1.26%) is a legendary restaurant brand that dates back to the mid-1950s. Today, there are more than 39,000 locations worldwide, seemingly in every notable town or city in America. The company operates a franchise business model, making most of its money from the rent and royalties it collects from store owners. In 2021, that added up to $23 billion of total revenue.
In recent years, revenue growth has struggled, averaging negative 1% growth over the past five years, but share repurchases have helped EPS grow 13% per year. Investors should look for improving revenue growth, but note that 2020 was a down year due to COVID-19. McDonald's has stood the test of time, paying a 2.2% dividend yield and raising it for 46 straight years. Investors should look for that to keep going as long as revenue growth can stabilize in the low single digits moving forward.