If I was looking to allocate $1,000 in stocks today, I would concentrate on industry leaders and beloved brands that still have bright futures. I believe Amazon (AMZN -4.03%) and Apple (AAPL -2.34%) are still two very attractive investments to hold until retirement.
These stocks have made investors massive returns over the last 10 years, and it's no secret why. They provide products and services used by billions of people, and their techy nature and massive revenue streams enable them to manufacture growth by continuing to delight their customers with innovation. After reviewing what these companies are up to (see below), consider investing $1,000 in the one stock you like best, or splitting the total and putting $500 into each if you can't decide.
Amazon's stock price is down 8.5% over the last year, which trails the 7.4% positive return of the broader market as measured by the S&P 500 index. But it's only a matter of time before Amazon takes off again. While revenue is not growing as fast as it was in 2020, revenue was still up 57% in the fourth quarter of 2021 over the same quarter in 2019.
Amazon doesn't innovate in the same way a product manufacturer like Apple does. Instead, Amazon's innovation is through faster delivery speeds, which is crucial to staying ahead of competitors. This is why Amazon was able to accelerate revenue during the pandemic. It doubled its fulfillment capacity over the last two years, which is not easy for a company that generated $470 billion in revenue last year.
Market participants are focused on near-term headwinds, such as a tight labor market, higher labor costs, and inflationary pressures on Amazon's bottom line. In the fourth quarter, higher costs to deal with these issues cut Amazon's operating profit in half compared to the year-ago quarter. But CEO Andy Jessy is not only optimistic about where the business is headed. He suggested in Amazon's 2021 annual report that there are still new areas of growth that Amazon hasn't even penetrated yet:
Amazon is a big company with some large businesses, but it's still early days for us. We will continue to be insurgent -- inventing in businesses that we're in, in new businesses that we've yet to launch, and in new ideas that we haven't even imagined yet. It remains Day 1.
Amazon has been a great growth stock to own over the last few decades. A $1,000 investment in Amazon in 2012 would be worth over $16,000 today. It may not return the same amount over the next decade, but Amazon's investments in expanding fulfillment capacity spell more revenue growth ahead. You can't go wrong holding this top growth stock for the long haul.
Apple is launching its budget-friendly iPhone SE at the right time. Last quarter, Apple reported record product revenue of $104 billion following last fall's launch of the new iPhone 13. This performance was impressive given the supply chain constraints that have made sourcing components difficult in the semiconductor industry over the last year.
Growth in Apple's installed base of devices is fueling record revenue in services, which hit $19 billion, up 24% year over year. Higher demand for apps and subscriptions is also driving higher margins, and Apple may not be done stacking its service lineup with ways to add more recurring revenue in the business.
Bloomberg recently reported that Apple may be planning to offer a subscription plan for customers to buy hardware devices. This could further accelerate the adoption of iPhones, making them more affordable for the masses.
Apple's stock price more than tripled over the last three years. Its higher valuation might keep it from delivering similar returns over the next few years, but demand for iPhones is great news for the long-term growth in the lucrative services business. Analysts expect Apple to generate 10% annualized growth in earnings per share over the next five years, and that's probably a reasonable estimate of what kind of returns investors can expect.