The right stock market investments can change your life. Don't believe me? Consider this: A $5,000 investment in Apple in 2002 would be worth a little over $2.5 million today. Similarly, a $5,000 investment in Tesla, made only ten years ago, would be worth $641,000 today.
Not all investments skyrocket in value. But, as others have said, you only need to get rich once.
A few well-timed investments can help you do just that. And, best of all, they don't have to be cases of catching lightning in a bottle. Instead, the best way to grow your wealth is to diversify, balancing tried-and-true companies with a few speculative names. So here are my three stock picks that could help set you up for life.
My first stock that could help set you up for life is Amazon (AMZN -4.41%). What I like about Amazon is that it is a barometer for the U.S. economy. Its famous e-commerce website and sprawling distribution network are legendary. Investing in Amazon is a bet on ever more U.S. consumer spending. And that's a bet that has paid off -- time and time again.
However, it would be a mistake to consider Amazon strictly as an e-commerce company. Indeed, it generates nearly 30% of its revenue from other sources. That includes Amazon Web Services (~17% of revenue), subscription services (~8% of revenue), and physical stores (~4% of revenue).
What's more, right now is a particularly great time to buy shares. Amazon trades at a price-to-sales (P/S) ratio of 2.5 -- nearly the lowest level in six years. Moreover, Amazon just completed a 20-for-1 stock split, bringing the cost of a single share to around $120 instead of more than $2,000. Of course, that doesn't change anything about the company's fundamentals, but it does make it easier to accumulate $5,000 worth of shares without having to deal with fractional shares.
Amazon offers a great mix of growth, value, and staying power. And it's a stock that can help set you up for life.
The second stock that could help set you up for life is Crowdstrike (CRWD -0.83%). As a maker of cloud-based cybersecurity software, Crowdstrike is well positioned to benefit from an enormous problem: cybercrime.
As small businesses, corporations, and governments, expand their online infrastructure, they become juicy targets for cybercriminals. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime costs will rise to over $10 trillion by 2025. That's more than the combined gross domestic product of Japan and Germany.
Crowdstrike is building the tools to keep those costs down. The company's AI-powered platform patrols its customers' networks, scanning for suspicious activity and preventing breaches.
Crowdstrike is early in its growth cycle, with only $1.6 billion in revenue over the last 12 months. However, its revenue is growing 61% year over year, as the company continues to add customers rapidly.
Analysts expect Crowdstrike to top $2.2 billion in revenue for the fiscal year 2023 (the 12 months ending on Jan. 31, 2023), and they expect over $3.0 billion of revenue for fiscal 2024.
That said, it's still early days for Crowdstrike, and the company is not yet profitable. Investors should bear that in mind and stay focused on the long term regarding this stock.
My third and final stock that could help set you up for life is Chevron (CVX -0.90%). It is the value stock that helps balance out the overall portfolio. Chevron is a dividend aristocrat, having raised its regular dividend every year dating back to 1987. Its dividend yield stands at 3.9% -- well above the S&P 500's average dividend yield of 1.3%.
While it's unlikely that Chevron shares will skyrocket in value over the next five, 10, or even 20 years, that doesn't mean it can't help set you up for life. After all, owning a dividend aristocrat has its own rewards.
For example, if you had invested $5,000 in Chevron in 1992 and reinvested your dividends payments into Chevron shares, you'd have $129,700 today. It may not be as sexy as Amazon, Tesla, or Crowdstrike, but it is savvy.
What's more, Chevron remains a cornerstone of the energy industry. With $177 billion of annual revenue, it ranks as the 15th largest U.S. company by revenue. In addition, it generates $21 billion of free cash flow annually and boasts a 14.7% return on equity.
In short, it's an outstanding value stock. Moreover, it should continue to deliver excellent returns for years to come. Smart investors would be wise to make it part of a balanced portfolio. One that could set them up for life.