Investors with only a few dollars to put into play might be put off by the seemingly high prices of some top stocks. Amazon is still priced at more than $130 a share after the company's 20-for-1 stock split, while Alphabet still goes for $115 after splitting its stock by a similar ratio.

Many brokers will allow you to buy fractional shares, enabling those with even limited budgets to still own a piece of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway -- currently trading at more than $43,000 a share or $289 for its "baby" shares. But a good alternative is for investors to focus on excellent companies more in line with the money they have available.

That doesn't mean buying penny stocks, which will more than likely cause you to lose your entire stake. Instead, the following stocks are priced under $50 each and offer great long-term appreciation potential.

Person handing over $50 bill.

Image source: Getty Images.


Tobacco giant Altria Group (MO 0.28%) is down 20% from its May high as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all but crushed the chance of Juul Labs still selling its once-leading electronic cigarette. Altria owns a 34% stake in Juul, and though the agency temporarily withdrew its ban, the market remains pessimistic that will last.

Altria was also poised to roll out Philip Morris International's (PM -0.83%) IQOS heated tobacco device last year when the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled the e-cig violated patents held by British American Tobacco (BTI 0.13%) and prohibited Altria from importing it into the U.S. Philip Morris also announced it is acquiring Swedish Match, which directly competes against Altria's nicotine pouches and could pave the way for Philip Morris to enter the U.S. market without having to go through Altria.

Yet Altria still offers investors lots of potential. The fact the FDA paused its Juul ban suggests there may still be a path forward and Altria also has its own e-cigs under development that it is readying for pre-market approval. 

Also, while smoking itself is in secular decline, cigarettes remain a highly profitable business for Altria, generating $3.1 billion in operating income in the second quarter and $11.6 billion last year. Its Marlboro brand still owns the market with an almost 43% share, and Altria itself owns nearly half the tobacco market.

Altria pays a very safe, attractive dividend, which yields 7.9% annually. It has raised the payout every year for more than 50 years, making it a Dividend King. The depressed stock price and dour market sentiment, coupled with strong, long-term growth potential make this dividend stock currently trading at around $45 a share a buy.

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA -0.87%) has been similarly beaten down over perceived lost opportunity, but it also remains an affordable, dividend-paying stalwart with lots of room to grow.

Walgreens' problems stem in part from its decision to not sell off its U.K.-based Boots pharmacy chain. It had considered the strategic separation of the business, along with the No7 Beauty cosmetics and beauty care products company, but it didn't feel suitors were willing to pay what the businesses were worth and withdrew them from the market.

And it's not like these are damaged business. In fact, they're growing very strongly. The beauty care business has been growing its market share and Boots' comparable retail sales jumped 24% last quarter. Although pharmacy comps were down, that was because of a one-time reimbursement last year from the U.K.'s National Health Service.

Walgreens has been struggling to recover from the pandemic-related store closures that upset its business, as well as inflation and rising labor costs. The cost containment program it implemented is already paying off, with annual savings now expected to deliver $3.5 billion by fiscal 2024 compared to the $3.3 billion in savings it previously estimated.

Walgreens has paid a dividend for 89 years and has raised it every year for the last 47 years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. The payout yields 5% and, at around $37 a share, it's a solid stock you can pick up today and hold on to for years.