Despite the mid-summer stock rally, this year has served up a number of hard truths for investors, particularly that stock market corrections are an ever-present risk. But it's important to not be shaken out of your positions, because stocks remain the best place to create generational wealth.
While people can always find a reason to sell off their portfolios and wait till the dust settles, it's important not to be on the sidelines when the reversal happens. Over the past two decades, the stock market averaged returns of 9.5% a year, but if you had sold off your stocks during any one of the big crashes -- the Tech Wreck of the early 2000s, the financial markets collapse of 2008, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 -- and you missed the 10 best days in the market, your returns would be nearly cut in half to just 5.3% a year.
Doing nothing was better than "doing something." Other than continuously adding more money to your portfolio, ignoring the volatility is the best strategy. Besides, corrections are the perfect time to invest more in high-quality stocks that are now offered at discount prices. The following three growth stocks under $100 are ones to buy now.
Especially in times of trouble, consumers turn to name brand goods because of the quality and consistency they offer. Make no mistake, consumers do often trade down for price to save money, but Colgate-Palmolive (CL 0.46%) makes the everyday essentials consumers need and use, which allows the consumer products giant to do well in all kinds of markets.
Beyond just the toothpaste and dishwashing liquid that it's best known for, Colgate makes some of the top-selling hygiene and personal care staples that people around the world use and are not willing to stop buying no matter how tough times get. Some 70% of Colgate's revenue comes from international markets.
Colgate-Palmolive might not be a growth stock in the sense that tech stocks are, but for a $68 billion business trading at about $81 a share, it's still on an upward trajectory. Wall Street forecasts revenue will rise 10% over the next five years before hitting $20 billion, with operating profits rising nearly 20% and free cash flow surging 33%.
The global consumer products giant has also paid a dividend since 1895 and has increased it every year since 1963, making it a Dividend King and a stock you can feel confident about buying no matter the market.
Sysco (SYY -0.58%) is the country's largest food products distributor, supplying restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments, and foodservice establishments. Even amid a period of high inflation and rising prices -- or perhaps because of it -- Sysco's business is more critical than ever.
This perhaps explains why fiscal 2022 sales were up 34% over 2021 and were even 14% higher than in 2019 before the pandemic set in. The stock currently goes for around $85 per share -- toward the higher end of its 52-week range.
As a transportation stock, Sysco is obviously going to feel the impact of rising energy costs, but its broad network has allowed it to avoid many of the problems others have experienced due to supply chain bottlenecks. This has allowed it to continue growing its market share. The company recently held a 17% share of a very fragmented industry, and so that certainly leaves room for growth.
And like Colgate, Sysco has a track record of paying a dividend, making payments to shareholders every year since it went public in 1970. It has raised its dividend every year since, which also puts it on that rarefied list of Dividend King stocks.
As a U.K.-based company, Unilever (UL -1.09%) tends to fly under the radar of many U.S. investors, but that would be a mistake. Like Colgate, it owns a portfolio of name-brand products, including Axe deodorant, Hellmann's mayonnaise, and Vaseline petroleum jelly.
While there is consistency and dependability in name brands, as discussed with Colgate, there is also pricing power, too. Despite the impact of inflation on consumers, Unilever was still able to pass along its own rising costs by raising prices over 11%, on average, in the second quarter.
Despite the hikes, organic sales were still up almost 9% for the period, though volumes were slightly impacted. But Unilever now expects to beat its previous full-year guidance for underlying sales growth of 4.5% to 6.5%.
Unilever also pays a dividend that yields 4% annually, but unlike Colgate or Sysco, it is not a Dividend King or even a Dividend Aristocrat (S&P 500 stocks that have raised their payouts for 25 years or more). Still, it has paid a dividend every quarter since 2009 and a half-year dividend since 1999, and the payouts have grown that whole time.
It's a solid stock that continues to grow over time, and at a price of around $47 per share, it should be on your list of stocks to buy.