For most people, $1,000 can be helpful in all kinds of ways -- from paying bills to reducing debt or taking a weekend vacation. And if you can spare that amount to put into the stock market, it could help set the stage for impressive long-term returns.

Of course, the key is to invest in the right companies. Let's explore why Walt Disney (DIS 1.55%) and Revolve Group (NYSE: RVLV) might fit the bill now.

Walt Disney

Never underestimate the power of a strong brand. Walt Disney understands this advantage, and has used it to dominate its niche in the global entertainment industry. The company's wide economic moat and reasonable valuation should help ensure its continued success.

Coined by Warren Buffett, "economic moat" refers to a company's ability to maintain a competitive advantage over rivals. Over the years, Disney has carefully cultivated and acquired intellectual properties such as Star Wars and The Marvel Cinematic Universe. These assets exemplify Disney's edge, because they are reliable cash cows that rivals would struggle to replicate.

The intellectual property has also helped Disney rapidly attract audiences to its streaming service Disney+, which (combined with Hulu+ and ESPN+) boasts 221 million subscribers.  

Stock chart moving upwards

Image source: Getty Images.

Disney's third-quarter revenue jumped 26% year-over-year to $21.5 billion, powered by the post-pandemic recovery in the amusement park segment. And while streaming was a $1.06 billion drag on operating income (total operating income still increased 50% to $3.57 billion), management expects the business to start turning a profit in 2024.

And with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 18.8, Disney's stock trades at just a slight premium over the S&P 500's multiple of 18.3. 

Revolve Group 

Revolve Group is an online fashion retailer that sets itself apart through its focus on social media influencers and trend-predicting algorithms. While the business faces recent macroeconomic challenges, Revolve's unique strategy could set the stage for a long-term rebound. 

With the U.S. suffering an annual inflation rate of 8.2%, this is a difficult time to be a retailer. Consumers are seeing a dramatic decline in purchasing power, impacting the amount of money available to spend on clothing and other goods. With that said, Revolve is holding up reasonably well in the face of these difficulties.

Second-quarter sales grew 27% year-over-year to $290.1 million despite challenging comps against 2021's pandemic-driven online shopping craze (that sent sales up 60%).

Management plans to drive continued growth through technology. The company is refining its internal data science to improve the user experience. This includes better recommendations to help customers design "looks" (these are items of clothing the algorithm determines will match well together). 

With a P/E multiple of 21, Revolve stock trades slightly higher than the S&P average. But the valuation looks fair considering its respectable growth rate and catalysts for continued success. 

The value of an economic moat 

While Disney and Revolve Group are very different companies, they both boast strong competitive advantages. Disney has industry-leading intellectual property, which it is using to create a streaming empire. And Revolve Group's algorithms and social-media-driven marketing strategy set it apart from other retailers.

Both companies look capable of navigating near-term challenges and turning a $1,000 investment into significantly more over the long term.