The stock market had a strong month of October with the S&P 500 rising 8% during the month, erasing some of its losses this year. But there are still some great deals out there for investors who are looking to buy and hold. 

If you've got $500 you can afford to invest right now, there are plenty of good stocks to buy that can make the most of your money. Depending on whether you're focusing on growth, safety, or dividends, three stocks you'll want to consider are Teladoc Health (TDOC 3.31%)Microsoft (MSFT 1.65%), and AT&T (T 1.17%).

1. Teladoc Health

A $500 investment in Teladoc Health can go a long way if you're willing to be patient. The company has been continuing to grow its revenue even though COVID-19 concerns have been subsiding this year. Telehealth is here to stay as it can provide an important role in making it easier to monitor chronic conditions while also improving efficiency by cutting down on in-person trips to the doctor's office.

This year, Teladoc projects its revenue will come in at around $2.4 billion. That's impressive for a company that in 2019 reported just $553 million in sales. Although it isn't profitable yet, Teladoc could be a great growth stock to own. 

Fortune Business Insights projects that globally the telemedicine market will grow at an impressive compound annual rate of more than 25% through 2027. And tech giant Amazon announcing that it's giving up on its own telehealth business this year should serve as proof that while the industry may be an exciting one to get into, it isn't as easy as it looks.

Between the organic growth opportunities in the industry and the possibility that a big tech company simply acquires Teladoc, there's potential for this beaten-down healthcare stock to easily double in value from where it is right now.

Trading at only 2 times revenue and recently hitting a new 52-week low, Teladoc is cheap compared to rival American Well, where investors are paying a multiple of 4 times sales for the business. 

2. Microsoft

If you're looking for growth and long-term safety, then you might want to put $500 into Microsoft. The big tech company is impressive in that it's been a top growth stock to own for decades. Even today, Microsoft still finds ways to expand its business and uncover new growth opportunities. In 2016, it acquired professional networking company LinkedIn. This year, it announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard in an effort to bolster its presence in the gaming world.

Those are the types of moves the company can make with ease as Microsoft's free cash flow over the trailing 12 months is an incredible $63 billion. As of the end of September, it had more than $107 billion on its books in cash and short-term investments.

In its first-quarter numbers for the period ended Sept. 30, revenue rose 16% to $50.1 billion (when excluding the impact of foreign currency). Most of its major segments generated sales growth of at least 10%, including its fastest-growing segment, Azure, which grew at a rate of 35% even after factoring in a negative impact from foreign currency.

Overall, Microsoft's business is stellar and at 25 times earnings, it's trading below its five-year average.

MSFT PE Ratio Chart

MSFT PE Ratio data by YCharts

3. AT&T

If it's a dividend you're after, then you may want to consider putting the $500 into AT&T. The telecom giant pays a dividend yield of 6%. On a $500 investment, that means $30 in annual dividends. Over time, you can add to your investment to help boost that recurring income even further.

The knock on AT&T is that over the past five years, it hasn't made for a great investment, with its share price falling 28% during that time. But with the company spinning off HBO (which is now part of Warner Bros. Discovery) and no longer having to worry about streaming, it's able to simplify its business and focus on just its core telecom operations.

And the efforts have been paying off, with AT&T reporting strong third-quarter results last month (for the period ended Sept. 30). Wireless service revenue grew 5.6% year over year -- the best the company has recorded in over a decade. Its AT&T Fiber business also had its second-best quarter ever with 338,000 net adds, which was also the 11th straight period of at least 200,000 net adds. Its adjusted earnings per share of $0.68 was also significantly higher than the $0.2775 that the company pays out in dividend per share, which should alleviate any fears about the safety of the payout.

AT&T is a bit of an underdog right now, but with the company demonstrating some positive results of late and the stock trading at just 7 times profits, this is an underrated dividend stock to own, one that has plenty of upside should it continue producing strong results.