While there are no guarantees when it comes to investing in the stock market, setting defined goals for your portfolio and investing accordingly in companies that align with your risk tolerance and interests can help you build a profitable basket of holdings that stand the test of time. 

If your goal is to retire with $1 million in your portfolio of investments, here are three stocks you may want to consider including on your buy list as you build out that strategy and diversify your holdings. 

Let's take a closer look. 

1. Vertex Pharmaceuticals 

The fight against genetic and other rare diseases is changing. Diagnoses that were death sentences just a few decades ago can now take on a more nuanced meaning, as patients are living longer and with a better quality of life thanks to innovative medicines and treatments. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX -1.35%) is one company that has fundamentally changed the meaning of a cystic fibrosis diagnosis. 

Its products -- part of a class of drugs known as CFTR modulators -- are designed to help the flawed protein that causes the disease to function correctly. This means that among a range of benefits, these drugs can help cystic fibrosis patients live longer. 

Right now, Vertex Pharmaceutical's product portfolio exclusively revolves around cystic fibrosis medicines. However, its impressive pipeline -- which includes a rare blood disorder candidate called exa-cel that it's submitting for rolling review with its partner CRISPR Therapeutics this month -- could hold even more promise for the company and shareholders over the next decade and beyond. 

In the most recent quarter alone, the company reported net product revenue of $2.3 billion, an 18% increase from the year-ago quarter. Its operating income totaled $1.1 billion, while net income came to $931 million for the quarter, representing respective increases of 7% and 9% on a year-over-year basis. Vertex Pharmaceuticals also closed the quarter with nearly $10 billion of liquidity on hand. 

Over the past decade, the stock has delivered a total return of over 570%, compared to the market's return of roughly 230% in the same period.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals investors can tap into the growth trajectory of a robust business with an enviable track record of not only habitually increasing its revenue but achieving profitability. 

2. Upstart 

Upstart's (UPST 0.44%) business is predicated around its proprietary AI-powered platform, which relies upon a range of non-traditional factors to determine whether or not to extend credit to consumers. These factors can range from an applicant's education to work history, on top of traditional credit-based elements. 

Now, it's understandable that some investors are wary about Upstart's prospects in the current macroeconomic and stock market environment. In a high-interest rate, high-inflation setting, concerns about consumer defaults, and fewer loan applications in general, are valid. And recent layoffs, coupled with a lukewarm few quarters, have soured some investors on the company

All that being said, Upstart's innovative business model is not only democratizing but automating the world of lending. This is a process that has historically kept more than half of Americans without access to prime credit. However, because of Upstart's AI-powered model, more than 70% of all loans originated on the platform -- which range from personal loans to small business loans to auto loans -- are approved on a fully automated basis. To date, it's helped more than 2.4 million customers and counting, enabling 75% fewer defaults at the same approval rates as U.S. banks and 173% more approvals than traditional U.S. banks at the same loss rate.

While the near-term may pose some distinct challenges for a business like Upstart's, it's worth mentioning that this occurs against the backdrop of a robust few years of financial performance. Last year the company generated revenue of $864 million, a 264% increase from the prior year. It was also very profitable, with net income of $135 million, representing a nearly 2,200% increase from 2020.

And in 2020 -- the company's first year as a publicly traded company -- its revenue grew 42% to $233 million, and it reported net income of $6 million compared to a net loss of $0.5 million the prior year. Investors with significant risk tolerance could still find opportunity in Upstart stock, but patience will be required. 

3. Amazon 

Amazon's recent quarterly report (AMZN -1.67%) kept investors on their toes with a bottom line beat and a revenue miss from what Wall Street was estimating, but there's far more to focus on beyond this three-month period in the tech giant's journey. 

Even Amazon hasn't been impervious to the multitude of headwinds afflicting companies across a range of sectors right now, from high inflation to supply chain disruptions to changes in consumer spending to foreign currency weakness. 

However, the stock remains an unequivocal leader in two of the fastest-growing and largest markets on the planet: e-commerce and cloud computing. In terms of its e-commerce footprint, Amazon controls an incredible 40% of the $1 trillion U.S. market as of 2022. As for the global e-commerce market -- a space on track to hit a valuation of $27 trillion by the year 2027 -- Amazon's footprint accounts for about 13%. 

In terms of the global cloud market -- worth roughly $200 billion as of 2022 and estimated to reach a valuation of around $1.6 trillion by 2030 -- Amazon still controls more of this space than any other player, beating out the likes of Microsoft with its Azure platform and Alphabet with its Google Cloud. Currently, Amazon's market share accounts for 34% of this lightning-growth space. 

This backdrop lends some perspective to the past few quarters. It's also important to note that Amazon's net sales still rose 15% to $127 billion in the most recent quarter, and while net income was down on a year-over-year clip, the company was still profitable to the tune of about $3 billion. 

Amazon has increased its annual revenue, net income, and cash from operations by more than 530%, 12,000%, and 746%, respectively, over the past decade. Yes, you read that right. And in that same period, Amazon has delivered investors a return of roughly 680%. All that being said, the long-term thesis for Amazon holds true in my book. For long-term investors, there are plenty of reasons to love Amazon for a buy-and-hold portfolio.