For most people, $300 isn't a fortune. But it could help set the stage for some pretty impressive returns if invested in the right companies over a long enough time frame. Nvidia (NVDA 6.76%) and Dollar General (DG -1.51%) fit the bill. Let's explore why either of these stocks could turn your money into significantly more over the long term. 

Nvidia 

Nvidia is a tech company known for manufacturing graphics processing units (GPUs) and other advanced computer hardware. New growth drivers like artificial intelligence (AI) could help power the next leg of growth. 

The near term has been challenging for Nvidia as pandemic-related tailwinds subside. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 21% to $6.05 billion because of weakness in the company's gaming segment, which declined by almost half. But with the introduction of the AI chatbot ChatGPT, investors are becoming increasingly confident that Nvidia could soon win a new lease on life. 

While companies like Apple and Alphabet spend billions developing consumer-facing AI platforms in an increasingly competitive space, Nvidia is content to provide hardware components behind the scenes. Management is working with 10,000 AI-related start-ups in a variety of industries to hopefully help power the next generation of these platforms. Nvidia's enterprise-focused strategy shields the company from the competition because it enjoys a 91.4% market share in enterprise GPUs. 

With a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 53, Nvidia's stock is valued significantly higher than the S&P 500 average of 21, which can make it more vulnerable to market volatility. That said, the company's excellent niche in the AI growth opportunity helps justify its premium price tag. 

Dollar General 

Founded in 1955 as one of America's first dollar stores, Dollar General is a staple for defensive investors who prioritize stability and resilience. The company's focus on low-priced goods makes it recession resistant and positioned to succeed in this uncertain economy.

Unlike big-box retailers like Walmart, which invest in large stores, often in middle-class areas, Dollar General takes a different approach. The company keeps prices as low as possible through a no-frills shopping experience, often locating its stores in rural areas or underserved communities where the costs of land and labor are lower. 

Man reviewing his finances

Image source: Getty Images.

According to CEO Todd Vasos, 65% of Dollar General's locations also lack adequate healthcare services. And although the plan is still in its early stages, Dollar General sees pharmaceutical products and services as a potential opportunity for growth and diversification. So this is something investors should watch closely.

As of March, management expects diluted EPS growth to be in the range of 4% to 6%, which is lower than the analysts expectation of 6.6%. But while Wall Street may be pessimistic about Dollar General in the near term, its long-term prospects remain sound -- especially as a hedge against economic uncertainty as possible recession. It's valuation is also attractive.

With a forward P/E multiple of 19.5, the stock is slightly cheaper than the S&P 500 average. the low valuation adds another layer of safety to an already-resilient company. 

Which stock is best for you?

Nvidia and Dollar General are both potentially good places to put a $300 investment. But they serve different investment strategies. With its somewhat volatile revenue streams and high valuation, Nvidia stock is a higher risk/higher reward pick. On the other hand, Dollar General probably won't grow as fast, but it offers more stability.