Ever run an Internet search for something like "investing tips?" You'll get a flood of results from people claiming to have expert knowledge on the stock market. As a humble college student, I must admit that I'm a bit intimidated by the experts. Some of these guys have been investing for longer than I've been alive!

To be honest, I don't have any unique investing insights or expertise. My sole aim is to invest the little money I have (I am a student, remember) in relatively low-risk stocks. Lately, I've begun to think that blue-chip stocks are probably best for me.

Blue chips are the companies you hear quite a lot about in the news. They won't necessarily skyrocket overnight -- or even in a year or two. But I'm young, so that's no big deal. I want that money to sit there for a while.

The best of the best
In my role as an intern at The Motley Fool, I've been looking at several well-known blue-chip stocks in order to compare their past performance with that of the market. It's funny. Over a two-year period, I'm not too impressed. But over a longer time period -- say, 20 years -- the results are amazing. The following table illustrates the remarkable difference:

Annualized Return:



Citigroup (NYSE:C)



Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)









Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)



Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)



Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)



S&P 500



Over a two-year period, only two of the blue chips outperformed the market. Perhaps that's not much of a shock. But over a 20-year period, all of these great companies beat the market -- every single one of them. And that's probably not shocking, either, since these are the best of the best of American business.

If, like me, you're looking to buy to hold, blue chips remain one of the safest ways to go. And from the table above, it's clear that investing in great companies can deliver outstanding returns. While large-cap stocks may preclude the possibility of quick mammoth returns, the size of these businesses also diminishes the likelihood that these stocks will go under and leave you empty-handed. Even if you're already an investing pro, the stability these stocks lend your portfolio in a volatile market is an invaluable asset.

Where to find them
Fortunately for me (and you), the second annual Motley Fool Blue Chip Report just came out. Last year, the report's recommendations absolutely crushed the market. Our blue-chip selections were up 23% overall, compared with 9% for the S&P 500. And this year, it looks like another fantastic collection of stocks.

But I wouldn't limit myself to just this year's picks. One of the only selections to underperform last year was Johnson & Johnson. Hmmm. The fundamentals remain just as strong, but the stock is trading at a more attractive valuation. I'd better add that one to the shopping cart.

To see all of last year's and this year's picks, click here to order your Blue Chip Report today.

3M, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft are all Motley Fool Inside Value selections, while Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick.

Foolish intern Claire Hsing has yet to fetch anyone coffee this summer. She owns shares in GE. The Fool has a disclosure policy.