If financial goals are top of mind as you head into 2016, consider investing now in new stocks to get a jump on the year ahead. Top analysts at The Motley Fool – whose mission is "To help the world invest. Better." – pick three stocks that look especially compelling for the year to come.
Coming off a great 2015 and hitting a new all-time high this summer, the Disney stock should be even more rewarding in the year ahead.
Why? To start, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The highly anticipated seventh installment in the iconic sci-fi franchise comes out later this year, and most of the box office receipts, home video proceeds and related merchandise sales will be recorded in 2016.
In addition, Disney's theme parks are seeing updates, including a new Frozen-themed boat ride at Florida's EPCOT park and the first Marvel-themed ride in Hong Kong Disneyland. Shanghai Disneyland will open in 2016 with Disney as a minority stakeholder.
Of course, it's not all pixie dust and mouse ears: ESPN experienced its first sequential dip in subscribers, and millennials kissing their cable or satellite television provider away will hurt Disney Channel, ABC and ABC Family. But, content is still king, and there's no denying that Disney is royalty. Streaming opportunities will more than offset what the company loses elsewhere.
Buying energy companies might not be en vogue today, with the prices of oil and gas at lows we haven't seen since the financial crisis. But investors with a bit of a contrarian in them should consider ExxonMobil.
While no one can predict where oil prices are going, ExxonMobil still looks like an encouraging investment. The company's new production plans are based on prices of oil remaining around $55 per barrel for quite a while. And its other divisions, such as refining and retail, actually benefit from cheaper oil prices.
Also, as the world's largest publicly traded energy company, it has the size and scale to handle the market downturn better than almost any other energy company.
It hasn't been a good couple of years for LinkedIn. After the professional networker put up stellar 89% gains in 2013, shares lagged the broader market in 2014 and are doing likewise year-to-date for 2015.
But things could be different in 2016.
The acquisition earlier this year of Lynda.com, an online learning company, has a lotof scalability potential. And 2016 will also bring about the completion of three self-managed global data centers.
When the build-out, started in 2013, is complete, the pressure on cash flow will be alleviated, and LinkedIn can begin reaping the benefits of lower operating expenses per data center. The centers are very much an investment in future growth, enabling the company to handle increased usage from its growing member base, another reason 2016 should be a pivotal year.
Disney, ExxonMobil and LinkedIn are all worth your consideration, but if you're looking for a stock that's flying under the radar, check out...
The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends LinkedIn and Disney and owns shares of ExxonMobil. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.