When you invest in the top quality businesses, then you can hold your investments for the truly long term -- not only years, but perhaps even decades. As Warren Buffett once said, "Time is the friend of the wonderful business and the enemy of the mediocre."
In that spirit, our contributors share with our readers three particularly strong investments to buy and hold for the coming decade.
Andres Cardenal (Disney). Disney (NYSE:DIS) is an undisputed leader in the global entertainment industry. The company owns tremendously powerful brands such as ESPN, Pixar, Marvel, and Disney itself. Disney also owns the rights to many of the most popular and recognizable fiction characters around, ranging from Mickey Mouse to Darth Vader, among countless others.
Disney is an intergenerational company that has built strong emotional ties with consumers of all ages across the world. In addition, the company has the ability to monetize its assets via multiple platforms. For example, a successful movie sets the stage for more opportunities in home entertainment, live shows, and merchandising products.
Speaking of successful movies, Disney will be launching Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Dec. 18, and everything is indicating that the film could be an explosive success. Movie booking site Fandango told Variety that The Force Awakens is already the biggest pre-seller in the history of the ticketing company, and most industry insiders believe that the movie is on track to becoming a major blockbuster. Disney is already working on new movies and spinoffs from the Star Wars franchise, so a strong launch for The Force Awakens could drive new business opportunities for years to come.
Todd Campbell (Regeneron): Regeneron's (NASDAQ:REGN) $59 billion market cap means it's far from an unknown entity, but I think it could become part of the biotech echelon in the next 10 years, and if so, there's still plenty of running room ahead of it.
Regeneron's market-leading Eylea, a therapy for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema, racks up $4.4 billion in annualized sales and that cash is financing a robust pipeline of intriguing -- and potentially top-selling -- new drugs.
In July, Regeneron won FDA approval for Praluent, a cholesterol-busting drug that could have multibillion-dollar-per year sales potential, and the company's other late-stage trials include sarilumab, an arthritis drug, and dupilumab, a treatment for eczema and asthma, which could catapult Regeneron into a leader in the treatment of autoimmune disease.
Importantly, Regeneron has top-notch partners helping it develop these drugs, and that's keeping R&D costs in check and spreading out the risk of a trial failure.
Regeneron's partners include Bayer, which is teamed up with it on Eylea, and Sanofi, which is collaborating with it on Praluent, sarilumab, and dupilumab.
Because Regeneron already has one successful drug on the market, may have just added a second one, and has the potential for two others soon, I think its shares have plenty of potential upside.
Daniel Miller (General Electric): Investors can go about this topic many ways. On one hand, a stock you would like to hold for a decade could be a young company with tons of potential that will take years to live up to your investing thesis. Or you can take a time-tested company with a well-balanced business with remaining growth potential. For this, I'll take the latter and go with General Electric (NYSE:GE) as a great addition to any long-term portfolio.
While GE may not remind investors of a stock with much remaining growth potential, it really has a lot of room left to run. Over the next decade there is serious upside for GE's business in aerospace, healthcare, and a recovery in energy would be a huge boost for this industrial powerhouse.
Plus, now that GE has finally spun off the riskier consumer side of its capital arm as Synchrony Financial – think store credit cards and retail finance -- there is much less risk holding this industrial juggernaut for the long term -- remember, it was the finance arm that got GE into significant trouble during the financial crisis. Also, as a result of the spinoff, it was basically the equivalent of repurchasing $20.4 billion in GE common stock, as it reduced the outstanding float of GE by 6.6%.
Meanwhile, as GE continues to forge ahead in growth markets such as aerospace and healthcare, the company is taking strides to develop more synergies throughout its many businesses and increase margins going forward. Now that GE's portfolio of business is more centered on its industrial roots, this seems like a great time to jump onboard the GE bandwagon for the next decade.
Andrés Cardenal owns shares of Walt Disney. Daniel Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.