If you want to retire rich, you need stocks that will provide the returns to help you reach your financial goals. But with thousands of stocks to choose from, finding the most promising ones can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

With some guidance, though, it is possible to find promising stocks for your retirement portfolio. In the following video, Motley Fool investment-planning editor Lauren Kuczala talks with longtime Fool contributor and retirement planner Dan Caplinger about the key things to look for when evaluating a stock for a retirement portfolio. With factors that include healthy dividends, solid growth, and stock-price stability, few stocks pass all of Dan's tests, but he shares the companies that have done the best out of the hundreds of different stocks he's looked at over the years. Dan also provides some additional insight on what he's learned during his long search for the best stocks.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.