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15 Stocks That Make Great Holiday Gifts

Author: Selena Maranjian | December 05, 2021

A gift box wrapped in money and a bow.

Source: Getty Images

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What better introduction to investing?

Most of us need to be saving and investing for retirement (and possibly other things, too, such as our kids' educations and/or a down payment on a home). But millions who could be investing are not. One way to wake up some noninvesting loved ones is to start them off with some shares of stock in a healthy and growing company that they know. Gifts of stock can be an effective way to draw young people into investing, too.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

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Children with adult in an aisle of a toy store.

Source: Getty Images

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1. Hasbro

With a recent market value near $13.5 billion, a dividend recently yielding 2.75%, and an average annual return of 14% over the past decade, Rhode Island-based Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a major toy and game company. Much of its long-term success is tied to its powerful brands, such as Monopoly, Power Rangers, Play-Doh, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, My Little Pony, Transformers, and much more. Hasbro has been around for a long time, finding great success with toys and games, but it's branching out into entertainment now and finding success with that, too. This stock would be especially perfect as a gift for children.

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A CVS associate talks to a child near the pharmacy seating area.

Source: CVS Health

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2. CVS Health

With close to 10,000 retail locations all over America, there's a good chance that a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) location is not too far from anyone you might give CVS stock to. With a recent market value near $121 billion and more than 300,000 employees, the pharmacy chain is a major American business. It's busy transforming itself, too, adding new store formats such as those offering primary care and wellness-focused HealthHUBs. The company's solid third-quarter results featured revenue up 10% year over year and diluted earnings per share up nearly 19%. The stock recently yielded 2.2%.

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Mickey and Minnie Mouse greeting visitors to Disneyland.

Source: Walt Disney

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3. Disney

Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) is a terrific stock choice for children, but it can make adults wealthier, too. With a recent market value near $270 billion, it's one of America's largest companies, and it probably encompasses more than you realize. There are Disney theme parks, of course, and Walt Disney Studios, but also Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, ABC Entertainment, FX, National Geographic, ESPN, the Disney+ streaming service, and part of Hulu -- among plenty of other businesses.

ALSO READ: 7 Reasons Why I Doubled Down on Disney Stock This Week

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A white Nike sneaker.

Source: Nike

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4. Nike

Nike (NYSE: NIKE), based in Portland, Oregon, and named for the ancient Greek goddess of victory, is even bigger than Disney, with a recent market value near $268 billion. It made its name with revolutionary sneakers (invented with the help of a waffle iron) and has gone on to expand to a wide range of sports footwear and apparel. It now encompasses not only its flagship brand but also Converse and Jordan. The company's first-quarter results were disappointing, but bulls are excited about the growth of its digital endeavors; its digital revenue surged 28% year over year in the last quarter.

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Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett at his company's annual shareholder meeting.

Source: The Motley Fool

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5. Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) is a huge conglomerate that has been headed by superinvestor Warren Buffett for more than 50 years, and it has averaged annual growth of 20% in that period, doubling the S&P 500's average rate of 10%. It's so big now, with a recent market value topping $630 billion, that its growth rate has slowed. But it's a solid gift choice because it's a rather safe and reliable performer. It's loaded with companies owned entirely, such as GEICO, Benjamin Moore, Fruit of the Loom, McLane, Dairy Queen International, and the entire BNSF railroad -- and also with lots of stock in other companies. It recently owned some $135 billion worth of Apple and nearly $50 billion worth of Bank of America, for example. Buffett is 91 now and won't be at the company forever, but succession plans are in place.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

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Exterior of PayPal's headquarters.

Source: PayPal

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6. PayPal

There's a lot to like about digital payment processor PayPal. It's more than just the PayPal service itself, as the company now encompasses the popular Venmo service, too, among other things. With a recent market value near $220 billion, this is not an undiscovered gem, but it still has solid growth prospects over the years and decades ahead. Its user base is growing, and it has a promising partnership with Amazon.com, for example.

ALSO READ: Will PayPal Be a Trillion-Dollar Stock by 2030?

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Zynga's Words With Friends game on mobile phone.

Source: Zynga

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7. Zynga

Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) can be a fun stock to own, because it's all about games, especially the mobile kind, though it's eyeing expanding into the console game arena. Its game franchises include CSR Racing, Empires & Puzzles, FarmVille, Golf Rival, Hair Challenge, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, High Heels!, Merge Dragons!, Merge Magic!, Queen Bee!, Toon Blast, Toy Blast, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker. Zynga's acquisition of Chartboost earlier this year will help it drive more revenue through advertising, and its continuing acquisitions of game studios will help it launch more games. This is a promising stock gift, and with a recent market value near $7 billion, Zynga's stock even looks undervalued these days.

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Amazon logo.

Source: Amazon

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8. Amazon.com

Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) needs little introduction, as it has grown from a modest online bookseller in the 1990s to a seller of just about everything, with a recent market value near $1.8 trillion. There's ample reason to expect continued solid growth from the company, though its growth rate may slow. For one thing, more and more people are buying more kinds of things online (spurred in part by the recent pandemic). And at the same time, Amazon is expanding into the physical realm, with brick-and-mortar stores. Its hugely successful Amazon Web Services is likely to continue delivering cloud computing services to a wide range of customers, too. It also benefits from its Prime membership, which has U.S. customers paying more than $100 apiece every year. Overall, membership tops 200 million.

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Artist's rendition of an Apple store.

Source: Apple

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9. Apple

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is far bigger than even Amazon, with its market value recently near $2.6 trillion -- in large part due to sending hundreds of millions of iPhones out into the world. Apple is a solid stock to own because the company is very experienced and successful at introducing new kinds of products -- like the iPod, the Apple Watch, and even the iPhone itself. Apple even pays a dividend, which recently yielded 0.56%. That may not be very significant, but its growth rate is significant: Over the past five years, it has been increased by 9% annually, on average.

ALSO READ: Is Apple Stock a Buy?

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A Target entrance with a balloon arch near the doorway.

Source: Target

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10. Target

With a recent market value near $120 billion, Target (NYSE: TGT) is one of America's biggest retailers, with more than 350,000 employees and more than 1,900 stores. According to the company, "75% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Target store." It's a generous company, too, sending 5% of earnings back out into the communities where it operates. The company's dividend recently yielded 1.45%, and it has been increased at an average annual rate of 8% over the past five years.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

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A lobby entrance to a Bank of America

Source: Bank of America

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11. Bank of America

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), with a recent market value near $370 billion and a dividend recently yielding 1.8%, is another solid blue chip that could make a valuable gift for a loved one. (Its dividend has been increased by 23% annually, on average, over the past five years, and by 12% annually over the past three years.) The stock, a favorite of Warren Buffett, whose company Berkshire Hathaway recently owned about 12.5% of it, soared 36% in the first half of the year and stands to benefit when the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates.

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Costco Wholesale logo.

Source: Costco Wholesale

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12. Costco

Costco (NASDAQ: COST), with a recent market value of $245 billion, 800-plus stores, more than 100 million members, and close to 290,000 employees, is another major American retailer. The company has several virtuous circles working for it: For starters, it serves all constituents well -- employees, customers, and shareholders -- with above-average wages and benefits, low prices, and a steadily growing stock price. It's also been working to keep prices low, which has been retaining more members. Costco's stock price is a bit rich these days, so you might want to wait for a pullback, or just buy a few shares.

ALSO READ: Here's Why Costco Can Continue Its Growth Streak

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Pfizer logo.

Source: Pfizer

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13. Pfizer

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), 170 years old and with a recent market value of $294 billion, has long been a pharmaceutical powerhouse, but in the past year it has become a household name, as millions of Americans have received its COVID-19 vaccine. It's worth remembering that its business encompasses far more than that, with treatments focused on a range of diseases, from oncology to immunology, rare diseases, and more. Its pipeline is rich, recently featuring a total of 94 projects -- 29 in phase 3 of development. If just a few of those are eventually approved and become blockbuster drugs, Pfizer shareholders will be rewarded. Meanwhile, the company pays a dividend that recently yielded 2.9%.

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Verizon logo.

Source: Verizon Communications

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14. Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) makes a great stock gift in large part due to its hefty dividend -- which recently yielded 4.9%. Better still, the dividend's payout ratio, measuring the percentage of earnings being paid out in dividends, was recently only about 47%, suggesting that the dividend isn't in any danger of being shrunk and that there's room for increases, too. Wireless telecommunications giant Verizon sports a market value recently north of $215 billion. It has close to 1,500 retail locations, is rolling out a 5G network, and is buying Tracfone.

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A building on a Microsoft campus.

Source: Microsoft

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15. Microsoft

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is a stock many people wish they bought decades ago, but it's not too late to buy it now -- for yourself or for a gift. Its market value recently topped $2.5 trillion, and it pays a dividend, too, which recently yielded 0.75%. That may not seem significant, but small sums can add up, and the payout has been increased at an annual rate of 10% over the past five years. The Microsoft world includes many valuable assets, such as the dominant Windows operating system, the pervasive Office suite of productivity software, the Azure cloud-computing platform, Surface devices, Xbox gaming systems, and more. It even owns Skype and LinkedIn.

5 Stocks Under $49
Presented by Motley Fool Stock Advisor
We hear it over and over from investors, “I wish I had bought Amazon or Netflix when they were first recommended by The Motley Fool. I’d be sitting on a gold mine!" It's true, but we think these 5 other stocks are screaming buys. And you can buy them now for less than $49 a share! Click here to learn how you can grab a copy of “5 Growth Stocks Under $49” for FREE for a limited time only.

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A piggy bank wearing a Santa hat posed next to gifts

Source: Getty Images

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Consider stocks as gifts

These are just a few of many stocks that could be terrific gifts for your loved ones. Instead of giving a tie or a mug or something that will be quickly forgotten, give shares of stock -- which may appreciate greatly over many years and/or which can spark interest in investing for the recipient.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Selena Maranjian owns shares of Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, PayPal Holdings, Walt Disney, and Zynga. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, Nike, PayPal Holdings, Walt Disney, and Zynga. The Motley Fool recommends CVS Health, Hasbro, and Verizon Communications and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon, long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings, long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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