Editor’s Note: This article is a part of our “Top Grad Stocks 2021” series, where our savvy market analysts recommend their best picks for new graduates’ portfolios. Check out “Money Moves for Recent Grads” for more finance advice and click here to see more stocks for your must-buy list.
Congratulations, you graduated college! You likely learned several key lessons, such as how to write a paper in just a few hours before the deadline and which cheap alcohol actually tastes good. However, chances are you feel unprepared when you look ahead to the future. How do you land the perfect job? Decide on employer-sponsored benefits? Fill a portfolio with winning investments?
For new grads, making investing decisions with the long term in mind is particularly hard right now. Retail investors are focused on meme stocks like GameStop (NYSE:GME) and speculative cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD). While you certainly might make a lot of money betting on these high-risk plays, they may not hold up in five or 10 years.
Luckily, InvestorPlace pros are ready to help! Their top grad stocks include defense equities, durable cryptos and growth-focused companies. With their help, you will be able to ace this next chapter of life.
In no particular order, here are the seven top investments InvestorPlace pros are recommending for new grads in 2021:
- Target (NYSE:TGT)
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
- PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)
- Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
- Litecoin (CCC:LTC-USD)
- Disney (NYSE:DIS)
Top Grad Stocks 2021: Target (TGT)
For new college graduates, the last year and a half have been anything but stable. Universities dealt with navigating Covid-19 and the challenges of pursuing remote and hybrid learning. Internships went on pause for the summer. Students struggled to find jobs. Up until a few weeks ago, many students were not sure they would even have a traditional graduation ceremony in 2021.
As InvestorPlace contributor David Moadel highlights, the story for Target in 2021 is the opposite. Instead of experiencing volatility, Target proved that it was stable.
For new investors, that makes Target quite an appealing option for the long term. Moadel writes that unlike penny stocks and meme stocks, Target is a company investors can add to their portfolios and forget about. Through thick and thin, the retailer will continue to deliver, and pay dividends.
Dreading adding an old-school name to your account? Think twice. Although Target is a defensive stock that benefits from its wide network of brick-and-mortar stores, it also offers growth. In the last year, Target saw its e-commerce sales soar 145%.
School may be out for the summer, but buying shares of Amazon stock is a lifelong learning opportunity. At least, that is how InvestorPlace contributor Dana Blankenhorn tells it.
Amazon is a stock that truly encompasses everything, meaning that it will give new investors exposure to several accelerating themes. The company obviously plays a dominant role in e-commerce, but it also leads in streaming and cloud computing. Its endeavors in telemedicine, pharmacy services and grocery retail also merit a closer look.
But beyond that, Blankenhorn sees Amazon as a lesson in corporate evolution.
If you buy Amazon now, he is betting that it will look different several years from now, and not in a bad way. The company will continue to grow and shift its resources into different verticals. In just a few weeks, CEO Jeff Bezos will step down from the helm. When Andy Jassy takes the lead role, he could split up the company, split the stock, or do something else entirely. No matter what, investors will get to navigate changing times.
Scared of the high share price? With Amazon trading for more than $3,000 a share, it’s not exactly kind on new-grad pocketbooks. However, Blankenhorn recommends pursuing fractional investing options on Robinhood or other platforms.
Top Grad Stocks 2021: PayPal (PYPL)
New grads certainly are familiar with PayPal and its Venmo service. However, they may not know that PayPal is one of the best investments they can make now.
As InvestorPlace contributor Tezcan Gecgil writes, PayPal stands out when looking to the long term thanks to its reach in fintech. Financial technology, or fintech, is a theme that continues to accelerate on Wall Street. Investors are betting on companies that promise to disrupt financial institutions and cut out the middlemen. These businesses, like PayPal, make transactions easier. That convenience factor will help PYPL survive and thrive.
What will thriving look like? Right now, PayPal has about 400 million active customers, and its average user transacts with PayPal 40 times a year. It already is the most popular online payment service in the United States.
Plus, as Gecgil writes, PayPal still has a key avenue for growth. The company has embraced cryptocurrencies, rolling out features that allow consumers to transact in Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD), Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD), Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash (CCC:BCH-USD). PayPal and Venmo also just announced that they will enable withdrawals to third-party wallets.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
Investor: Bob Ciura
Graduation can be a volatile time, which is why Bob Ciura thinks Lockheed Martin is one of the top grad stocks to buy. Just as the aerospace and defense company seeks to protect the nation, LMT stock offers portfolio protection.
For those unfamiliar,…