The Best Stocks to Buy Now (April 2017)

best stocks to buy nowOur running list of the best stocks to buy now just got five new additions. Our round-up is heavy on tech this month - because that's where the money is right now.

The Nasdaq is up 9.22% in 2017. That's more than double the 4.57% return of the Dow Jones in the same time period. It's logged 21 record closes this year and hit another intraday high on April 5.

FANG stocks like Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL) may grab a lot of attention. After all, they've played a big role in the Nasdaq's outperformance this year.

But the picks on our list of the best stocks to buy now offer a chance to get in before the crowd - and for a lot less money.

Our top stocks to buy include the best profit play in the autonomous vehicles space... a way to cash in on cloud computing, social media, and video streaming all at once... a small-cap digital advertiser taking on the bigger players... and more.

For tech profit opportunities you won't find anywhere else, read on. We add to our stocks to buy list often, so drop by Money Morning again soon.

Best Stocks to Buy Now No. 1: Grab a 30% Gain as Silicon Valley Takes Over Detroit

We're getting closer to fully autonomous vehicles, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are the building blocks that will get us there. Features designed to reduce driver error like lane-departure warning systems, drowsiness alerts, and automatic emergency braking are being offered in more new vehicles. And there's a lot of money at stake here: The driverless vehicle market could reach $42 billion by 2025.

Money Morning Director of Tech & Venture Capital Research Michael Robinson has been writing about the "connected car" trend for years. He's helped investors make a bundle along the way, too. In April 2015, he told readers to grab shares of Mobileye NV (Nasdaq: MBLY), a maker of sensors and cameras for driverless vehicles. On March 13, 2017, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) ponied up $15.3 billion to buy the Israeli company. Investors who acted on Robinson's call are now sitting on 45% gains.

That wasn't his only winner in this space, either. His December 2015 pick, Harman International Industries Inc., was a pioneer in auto tech innovation. It delivered shareholders a 28% single-day gain when its acquisition by Samsung Electronics was announced on Nov. 14, 2016.

Now Robinson is back with another pick. He says it's the best place to put your money in the connected and driverless vehicles space right now. This company makes hundreds of the components that form the backbone of the ADAS tech featured in so many new cars and trucks.

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As a key tech supplier to the industry, it counts just about every automaker as a customer. To keep its competitive edge, it just shifted a quarter of its R&D staff to focus exclusively on ADAS.

In its last earnings call, the company blew past forecasts for fourth-quarter profits by almost 15%. Year-over-year revenue increased 11% to $4.3 billion.

Robinson says this company is a great investment regardless of whether it becomes an acquisitions target (which is quite possible). He projects a 30% gain in its stock over the next 24 to 28 months, absent a buyout offer. A deal would just be icing on an already profitable cake. Learn more about this top tech stock to buy - and get the ticker - right here...

Best Stocks to Buy Now No. 2: Surging Global Data Traffic Makes These Shares a No-Brainer

Robinson also uncovered a unique way to profit on video streaming, social media, and cloud computing all at once.

Worldwide, we watch a lot of video. YouTube users collectively log a billion hours each day. Netflix viewers watched 116 million hours of content a day in 2016. Facebook? 110 million hours a day spent viewing videos.

That takes up a lot of bandwidth. And that's where data centers come in. All that video has to run through them to be processed. Data centers also provide businesses with cloud solution services.

Global data center traffic is set to grow 33% annually through 2019. And the market for "multi-tenant" data centers worldwide is increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 12%.

The company Robinson recommends operates 145 data centers in 30 metro areas. More than 2,000 corporate clients link into those facilities. Half of sales come from social media titans like Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook boasts 1.86 billion monthly active users. LinkedIn has 467 million members. All those users ensure increasing traffic and steady business for this firm.

Data centers are plenty profitable, too. Every dollar of revenue for this company translates into roughly $0.57 in adjusted profits. The average client lease is about 12.8 years long. The cost for a customer to move its equipment to another location is $10 billion to $20 billion. Both make for a high customer retention rate.

This stock is up 10.15% so far this year. Investors also benefit from reliable dividend income. Shares currently yield 3.5%, and that dividend has grown 13% annually since 2005. Data center rent hikes and booming global data traffic mean it will likely keep growing, too.

For a solid foundational holding that offers a rising share price along with income, click here to read the full story...

This next pick on our best stocks to buy list is up 183.6% this year, with more gains on the way...

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Best Stocks to Buy Now No. 3: Digital Advertising's "Little Guy" Packs Big Profits

Alphabet Inc. was recently downgraded by analysts to "Hold" over an ad placement controversy. But Options Trading Specialist Tom Gentile says there's a better advertising stock to invest in anyway. And it'll cost you far less than buying into GOOGL, which currently trades around $845 a share.

U.S. digital advertising is set to generate $83 billion in revenue this year. Gentile says the best way to profit is with a fairly new company that offers ad solutions to digital marketing campaigns. It uses artificial intelligence and real-time data to fine-tune marketing efforts across online media.

The company recently announced an expanded partnership with IBM Corp. Together they're creating a new technology that detects brand sentiment in online news to inform customer buying decisions.

This stock is up 19.4% since Gentile told readers about it on March 23 and 183.6% so far this year. At under $5 a share, this investment won't break the bank. Gentile offers a way to leverage your cash with options, too, for those who want to go that route.

Get Gentile's pick for the best advertising stock to buy here...

Best Stocks to Buy Now No. 4: This Tech Trend Will Soon Be Worth $86 Billion - Here's How to Profit

"Fintech" started out as a term for financial institutions' shift to digital platforms. But it's evolved into a disruptive force affecting almost everything to do with money.

How we bank, how we shop, and how we apply for credit are all rapidly changing. With the advent of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and an explosion of smartphone apps, it's transforming how we send money, too. By connecting a credit card or bank account to an app, the user can transfer money instantly to anyone else with the app.

Mobile P2P payments were a $5 billion industry in 2013. That number is on track to hit $86 billion in 2018 - that's a 76.6% compound annual growth rate.

This staggering potential has companies racing to monetize mobile P2P payments. In an increasingly crowded field of competitors, Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani singled out one company as the best way to profit on this trend.

It's one of the most recognizable names in e-commerce, with more than 197 million active accounts worldwide. Its new P2P platform is one of the few services that allows transactions with users anywhere in the world.

This company also owns the mobile payment app most popular among millennials. That unit processed $5.6 billion in payments in Q4 2016, up 126% year over year. It's one of the main drivers of the firm's growth in this market.

Shares dipped recently in response to headlines about new competition. But Gilani says that just makes a top-notch investment more affordable for us. Get his pick for the best stock to profit on the mobile P2P payment trend right here...

Best Stocks to Buy Now No. 5: Cash In as Tech Drags Another Sector Out of the Dark Ages

Gilani highlighted another sector that's ripe for tech disruption: the insurance industry.

In the United States, it comprises some 6,000 companies that together contribute 2.6% to the U.S. GDP.

It's an antiquated industry to say the least. Some insurance companies have been in business for 225 years and haven't changed much over the centuries.

Consumers today demand solutions that save time, money, and effort in every facet of their lives. Insurance is no exception. People want to comparison shop from the comfort of their home. They want to go online and take 15 minutes to handle something instead of speaking on the phone for an hour. Insurance agents likewise seek relief from the headache of handling every aspect of the business using outdated systems.

"Insurtech" was born out of those needs. It's a booming field, with roughly 100 top startup companies. Private investors poured $2.6 billion into insurtech startups last year. Disruptors include peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance, digital broker platforms, and cloud-based services.

The biggest, oldest insurance companies feel threatened by the shift. A June 2016 survey revealed that three out of four insurance companies are concerned their business is at risk.

There aren't any publicly traded "pure" insurtech plays right now. But one "traditional" insurance company is embracing the technological changes. Gilani says that's your entry to get ahead of this trend.

It's the fourth-largest auto insurer in the United States. Shares are up 10.56% so far this year. Perhaps most importantly, it has an internally funded think-tank focusing on insurtech.

So while other major auto insurers tremble in fear, this company is charging ahead.

Read more about Gilani's top pick for profiting on insurtech right here...

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