Our latest list of the best stocks to buy now includes picks that offer cutting-edge technology as well as those that provide blue-chip reliability.
In some cases, they do both.
Here's a preview of what you'll find below:
- This Japanese tech "investment vehicle" could be the next Berkshire Hathaway.
- Believe it or not, the smart money is investing in banks right now, and we've got the best play to capitalize on it.
- A new wave of cannabis profits is coming in California. One company in particular is in a great position to benefit.
- We've got a stock to buy and own forever that provides a solid dividend and potential for huge gains to boot.
- We're now finding out the Equifax settlement is a lousy deal. However, there's one opportunity in cybersecurity that offers a big payout.
And now our latest list of best stocks to buy now...
Best Stocks to Buy Now, No. 5: Hitch Your Wagon to the Warren Buffett of Tech
At more than $300,000 per share, Class A stock in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) is among the most in-demand in the world.
It's easy to see why.
Who wouldn't want to ride the coattails of an investment visionary like Warren Buffett? The Oracle of Omaha began with $9,800 in savings when he finished college and has amassed a fortune worth $82 billion.
For those who can't afford those Class A shares - that's most of us - Berkshire does have a Class B option that currently trades at a little more than $200.
But we've got an option even better than that - and right now, it'll cost you less than $50 a share.
That's SoftBank Group Corp. (OTCMKTS: SFTBF), a Tokyo-based firm that operates largely as an investment vehicle in a similar fashion to Berkshire Hathaway.
SoftBank's CEO, Masayoshi Son, is a visionary a lot like Warren Buffett. He invested $20 million in a little online shopping startup now known as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) back in 2000. By the time that company went public 14 years later, Son's $20 million investment had turned into $70 billion.
And Son is nearly 30 years younger than Buffett. That means he can keep delivering returns for SoftBank shareholders for decades.
In fact, Son recently predicted that SoftBank's investment portfolio would grow to ¥200 trillion over the next 20 years. That's $1.85 trillion, roughly 33 times the current value.
Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon thinks that might be a lowball estimate. SoftBank's $100 billion "Vision Fund," a private equity portfolio that invests in cutting-edge technology, has returned 62% in its first two years.
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It seems that Son still has the magic touch that he showed with his Alibaba investment two decades ago. So don't be surprised if SoftBank delivers similar returns over the next two decades.
"Grab some of these shares now," Bill says, "to establish a 'foundational' position in the stock. Then look to add shares on pullbacks or as you get additional cash."
Best Stocks to Buy Now, No. 4: Think It's Not a Great Time to Buy a Bank Stock? Think Again.
Speaking of Warren Buffett, you might have heard that the mega-billionaire has been buying bank stocks recently.
In July, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it had upped its stake in Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) from 896.2 million shares to 950 million shares. That gave Berkshire a stake of more than 10% in the bank. It's a level the investment firm almost never reaches for public companies.
That stake comes in addition to Berkshire's holdings in several other banks - including Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), among others.
Buying bank stocks might seem counterintuitive in a shaky market with falling interest rates. But banks have gotten into much better financial health in the decade since the financial crisis. Meanwhile, their price/earnings (P/E) ratios have been falling, making them a great bargain right now.
But while Berkshire Hathaway tends to buy shares in large corporations, the real opportunity right now is in regional banks.
These mid-size banks benefit from the same developments that are helping their behemoth counterparts. Plus, they also benefit from a growing trend: consolidation.
By buying up smaller banks and increasing their footprint, a number of regional banks have been able to increase efficiency and boost their profit margins.
About the Author
Stephen Mack has been writing about economics and finance since 2011. He contributed material for the best-selling books Aftershock and The Aftershock Investor. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.