Start the conversation
No matter how you slice it, the Federal Reserve doesn't have an easy job.
Even as we speak, Powell & Co. is currently attempting the economic equivalent of decelerating a Lockheed-Martin SR-71 Blackbird after a supersonic sprint over enemy territory and attempting to bring one of those black, needle-nosed beauties in for a perfect landing - without "stalling" it and piling it up on the runway in a crash that would be fatal to everyone present.
Those aircraft were notoriously tricky to fly - and were known for engine "unstarts" that could send them into a skid in which the countering forces would be so strong that the jet would break up in flight.
The U.S. economy is posing much the same challenge for Fed policymakers.
Thanks to years of near-zero, or at least historically low, interest rates - coupled with all the cheap money emanating from central bank bond purchases - the U.S. economy has been zooming like a Blackbird.
But now our central bank "pilots" are worried about its engines and airframes overheating - inflation is hotter than it's been in 30 years - so they're dropping the nose, pulling back on the throttles, and perhaps even dropping the flaps. Fed pilots don't necessarily want a "soft landing" - but they do want to slow our economic "jet" down to an easy "cruising speed."
And they absolutely, positively want to avoid all "stalls."
What's more, Powell said his policymaking brethren would likely begin tapering bond purchases sooner than projected. That would open the door to earlier-than-expected interest rate hikes.
That "new reality" has a lot of investors spooked, as evidenced by the high volatility we've seen over the past several days.
And so, uncertainty prevails right now.
But that's nothing to fear. I've picked out some stocks for my Private Briefing subscribers to buy during conditions like this, and I'm going to share just a few of them with everyone now.
Use This Easy Strategy in Any Market
Let's start with our outlook for the economy and the stock market.
The fact is nobody knows what's coming - and anybody that says they do is either guessing or lying.
And when you run into self-proclaimed experts like that, run - as fast as you can, and in the opposite direction.
However, when it comes to the economic outlook, don't let the lack of precision bog you down with indecision.
There's a strategy that's perfect for this environment.
It's called "The Shopping List."
And it's perfect for investors who, like a lot of my Private Briefing subscribers, have a medium- to long-term time horizon for their investments. I call folks like this "Know Thyself" investors.
Start by assembling a list of stocks that you like - that you dream of owning - and go from there.
We'll employ my favorite approach: the "Accumulate Strategy."
Once you have that list (and it absolutely, positively can include stocks you already own, but want to own more of), start by creating a base or "foundational" position in those shares.
Then buy more on pullbacks, as you get more cash, or through regular, automatic purchases you set up.
Your shopping list should have stocks that fit in with your goals and fit in with how you feel about risk.
Here's a Peek at My Own "Shopping List"
Now, I have to hold back two outstanding recommendations in high-profit, high-potential sectors; it's only fair for my subscribers. But there are some stocks, some of which have given quadruple-digit peak gains, that I can share here.
With that said, here are some dynamite stocks to get you started - and the recommendations and the "investment case" to support them:
Must-Own Stock No. 1: Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) - I recommended this stock to my paid subscribers back in July, and the stock is down a bit from there.
Indeed, it's down about 6% from its 52-week high of $3,773. But that's OK. Indeed, as you'll hear over and over again at Private Briefing, it's the fact that the shares of these great companies have skidded that makes them "Accumulate" bargains.
Must-Own Stock No. 2: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) - This stock has been a big moneymaker for Private Briefing subscribers. We grabbed Apple in July 2013 at a split-adjusted price of $15.03 - just before raider-turned-activist-investor Carl Icahn moved in and ignited the stock.
Apple recently hit a 52-week high of $174.87, and it remains above $174 as of midday Wednesday. That means Private Briefing subscribers had a peak gain of more than 1,057%. And it remains on our "must own" list because it's the quintessential technology "ecosystem" play. It sells devices - from iPhones and iPads to watches and headphones - and those devices work together seamlessly. It's very much a global consumer brand, but it has made forays into the corporate world. And its nascent health business has us plenty excited.
Must-Own Stock No. 3: Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) - In Private Briefing, we recommended "Mr. Softy" in the same timely July 2013 report that put a "Buy" on Apple. The post-Steve Ballmer shakeup led to the installation of visionary CEO Satya Nadella and an acceleration of the firm's move into the Cloud.
Microsoft - which we've re-recommended many times since and still like for the long haul - joined Apple in the "$2 Trillion Club" in June. On Aug. 20, the stock hit a new all-time high of $349.67 - a peak gain of 907.6% from our initial "Buy" call at $34.70. Now it's at $331, down a little more than 5%, and that's OK, too: Each time Microsoft has sold off, we've re-recommended the stock - and then watched as it soared. That's a perfect example of our "Accumulate" strategy, which is designed to build wealth. You can do the same here. In addition to the Cloud business and its conventional software business, it's also got Minecraft and its great Xbox business, which positions it superbly for the exploding "eSports Revolution."
Must-Own Stock No. 4: Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) has been one of our top wealth plays. This company plays in artificial intelligence (AI), driverless vehicles, drones, and gaming - each one of those segments is a pathway to profits.
Nvidia was a stock I originally recommended for Private Briefing readers back in June 2013 - at a split-adjusted price of $3.61. I have continued to follow it closely - with frequent updates all along the way. We even put it on our "Infection Correction" list of COVID-19 pandemic stock picks. Shares hit a new high of $346.47 not long ago, though they've since come down to $319.40. For this Private Briefing favorite, that all-time peak gain is 9,497.5% - a "95-bagger." Add this stock to your shopping list, because it's certainly on mine.
Must-Own Stock No. 5: Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) - This credit card heavyweight and longtime Private Briefing favorite is actually a stealth "Digital-Payments Revolution" play you'll want to buy, own, and "Accumulate" for the long haul.
Now, Visa is a global player. Folks who are "of an age" will remember its longtime slogan: "Visa: It's everywhere you want to be." However, a lot of the near-term billow in its sails will comes from domestic winds. From our first "Buy" call at $77, the stock has surged as high as $252.67 a share - a peak gain of 228%. The stock has been clobbered since then - dropping all the way back to $198 before moving back up to $207.77. That makes it what a Wall Street friend of mine used to characterize as "Screamer" (his euphemism for the more cliché and mundane "Screaming Buy"). Call it what you wish - but sure as shootin', Visa is an "Accumulate" play - and a "must-own stock" you'll want to hold for years to come.
Must-Own Stock No. 6: PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is one of the top players in digital payments - and a venture whose wallet and Venmo app provide ways for consumers to pay digitally. The company signed up an average of 250,000 accounts per day in April. PayPal has generated 250% aggregate revenue growth since 2015. And its per-share earnings (EPS) have been zooming - growing nearly 450% during that same stretch.
According to a report by TipRanks analyst Christopher MacDonald, PayPal has assembled "an e-commerce payments ecosystem that provides a very wide moat. The business possesses a competitive advantage that makes it difficult for rivals to wear down its market share. Many investors and analysts believe this moat cannot be penetrated." Right now, PayPal controls about 55% of online payments in the U.S. market - nearly three times the 18%-19% market share of its closest rival - the privately held Stripe.com. About 337 million merchants, consumers, and other users tap into the PayPal ecosystem. And they processed more than 15 billion transactions last year. I really like PayPal's November move into cryptocurrencies, which enabled customers to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, and some other crypto coins. Then, in March, it launched its "Checkout with Crypto" service, which lets customers use some cryptocurrencies to pay for goods or services - just as they would a credit or debit card. In a recent interview with CNBC, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said his company's Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) initiative was responsible for about 750,000 transactions on Black Friday - representing year-over-year growth of 400%. The firm also processed about $1 billion in transactions from BNPL and added a million first-time monthly users.
Now, astute observers will notice that technology and innovation are the two "threads" tying this list of stocks together - and there's a very good reason for that. Technology is one of the most powerful moneymakers in human history.
One sector we're watching closely: The emerging "metaverse" - a new world, essentially, built on artificial intelligence, the "Internet of Things," cryptocurrency, and more. Some estimates I've seen suggest the "birth" of this new world will cost as much as $753 billion. Three small players - two stocks and one cryptocurrency - are rumored to reap the heftiest reward. Each one of these is trading for less than $30 right now, and you can get details right here...
About the Author
Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning at Money Map Press.