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The last few trading sessions of 2021 might've been exciting, but it's time to look ahead and focus on the best stocks to buy in 2022. So, we're looking at two specific stocks that are positioned to outperform the market over the next year.
One of the best stocks to buy comes from Defense and Tech Specialist Michael Robinson, the other from Chief Investment Strategist Shah Gilani. Both of these stocks are plays within the tech industry.
Despite all the market uncertainty, tech was the place to be. It didn't matter if there were bad jobs reports, a major stock market correction, or slowing economic growth - tech stocks kept chugging along.
And returns of the tech-heavy Nasdaq prove it. Over the last five years, the Nasdaq is up 183% - 74% more than the S&P 500 over the period.
Michael says that tech will lead the market this year. That's despite any fears of a recession and new COVID-19-related economic restrictions. And that's precisely why we're looking at the tech sector today for the best stocks to buy that could offer investors outsized gains in the year ahead.
Best Stock to Buy No. 2: Coinbase Global Inc.
Anyone who has paid attention to financial technology over the years shouldn't be surprised to see that the crypto-trading platform Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) is one of the best stocks to buy.
When Bitcoin (BTC) first started gaining investors' attention, it traded for $0. Many thought it was nothing more than a joke.
By 2013, a single token was trading at $80 - an unbelievable price for those who didn't follow the rise of the cryptocurrency. As the value continued to grow over time, investors wanted a safe place to trade and store their tokens.
That's where Coinbase comes into play. The cryptocurrency app offered security, transparency, and liquidity that few others like it could match at the time.
Coinbase stock has been trading for just over six months now - and according to Michael, "It's a great fintech play for 2022." And Coinbase killed it last quarter when it comes to earnings, with an increase of 295%.
At the end of the day, Coinbase is much more than just a crypto-trading platform. The platform also offers the chance to earn interest from your cryptos and allows you to participate directly in the blockchain by "staking" your investment for rewards.
And it's quickly become one of the key platforms in America's growing crypto market, while also providing storage and custodial services. Not to mention it's one of the only crypto-trading platforms that went through the regulatory process the right way.
All this is to say that Coinbase is going to be a major fintech player in the growing world of cryptos, making it one of the best stocks to buy in 2022.
Best Stock to Buy No. 1: Palo Alto Networks
If you ask Shah, cybersecurity is one of the hottest sectors right now - and that's not changing anytime soon. As the tech industry, specifically cloud-based technology, continues to evolve and become more central to everyday life, the need for reliable cybersecurity will grow alongside it.
And the more companies that turn toward cloud-based technology, the more important it is for that security to be top-of-the-line. Especially considering that the cloud-based technology industry could be worth more than $800 billion by 2025.
Just take one quick look over the past year alone, and you'll understand the importance of effective cybersecurity: the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, the Microsoft Exchange server data breaches, the Facebook - now known as Meta - breach, the Robinhood breach, and the list goes on...
That's why the cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW) is one of Shah's top picks within the tech industry - and it has a ton of momentum right now.
That's in part due to the fact that it's one of the only cybersecurity companies that's close to being profitable. In an industry that relies heavily on research and development, profitability is huge.
The company brought in $1.25 billion in revenue last quarter - up almost 32% from the previous. And it's increased its profit margin by nearly 15%, which helps push the company closer to profitability.
As a bonus, it's one of the stocks that truly benefitted from the pandemic, too.
With the mass shift to cloud-based software and remote workers, the pandemic has managed to accelerate the need to digitize everything by seven years. That means that Palo Alto Networks will be in higher demand much sooner than originally anticipated, which makes PANW one of the best stocks to buy in 2022.
Right now, PANW stock is trading at $511 per share - down a bit more than 9% for the past five days.
That makes for an even better opportunity for you, slightly discounting a stock that's sure to grow throughout the year.
What Shah recommends is investing, say $100, into the fractional shares. This gives you exposure to the stocks upward movement without breaking the bank.
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