“What are your top two stock holdings?”
The question strips away opinion, growth projections, and hypotheticals, and shows you a small truth about how you’re investing your money.
Here’s what our analysts are seeing when they open up their brokerage accounts.
Russ Krull: McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). These two companies share key characteristics that make them a good fit for my dividend-oriented portfolio: good current yield, reasonable payout ratios, and growth prospects that make the long strings of annual dividend raises likely to continue. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) had a rough 2012, but added another year to a string of payout hikes dating back to 1976. The company has adapted the menu to add premium, higher margin offerings and it’s well positioned to weather weak economies in the U.S. and overseas. With Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), I get exposure to a wide range of energy operations in one company, a good dividend, and an inflation hedge, all trading at a single-digit multiple. As a bonus, it doesn’t bother me as much when prices at the pump ratchet up. There are a number of good dividend growth stories in the market. I don’t know if these two are the very best, but I expect they’ll be paying dividends and giving shareholders annual raises for a long time to come. (More)
Tim Beyers: My top two holdings are Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) , and I still like both companies very much, especially when I think about the 900-million pay-TV viewers around the world today. Netflix will serve a fraction of those customers with its unique content — that I expect it to command a premium over time. A good number will encounter the streamer on a next-generation Apple TV — the one that has the “code-cracked” that features Steve Jobs spoke of in Walter Isaacson’s biography. Television is changing, and these two companies are helping to lead the revolution. (More)
Dan Caplinger: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B) and Fairfax Financial. I’ve been a Berkshire shareholder since the late 1990s, when the tech boom made Warren Buffett look like a backward buffoon until the bubble inevitably burst, rewarding the old-economy stocks in his portfolio. That experience showed the value of using insurance-premium money for long-term investment, which led to considering other companies with similar models. Fairfax offers the geographical diversity of a Canadian stock along with the investing prowess of Prem Watsa, who follows many of the same philosophies that Warren Buffett uses, yet, who also comes at the market with his own unique perspective. Even though the two companies are in the same industry, they have distinctive enough portfolios to make the two a winning combination for the long run. (More)
Jim Gillies: Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc.(NASDAQ:PRAA) and Biglari Holdings Inc (NYSE:BH). Both have taken similar paths to becoming my two largest holdings. Both were purchased at low, advantageous prices. Both were purchased with the perception that their growth horizon was huge: the multi-billion dollar world of charged-off debt for Portfolio; value investments by a skilled capital allocator for Biglari. Both investments were intended to be left untouched, adding shares at opportune times. Over the last eight years, I’ve come to admire Portfolio’s management for their adeptness at managing and expanding their business, and I expect to long continue being a shareholder. I’m more mercenary in regards to Biglari based on the evolution of its CEO Sardar Biglari. I appreciate his work, but, looking out for my own best interest, my shares are available for sale at the right price. (More)
Anders Bylund: Netflix and Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) . I saw Netflix’s huge long-term opportunity at the end of a three-month deep dive into the video rental market. Holding this stock has been a heck of a roller coaster, but I’m still convinced that Netflix will end up a large-cap media empire in a decade or so. It’s a multi-bagger in the making, even at today’s prices. Intuitive’s robotic surgery products are an innovative play on the Baby Boomer generation’s rising health care needs, and it’s protected by thick walls of patents and FDA approvals. I believe it’s the safest health-care stock available on the high-growth side of that market. I plan to own Intuitive for at least another 10 to 15 years, and Netflix perhaps for the rest of my life — keeping in mind that I’m just 38 now. (More)
David Hanson: NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS). My top two holdings are completely different in almost every way, but both companies have incredible brand power, and a reputation for excellence. Ever since Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson signed with Nike, consumers and investors have seen a continuous boom in Nike’s presence and revenue. Despite being an established company, Nike is still growing fairly rapidly. Since 2004, overall revenues have more than doubled! As for Goldman, despite the elevated levels of disgust from many Americans, Goldman Sachs remains one of the most respected and talented institutions in the world. Goldman Sachs is still considered the premier global investment bank, and has deeply-rooted relationships across its institutional client services. (More)
Justin Loiseau: Apple and Berkshire Hathaway seem to operate at opposite ends of the bull/bear spectrum, but both companies have won top spots in my portfolio. Apple’s recent dip doesn’t faze my long-term outlook, and I’m impressed with the company’s continual creation of an all-encompassing suite of products and services. Its excellent management, high quality brand, and $100 billion plus in cash give this company the wiggle room to turn exciting ideas into reality, while emerging markets will help boost its current growth. Berkshire Hathaway adds level-headed diversity to my portfolio. Its insurance investments provide solid income, while more recent additions of wind, solar, and rail represent calculated predictions for the future of America. Warren Buffett’s amassed an outstanding team, and his company’s financials continue to be the cream of the crop. With Apple’s recent 40% drop and Berkshire’s 1.4 price-to-book value, now could be the perfect opportunity to get in and stay in. (More)
Aimee Duffy: Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) and McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC). I picked up large positions in both of these stocks when I rolled over an old 401(k) from a former employer. These two companies exhibit strong fundamentals and completely dominate the competition, yet the markets for their products are far from saturated. Starbucks combines leadership and commitment to its employees with an American market that is consuming half the amount of coffee we did at our peak in 1946 — not to mention tremendous opportunity abroad. McCormick dominates the spice rack in the grocery store, and has returned an average of 15.1% since 1981. Both Starbucks and McCormick are blowing my old mutual funds out of the water, and I’m glad I finally got around to rolling over the old account. I look forward to holding both of these companies for many years to come. (More)