In the spring of 2011, I spent many a day chained to my desk at Fool HQ listening to Brian Stoffel go on and on about rolling over his 401(k) and creating his World’s Greatest Retirement Portfolio and World’s Greatest Growth Portfolio. Behind all of my jokes at Brian’s expense, I knew that I, too, needed to roll over an old 401(k), and that I needed a couple of high-quality stocks for the long term to do it.
I took some time to do my research, and after the requisite hemming and hawing, I got my act together and bought some great stocks that I plan to hold for quite some time. The top two positions in my personal holdings by dollar amount are also the No. 1 and No. 4 top-performing stocks in my portfolio: Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) and McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC).
Coffee is king
I didn’t drink coffee on a regular basis until I was 27 years old, and I remember the exact reason I started: It was free. My job at an energy law firm wasn’t the most glorious, but it did have its, well, perks. We had a complicated Starbucks grinder/brewer on one floor, and airpots full of pre-ground Starbucks coffee on all the others. If you were the sort who preferred your coffee iced, or in the form of something resembling a milkshake, you’d simply head outside and pick the Starbucks you liked best. There were three within a two-block radius.
It wouldn’t have occurred to me to invest in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) if I hadn’t started drinking coffee, but once I had, there was no escaping the idea. Coffee is a thing now. Surprisingly, despite the ubiquity of the stuff, we Americans actually consume less than half the coffee we used to. In 1946, we drank 48 gallons a year on average! Morning, noon, and night, coffee was our beverage of choice (and apparently it was terrible).
Coffee is here to stay, and the market is far from saturated, but more important to me than all of this anecdotal evidence is that Starbucks is an incredibly well-run business — one of the 25 Best Companies in America, actually. The company treats its employees well, enabling them to receive benefits and stock rewards if they work at least 20 hours a week. It is more focused on running a long-term business than it was in the past, CEO Howard Schultz adapting his leadership style after Starbucks went awry in his absence. It is the top-performing stock in my portfolio and one that I am happy to finally own.
Spice is also nice
McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) is the largest holding in my portfolio by dollar amount, and it is also the company that I have tracked the longest. My infatuation with the company began here, with some research and an article about a great buy-and-hold dividend. McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) has a tremendous history of growing its business, and the company’s current commitment to research and development bodes well for future growth.