Investing

These Are the 10 Stocks Every Investor Should Own

Apple’s flagship product continues to be the iPhone, which is a decade old. Sales of its Macs, iPads and smartwatch products are other large contributors to revenue. Recently, Apple’s services business has become its fastest growing. The segment includes its e-commerce, media and cloud businesses. Apple has a $3.28 dividend, which represents a 0.66% yield.


Founded in 1994, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) now is America’s largest e-commerce company and the world’s leader in cloud computing. It is a rare instance in which one public corporation has two such large and successful divisions under one umbrella. It is the third most valuable company in the world, with a market capitalization of $1.7 trillion.

Amazon dominates the e-commerce business in the United States. In its most recent quarter, it posted revenue of $88.9 billion, up 39%. North American sales were $55.4 billion. Amazon Web Services, its cloud operation had revenue of $10.8 billion. With an operating income of $3.6 billion, it is incredibly profitable. Amazon’s stock has risen 534% in the past five years.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), founded in 1975, has grown from its position as the world’s leading operating system providers for personal computers and servers to a diverse technology operation. Much of its growth recently has come from its cloud computing segment, primarily under the Azure brand. It also has had a sharply rising success in hardware sales. Microsoft has had a dominant position in gaming for decades through its Xbox brand. Its Windows and Office businesses continue to dominate consumer and enterprise computing operating systems.

Microsoft is the second most valuable company in the United States, with a market cap of $1.74 trillion. Its stock is up 384% in the past five years. Its dividend of $2.04 represents a 0.9% yield.

Financial Giants

Visa and Mastercard control the global credit card market. Which has been more successful? Consumers and vendors have made a stark choice. Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a stronger company. It holds a 60% share of the credit and debit card market, followed by Mastercard with 30%. Visa’s success has made it the eighth-most valuable company in America, with a market cap of $459 billion, more than any other financial firm. Visa does business in almost 200 countries.

Even as companies like Apple get into the online and digital payment systems sector, Visa has decades-old relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, millions of vendors and thousands of banks. That is what investors call a “wide moat.” Visa’s shares are up over 208% in the past five years. It pays a dividend of $1.20, which is a 0.57% yield.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is run by the dean of financial institution executives, Jamie Dimon. He has held the job since 2005 and is arguably among the most respected American executives of the 21st century. JPMorgan is widely considered the best run of the large U.S. banks. Its shares are up almost 65% over the past five years, outpacing those rivals. Its managed net revenue in the second quarter was $33.8 billion, up from $29.5 billion in the same period of the year before.

The Big Risk With the Big Balance Sheet

Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) is not a product of the pandemic, but its success most certainly is. The video conferencing company has seen a remarkable surge in the use of its products. It remains to be seen if this success continues if and when the spread of COVID-19 slows and people begin to return to offices. Its other challenge is that it faces a number of well-regarded competitors, some of which also have large installed customer bases. These are sometimes called “Zoom killers.”

Zoom demonstrated its dominance in the industry when it reported its most recent quarterly earnings. Revenue rose 335% to $664 million. As Zoom tries to prove its staying power, it has nearly $1.5 billion in cash and securities, an impressive bankroll. Its stock is up 573% this year to a market cap of $129 billion. If video conferencing remains a backbone of 21st century communications, Zoom should continue to prosper.