Investing for the Long-Term: 3 Stocks With Proven Track Records

Stocks to buy

With continued volatility in the stock market right now, it’s no wonder investors are looking for stocks with proven track records to bolster their portfolios. While U.S. stocks opened strong on Monday after a concerning ending to the prior week, investors are still uneasy about the current state of the market. Tensions in the Middle East, concerns that the Federal Reserve may not reduce interest rates as fast as previously hoped and fears over continued inflation are still top of mind for many investors right now. While some believe the bull market isn’t coming to an end anytime soon, others are practicing a more risk-averse investing style just in case. 

Investors can remain cautiously optimistic about the future of the stock market while still investing in stocks that have proven themselves winners over the long term. By doing so, they can hedge their bets and diversify their portfolios. They can still see good returns. Some companies, regardless of the geopolitical or overall economic climate, have consistently done well throughout the years. Here are three that offer strong upside and stability.

Walmart (WMT)

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Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has received some negative press in the last few weeks. It doubled down on its promise to remove self-checkout machines to restore its bottom line. It claims the machines have led to an increase in theft and a decrease in profits. With competitors like Target (NYSE:TGT) also getting heat due to their anti-theft policies, it appears that consumers who want to purchase their household goods and groceries affordably and locally aren’t going to have a choice but be frustrated in the matter. 

Ultimately though, it’s unlikely substantial boycotts will happen. It’s also doubtful this change will have a significant impact on Walmart’s sales. The retailer offers grocery pick up services along with a robust online shopping platform. Consumers who are frustrated with in-store check out can, and likely will, pivot to other methods to get their affordable groceries. Therefore, it seems likely that Walmart’s profits will remain strong, just as they have over the past 30 years. 

When consumers have to tighten their budgets in times of high inflation and stagnant wages, stores like Walmart and its competitors will do well. But with nearly 90% of Americans living within 10 miles of a Walmart store and 25% of all grocery spending in the U.S. happening at Walmart, it stands to benefit more than most. With that kind of footprint and hold on the market, it’s obvious that Walmart is a strong bet for investors looking for stocks with proven track records.

Year-to-date (YTD), WMT stock is up 13%, almost double the S&P 500. Over the past 12 months, it has performed almost as well as the benchmark index (20% versus 24%). It’s an option that comes with potentially more stability. 

Coca-Cola (KO)

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The most recent financial news regarding Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was about its stock underperforming in comparison to its competitors. But being the most recognized beverage brand in the world, Coca-Cola still offers a safe choice for those looking for strong long-term investment opportunities. Its business model, company structure and 132-year track record give it stability and growth potential even in uncertain markets.

Coca-Cola is in a constant state of deploying new partnerships and offerings to stay fresh and top-of-mind. It recently announced a marketing partnership with Walt Disney‘s (NYSE:DIS) Marvel franchise tying the two brands together on product packaging in 50 countries. Earlier this year the company released a new flavor, Coca-Cola Spiced. It’s the first new permanent addition to be added to the brand in over three years. While it remains to be seen if this new drink becomes a popular choice, its introduction into the U.S. is just one more example of how Coca-Cola continues innovating to keep profits and market share strong.

KO stock also has a reliable dividend that keeps on growing. That offers a great deal of value to shareholders. The company’s annual earnings per share (EPS) in 2023 was $2.47, a 13% increase from 2022. Currently, the stock is trading at a trailing-12-month price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of almost 24.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) 

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For many shoppers, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is often considered just a consumer goods brand that sells many of the items found in the personal care section at the local grocery store. But, it spun off that division into Kenvue (NYSE:KVUE). Now J&J focuses solely on the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. JNJ stock has the opportunity to profit from more than just average consumer household spending. 

For example, last week Johnson & Johnson announced a proposed buyout of the medical device company Shockwave Medical for approximately $13.1 billion, with the intention of strengthening JNJ’s MedTech cardiovascular portfolio. As Shockwave offers the only commercially available intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) technology, Johnson & Johnson expects to become a category leader in four high-growth cardiovascular segments after the acquisition. Shockwave Medical has safely and effectively treated approximately 400,000 patients globally already. JNJ is hoping this will provide a strong pipeline for future growth in underpenetrated markets. 

Despite JNJ stock dropping at the beginning of the year even though it beat analyst estimates, long‐term Johnson & Johnson has a business model and a level of diversification that will allow it to grow and continue to be successful.

Tuesday, first quarter results were released. JNJ beat analysts’ estimates for adjusted earnings and was in line with expectations for revenue. That was primarily thanks to the growing success of its aforementioned medical device division. With this week’s results, it’s clear that Johnson & Johnson continues to be a strong bet for investors who want stocks with proven track records.

On the date of publication, Philippa Main did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Philippa Main is a real estate agent in Virginia and Florida who also does freelance writing, editing, and business development and marketing. She uses her broad knowledge of the real estate market to inform her investing decisions in an array of different industries. She also enjoys working specifically with women to educate them about finance and investing.

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