Simplify Your Investing: 3 Stocks That Can Anchor the Optimal Portfolio

Stocks to buy

Trying to strike a balance between growth and stability is tough. On the one hand, you could stack too much cash into speculative stocks with near-term promises that fizzle into nothing when the rubber meets the road, such as Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE). On the other hand, go for too stable a selection, and you end up collecting a measly income from dividends with limited capital appreciation upside, like if you invest most of your excess cash into something such as Realty Income (NYSE:O).

But there’s a way to balance the two extremes. “Big tech” and healthcare, specifically MedTech, have a bright and seemingly endless series of future possibilities and applications. Likewise, the best-in-class companies within both sectors have the financial stability and operational prowess to keep the lights on while continuing innovation. These three companies meet that mark and may be among the best stocks to buy if you want to create a three-tiered portfolio anchor.

Meta Platforms (META)

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Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) is often top-of-mind when mentioning tech stocks to buy, for good reason. The company’s pervasive operational arms touch most of us daily, and it continues fostering a culture of growth and innovation unlike, say, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL). Luckily for long-term buyers, per-share pricing is at a discount after shares slid when management’s spending breakdown and a muted sales forecast overshadowed a 117% increase in quarterly net income. Across the board, Meta’s performance indicators were stellar for the first quarter of 2024. Highlights include higher daily active user rates, improved ad impressions, increased ad spending, and over $15 billion spent on capital returns to shareholders. Still, the stock dropped dramatically — but don’t let that dissuade you.

Much of the short-term turbulence came from higher cost projections, but that’s a good thing. A planned record-high series of capital expenditures, mostly focused on improving Meta’s artificial intelligence capabilities, weighed on investors’ minds. Zuckerberg noted that this would “grow [Meta’s] investment envelope meaningfully before [it makes] much revenue from some of these new products.”

Some may view Zuckerberg’s varied metaverse initiatives as a guide for Meta’s AI prospects. However, it’s important to consider the company’s long history of forward-thinking projections that take time to bear fruit. Given Meta’s track record, this temporary dip presents a compelling case among stocks to buy.

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

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Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) is a juggernaut among long-term stocks to buy, seamlessly integrating innovative hard tech, robotics, and the global growth trajectory of healthcare. As a key player in both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ-100 indices, Intuitive Surgical is undeniably stable while increasingly relied upon as a provider of high-end, specialized medical equipment. Unlike competitors focusing on conventional medical hardware, Intuitive Surgical revolutionizes surgery to enhance provider efficiency and patient outcomes.

Intuitive Surgical is expanding aggressively globally as the healthcare industry continues its post-pandemic rebound. The company’s latest quarterly report highlighted a significant 16% year-over-year increase in the global use of its premier robotic surgery system, the da Vinci platform, and matched the prior period’s installation rate (312 installed in 2023’s first quarter, and 313 installed this year). This progress, coupled with an 11% sales increase and net income rise to $545 million from $355 million, solidifies Intuitive Surgical’s position as one of today’s top stocks to buy.

Keep an eye on Intuitive Surgical this year as the company prepares to unveil its next-generation da Vinci platform. According to CEO Gary Guthart, this new model will feature “10,000 times the processing power” of current versions, significantly enhancing data analysis, sensing technology, and overall digital and analytical functions.

Tesla (TSLA)

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Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) isn’t having the best time this year, but don’t let that detract from its long-term potential among stocks to buy. Firstly, I’d caution anyone bearish on Tesla’s prospects not to bet against Elon Musk. No matter your personal preference, he has an indomitable spirit and force of will that’s carried him thus far. I have little doubt he’s capable of keeping the company on a growth trajectory despite short-term setbacks.

Second, the company’s current prospects aren’t as bad as many would make you believe. While car sales slumped, that’s indicative of the wider economic landscape than it is an indictment of Tesla’s potential. Likewise, the company is increasingly mature and is diversifying revenue streams, much like legacy automakers. In the most recent filing, Tesla posted a 25% increase in services and a 7% bump in energy generation and storage sales — though most don’t focus on these top-line increases. That’s a mistake, though, as Tesla’s market strength will also inevitability lead to saturation, and today’s early forays into alternative sales streams will be a make-or-break opportunity for its long-term positioning.

On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Jeremy Flint, an MBA graduate and skilled finance writer, excels in content strategy for wealth managers and investment funds. Passionate about simplifying complex market concepts, he focuses on fixed-income investing, alternative investments, economic analysis, and the oil, gas, and utilities sectors. Jeremy’s work can also be found at www.jeremyflint.work.

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