The stock markets have been sizzling, fueled largely by a stronger economy, rising corporate profits, and attractive valuations for equities: During 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 28.5%, the Nasdaq composite index jumped 27.2% and the S&P 500 was up 21%, says Noland Langford, founder and CEO of Left Brain Capital Management, a Chicago-based black-owned investment firm.
Langford also owns Left Brain Capital Wealth Management, an advisory firm for executives and families.
The major stock indexes had their best performance since 2013. Langford says there are at least five good places to invest your money in the stocks given the current economic conditions. A former Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo adviser for a combined 15 years, Langford launched Left Brain Wealth Management in 2014 and Left Brain Capital Management in 2016.
Langford manages assets for 30 individual investors through the Left Brain Capital Appreciation. The fund invests in stocks, bonds and other securities.
Left Brain Capital’s flagship fund was ranked as one of the world’s top-performing funds in 2016/2017 by Preqin, a research firm that tracks global hedge fund performance. Additionally, Left Brain Wealth advises over 150 wealthy individuals on their investment, retirement and tax-planning needs.
Here is a peek at what he projects will be among the top-performing stocks in various business sectors in 2018 and the next one to three years:
Dollar Tree (Nasdaq: DLTR)
Dollar Tree is one of the nation’s largest operators of variety stores in the consumer discretionary spending sector. It now has nearly 14,000 stores in 48 states with plans to add hundreds more. There’s a resilient demand for the company’s products because people move from big retailers to Dollar Tree when economic times are tough. And when the economy is strong like it is now, shoppers visit Dollar Tree more often and spend more. Langford also says Dollar Tree is a shareholder-friendly company, often returning capital to investors via share buybacks.
Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)
The U.S. entertainment company is Langford’s pick in the media industry. He says the Netflix continues to be a disruptor. After shutting down the video rental market, it is now upending cable and network TV. Profits are going straight back into the company, signaling a strong commitment to growth that longer-term investors should be keen on. The company’s subscriber base is growing especially fast internationally. That is really good news for shareholders because it not only expands Netflix’s lead versus competitors, but also gives the company extra revenue to keep funding its original programming. That momentum should keep driving the stock upward in the years ahead.
Teladoc (NYSE: TDOC)
Teladoc, the nation’s first and largest telehealth platform, is a dominant player in the fast-growing space of healthcare. Langford says the company presents a disruptive, time-efficient model for healthcare provision. Users can log in and see a doctor in about 10 minutes; the ROI for clinicians on the platform was 5-to-1. The platform records millions of users per year, with an extremely high satisfaction rate. Because of the need for convenient and cost-effective healthcare, Teladoc’s annual growth rates are expected to be around 30% for at least the next five years.
Skyworks Solutions (Nasdaq: SWKS)
Skyworks Solutions, a semiconductor company that designs and makes chips for smartphones, is Langford’s pick in the tech space. Forty percent of the company’s revenue comes from Apple devices, cellular infrastructure, broadband networks, the auto industry, etc. Skyworks Solutions offers many opportunities for long-term growth potential: the chips are essential for 4G mobile services and the impending rollout of 5G. Further, the company’s chips are vital for smart technology (smart cars, in-home smart devices, and other connected/Internet of Things devices), enabling the connection to WiFi, Bluetooth and routers, to name just a few. The stock is very cheap compared to the company’s growth rate.
Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)
The nation’s largest online retailer has been making news and grabbing headlines on the retail side. But Langford says one of the more exciting aspects of Amazon’s business in the tech space is Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud computing platform. The business offers strong growth potential, even in an economic downturn, as more and more businesses migrate their computing and server needs to the cloud.