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Safe Stocks To Buy Right Now

As we hit the homestretch of 2022, the realization is setting in that this year hasn't gone as investors had planned. The major stock indexes are set to close with their worst performance in more than a decade, while the bond market is tracking its worst year on record. Except for energy stocks, there simply haven't been many positives in 2022.

safe stocks to buy right now

Topping the list of the safest stocks to buy with $3,000 in the new year is healthcare stock Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 1.02%). Including dividends paid, J&J is actually up 6% in 2022, while the S&P 500 is down 18%.

The great thing about healthcare stocks is that demand for prescription drugs, medical devices, and healthcare services doesn't depend on how well or poorly the stock market or U.S. economy perform. People will continue to get sick and develop ailments that require medical care in any economic environment. This leads to relatively predictable demand and operating cash flow for the largest healthcare stocks.

Another exceptionally safe stock investors can confidently buy with $3,000 in 2023 is NextEra Energy (NEE 0.64%), the nation's largest electric utility by market cap. Although NextEra is down 5% (including dividends paid) in 2022, it's delivered a positive total return to its shareholders in 19 of the past 20 years.

Telecom stock AT&T (T 0.89%) is the third safe stock to buy with $3,000 in the new year. Inclusive of dividends paid, AT&T joins Johnson & Johnson in delivering a positive total return for its shareholders during the 2022 bear market.

A fourth extremely safe stock to buy with $3,000 for 2023 is payment processor Visa (V 1.39%). Although Visa is down this year, its decline of 4%, including dividends paid, is much better than the 18% drop by the benchmark S&P 500.

Because financial stocks are cyclical -- i.e., they ebb and flow with the health of the U.S. economy -- they usually wouldn't be considered "safe" investments during periods of heightened stock market and economic uncertainty.

One of the reasons Visa can outperform other financial stocks during and/or after a potential recession is its conservative operating approach that shuns lending. Because it focuses on payment processing and avoids lending, Visa doesn't have to set aside capital to cover loan losses. This small but powerful difference from other financial stocks makes a world of difference and helps explain why Visa can sustain a profit margin of 50% (or higher).

The fifth and final safe stock to buy with $3,000 in 2023 is Alphabet (GOOGL 2.81%) (GOOG 2.65%), the parent company of internet search engine Google, autonomous vehicle company Waymo, and streaming platform YouTube.

Learning how to invest in stocks as a beginner can be a daunting task. There are thousands of securities to consider, and no particular strategy or approach guarantees success. However, if you retreat from the swirling chaos surrounding stock markets on a day-to-day basis, you could miss out on opportunities to grow your money over the long term.

Anything from having a car break down to losing your job can leave you in unexpectedly dire financial straits. If your only remedy is to sell your stock investments, you might end up taking a loss or pulling out right before the stock makes a big gain, depending on the timing of the stock markets and your emergency.

The sort of companies capable of posting huge gains are also ones capable of posting enormous losses. So, while you might eventually start branching out, beginners should likely avoid stocks with characteristics that can make them prone to big swings.

Certain industries can be notoriously fickle and are typically the first to take a plunge when the economy turns south. Things like consumer goods or cars seem like great stocks when times are good, but they tend to crater in bad markets.

While taking more risks to earn greater rewards is part of what investing in stocks is all about, easing yourself into the field may be essential to making your experience a positive one. To familiarize yourself with the process, consider sticking to conservative, relatively safe stocks and creating a portfolio of defensive stocks at the beginning.

Elevated inflation, a war in Ukraine and aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes have made 2022 a stressful, unpredictable and volatile year on Wall Street. With the S&P 500 down 17% year to date through May 24, it's understandable for investors to be looking to play it safer with their portfolios by buying high-quality, long-term investments that are stable and reliable. The Morningstar analyst team rates each stock on a five-point uncertainty scale from "low" to "extreme." Here's a list of eight safe stocks with low or medium Morningstar uncertainty ratings that investors can buy today to sleep easy at night.

Adobe is a leading provider of creative content software, marketing automation and e-commerce applications. Analyst Dan Romanoff says the situation in Ukraine has weighed on Adobe's 2022 guidance, but the company's first-quarter revenue and net new digital recurring revenue numbers were solid. Adobe shares have been dragged down by the broad sell-off in tech growth stocks this year. Romanoff says Adobe's stock was overvalued for much of 2021, but that it's now attractively valued following a 40% pullback in the past six months. Morningstar has a "buy" rating and $615 fair value estimate for ADBE stock, which closed at $398.41 on May 24.

The combination of persistent inflation and aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes has created a difficult environment for investors in 2022. To make matters worse, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has generated geopolitical uncertainty, energy market shortages and global supply chain disruptions. The risk of a global recession has been rising, and investors are understandably looking for safe stocks with stable, profitable businesses and impressive long-term track records. If the macroeconomic environment worsens, these stocks could be excellent safe havens. Here are seven safe stocks CFRA Research analysts recommend that also have S&P Capital IQ quality ratings of A+.

Even in a highly volatile market, resilient companies continue to report solid growth and offer promising future opportunities. While many stocks are down right now, that shouldn't discourage investors from taking positions in fantastic businesses that still can deliver returns over the long-term.

10 stocks we like better than MicrosoftWhen our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

Of course, some sectors, such as tech, are certainly being hit harder. However, many stocks continue to be overvalued compared to the rest of the stock market and could still go lower. With that in mind, investing in safe and stable stocks is a good option.

In addition, the semiconductor shortage is unlikely to be solved soon. Supply chain issues persist and the company will continue to profit from the high demand and increased prices for semiconductors. It is among the safest stocks due to its exceptional growth.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is one of the safest stocks to buy. The stock has always remained stable with very little volatility. Even in the current volatile market, KO stock has remained an outlier.

Flowers Foods had a YOY quarterly revenue growth of 10.27% to $1.44 billion and its net income grew by 19.4% to $85.6 million in the latest quarter. Moreover, the company also beat its earnings estimates by 15.79% and recently increased its dividend by 22 cents per share. Thus, FLO is likely to remain a safe stock due to its stable finances.

After a year like 2022, a new year is a great opportunity to look for safe stocks to buy and hold. The definition of a safe stock is broad, so this article will focus on a select group of stocks known as dividend kings.

When it comes to safe stocks to buy and hold, the utility sector is a logical choice, and American States Water (NYSE:AWR) is a leader among water companies. The utility giant has a service territory that spans nine states and one million customers.

Late last year, I put both Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) on a list of consumer stocks that could soar in 2023. One of the reasons is both companies are defensive stocks. This means they have products that are in demand no matter what is happening in the broader economy.

When seeking out the best stocks to buy now, investors will need to be brave and patient in regard to timing, as well as agile as the stock market eventually transitions from bear market to bull market. Go ahead and add resolute to the character traits you'll need this year, because many market strategists say you can't get from one market to the other without going through a recession first.

Given the uncertain, sometimes roiling backdrop for stocks, where should investors look when seeking out the best stocks to buy now? A popular piece of advice among Wall Street strategists now is to resist the bargain-basement appeal of the most beaten-up stocks and focus instead on high-quality shares. "Investors should avoid volatile names and be cautious on both deep-value and unprofitable growth companies," says Koesterich. "Instead, emphasize quality with a focus on earnings consistency and good profitability."

Now may be a good time to tilt toward value-oriented companies and small-cap stocks, both longtime underperformers that are showing signs of new life. Over the past five years, for example, the S&P 500 Value Index (opens in new tab) has returned 6.2% annualized, compared with 9.1% for the S&P 500 Growth Index (opens in new tab). Through early 2023, value has outperformed growth, with a 4.1% return compared to growth's 3.8% gain. "We would stick with value. These cycles last a while," says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at money management firm Carson Group (opens in new tab). Sectors typically grouped in the value style include energy, financials, industrials and materials. 041b061a72


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