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Five Strong Stocks for Beginning Investors

So, you’ve made the decision to start investing, but you just aren’t sure what stocks to buy. Building a portfolio can seem like a complicated process, especially when you’re just starting out. And that’s a good thing, because it’s important to get your portfolio off on the right foot by investing in solid companies with sound financial statements and great growth prospects. To help you get started on your investment journey, here are my suggestions for a few of today’s best stocks for beginners to get your portfolio started right.

Nike (NKE)

First, get going with a a blue chip stock. It’s important to have an anchor in your portfolio that can weather the ups and downs of the turbulent marketplace. The king of athletic apparel has an incredible balance sheet and great growth prospects. Nike has over $4 billion dollars in cash and just $568 million in long term debt. Earnings are expected to grow at 12.3% for the next five years. Plus, Nike knows how to treat shareholders right. The stock has a 17.2% annual rate of return over the past 20 years. Nike has been increasing shareholder value by buying back shares and boosting its dividend. Considering investing in Nike? Just do it!

Blackboard (BBBB)

Blackboard is an educational information technology company that develops software applications for colleges and universities. Blackboard is a mid-sized company with tremendous growth opportunities. As more colleges offer online education, Blackboard stands to benefit. Blackboard has a dominant market position with its software being used by more than 3,700 colleges and universities worldwide. Blackboard has expanded to offer learning solutions for the kindergarten to 12th grade market. The company has been able to grow earnings at a 22% clip over the past five years and is projected to grow earnings at the same 22% rate over the next five years. This tech stock will add some great growth potential to your portfolio.

YUM! Brands (YUM)

How would you like to own KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut? If you owned YUM! Brands stock, then you would own part of all three restaurant chains…and Long John Silver’s too. YUM! Brands is the second largest franchise chain in North America and is rapidly growing in Asia as well. The restaurant chain has over 36,000 locations worldwide and over 2,800 locations in China alone. YUM! has begun expanding its Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Brands into India, Brazil, and Chile. Emerging markets will represent a great opportunity for YUM! to grow its brand for years to come. YUM! Brands has just the right recipe to weather any economic climate by offering customers popular food at low prices.


Every portfolio needs an oil and gas company. Energy stocks provide consistent dividend income and allow you to benefit from rising oil prices. BP is one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world with operations from the United States to Iraq. BP is a major beneficiary of increases in crude oil and natural gas prices. The new management team is increasing the return on equity and doing a better job of controlling costs at BP. Earnings are projected to grow at a modest 5% but investors get a great dividend that is currently yielding 6%.

Bucyrus International (BUCY)

As the global economy recovers, manufacturing equipment firms like Bucyrus will prosper. The world’s largest mining equipment manufacturer is experiencing a surge in orders as industrial companies resume capital expenditure spending. Bucyrus’ earnings will be bolstered over the next few years by the company’s recent purchase of rival Terex’s mining division. Earnings have grown 57% over the past five years and are expected to grow 12.8% over the next five years. Bucyrus has a bright future with sales projected to grow at a greater rate than larger rivals Joy Global and Caterpillar. With over 80% of orders coming from Brazil, Russia, India, and China; Bucyrus is an enviable position compared to purely domestic suppliers.

Blackboard and Bucyrus are good fits for the aggressive investor seeking returns that beat the overall market. Nike and YUM! Brands are established well known companies that have been able to deliver consistent operating performance year after year. BP offers capital appreciation along with high dividend income.

Do these five stocks have the right stuff to make their way into your portfolio? What other stocks do you like for new twenty-something investors?

Published or updated on April 14, 2010

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  1. qvc says:

    Good blog! Marvelous awareness on the topic. Most certainly the latest bookmark.

  2. Miqo says:

    Haha, we may want to rethink BP now.

  3. David Weliver says:

    I agree James; I bought Citi three weeks ago, optimistic it will turn out to be a great long-run investment. I wouldn’t claim the banks will never make the same mistakes twice, but I think they’ll be on good behavior long enough for their stocks to recover nicely.

  4. James says:

    I know with the whole Goldman Sach law suit people might be wary to purchase stocks such as Bank of America or Citi but i think its a good time to buy these because when the economy starts to prosper so will the major financial institutions.

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