When it comes time to invest your money, there are numerous options at your disposal. If you want to be ultra-conservative, you can put your money in a savings account or in US bonds. Both offer a low rate of return with essentially no risk.
Alternatively, you can invest in speculative or fledgling companies. The possibility of a large return on investment exists, as does a relatively high chance of losing some or all of your money.
Most investors seek a middle ground – a situation where risk is minimal but return on investment is high enough to let the gains compound over time and increase the amount invested significantly. For such investors, putting money into certain blue-chip stocks is a good option. Certain companies are established and influential enough that they offer both safety and a solid return.
The US automaker has been a dependable stock for the past nearly 100 years for long term investors. While the stock has seen its fluctuations in the short term, over time it has held and grown its value while paying reliable dividends.
Currently selling for around $12 per share, Ford stock has paid a quarterly dividend of around $0.15 per share in addition to any gains in share price.
Another American corporate institution, Coca-Cola is a stock long term investors can hold with confidence. With a stock like Coca-Cola, you’re not going to observe massive gains (or losses) overnight, but over the years will see a steady increase with supplemental dividend payments.
Coca-Cola most recently split in 2012, and has seen an increase in share value of over 100% over the past decade. Its current share price is around $43 per share, and it pays a quarterly dividend of about $0.35 per share.
A relative newcomer in comparison to Ford and Coke, Amazon is now one of the largest and most influential companies in the world. On the verge of essentially cornering the retail market, Amazon is making itself more and more a part of the everyday consumer’s world, and its stock performance reflects that.
Go back only 5 years, and Amazon stock was priced at around $270. Flash forward to the present, and its stock price is around $1700, an increase over 600%. Go back 10 years, and it was $70 per share. Back 20 years, and it was $11 a share. Amazon has shown itself to be an e-commerce company with staying power and dependable growth.
An even newer company than Amazon, Netflix is similarly positioned as the e-commerce giant. While Amazon has emerged as the dominant leader in internet commerce, Netflix has grabbed the lead in streaming entertainment. Both sectors are massive and growing, and Netflix doesn’t seem likely to relinquish its market position.
The growth of Netflix over the past 10 years has been astonishing: Its price per share in 2008 was around $4 a share, and in 2013 was $30 per share. Last year, it was $149, and now it’s around $400 per share. Whether you want to measure that by percent growth over a 1 year, 5 year or 10 year stretch, Netflix has been turning in consistent performance over the past decade, and looks to continue that trend.
Before Amazon and Netflix were the cool new tech-based stocks, Apple was the king of technology, and in many ways it still sits on its throne. The tech titan has been posting impressive gains since the introduction of the iPod, and each new iteration of iPod, iPad and iPhone has continued to cement its relevance and profitability.
Apple’s current stock price is around $185 per share, and it pays a quarterly dividend of approximately $0.60 per share. But the real driver of Apple’s value is the growth of its price per share. Apple last split in 2014, and over the past 10 years has seen its price-per-share value soar from $16 to its present value, an increase of over 1000%.