Truly successful investing means taking a long-term approach. No, that doesn't mean weeks or months. It means years and decades.
In an effort to help force myself to take such an approach, I publicly picked 10 companies last summer that I would be investing more than $40,000 in. I vowed to hold these 10 companies for at least three years, or else make a donation to charity if I sold too soon.
It's been about 10 months since I made that first purchase. Below, you'll see how the portfolio is performing, why it's doing so well, and what three companies I think are great buys right now. Read all the way to the end, and I'll give you access to a report on the three stocks that'll help you retire rich.
Google (NAS: GOOG)
Pricesmart (NAS: PSMT)
National Oilwell Varco
Amazon (NAS: AMZN)
Apple (NAS: AAPL)
Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ)
As you can see, this portfolio continues to perform exceptionally well, and the past month was full of fairly good news for the portfolio. Apple blew Wall Street away with its impressive sales of iPhones. Even though shares have a higher price, they're actually cheaper on a P/E basis than they were a month ago.
PriceSmart also wowed Wall Street in April. The company grew revenue by 22% over the same quarter last year; but more impressively, same-store sales were up an average of 16.7% between December and March. Investors are apparently pretty excited about all the news, as shares are trading 12% higher than they were a month ago.
Finally, Intuitive Surgical showed doubters that it has cemented its place in many hospitals. While the number of new machines being installed may not have been out-of-this-world, the number of procedures being conducted was. Doctors were using the daVinci Robotic Surgical machines to perform 29% more operations than a year ago -- and it's on the high margin accessories needed for procedures that Intuitive really banks its profit.
Three best buys
Though the aforementioned companies performed admirably well, they didn't make my list for best buys this month. My first nod goes toward Google. The company continues to show amazing revenue growth, and Wall Street continues to yawn. Though revenue grew by 24% and earnings jumped by 48%, the stock trades at just 19 times earnings and 16 times free cash flow. I also don't mind the new share structure, as I believe Larry Page and Sergey Brin are akin to benevolent dictators I'm willing to follow.
Next on my list is Johnson & Johnson. I'll be the first to admit that earnings weren't stellar last quarter, and I'm having doubts about the executive situation. But the fact of the matter is this: Johnson & Johnson is a very well-entrenched medical conglomerate with wide moats. It would take a lot more than a few rough quarters to seriously damage my investment thesis here. With a nice 3.5% dividend to collect and J&J's growing global presence, I think the company is a solid buy.
For my final pick, I have a somewhat controversial decision: Amazon.com. Yes, the company trades at an eye-popping 191 times earnings, and profit has been shrinking, but we need some context. First, the company has low earnings because it's busy building out its network of fulfillment centers. This network will build an almost-impossible-to-penetrate moat around the company. Second, the company's current market cap is just over $100 billion. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, rings in at twice that size. I fully expect that 20 years from now, Amazon will be what Wal-Mart is today: the retailer of choice for Americans.
Three stocks to retire rich?
Of course, here at the Fool, we love getting different opinions. Our top analysts have put together a special free report: "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." It just so happens that one of my best buys made their list. To find out which one -- and get the name of the other two companies -- get your copy of the report today, absolutely free!
At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of all the companies mentioned except for Wal-Mart. You can follow him on Twitter, where he goes by TMFStoffel.The Motley Fool owns shares of Whole Foods, Intuitive Surgical, Google, Amazon.com, Johnson & Johnson, National Oilwell Varco, Apple, Activision Blizzard, and Coca-Cola, and has written calls on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of National Oilwell Varco, Amazon.com, Whole Foods, Activision Blizzard, Johnson & Johnson, Intuitive Surgical, PriceSmart, Coca-Cola, Google, and Apple; creating diagonal call positions in Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart; creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard; and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.