The Robinhood trading frenzy earlier this year likely had new investors believing that to make money in the stock market you have to jump on stocks that are hot and bail just as quickly to cement your profits before moving on to the next meme stock.
Obviously that’s gambling, not investing. The real value comes from holding on to your stocks for years — decades is best — and watching as their businesses grow and appreciate. It’s not as exciting as taking a flier on a WallStreetBets stock, but buying good companies that still possess long-term potential and never selling is how you really accumulate wealth. That’s why I plan to hold these two stocks forever.
1. Genuine Parts
You may know aftermarket auto parts retailer Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) better as the owner of NAPA Auto Parts stores. It has a long history of outperformance with sales growing in 87 of the last 93 years (last year being one of those anomalies where revenue dropped, though for obvious reasons).
Still, the long-term outlook remains not only positive, but quite upbeat. The auto industry was also hurt by the pandemic, which means people were buying new cars but keeping their rust buckets on the road longer and they’ll need parts to keep them running.
Worse for new car dealers, the computer chip shortage that’s plaguing numerous industries, and the auto industry in particular, has manufacturers lowering expectations for production for the coming year. Ford just issued a fairly robust earnings report but its guidance that it expects production to fall by 1.1 million vehicles this year put a damper on its stock.
Again, that means car owners will need to keep their current vehicles in good shape, so Genuine Parts will still be needed. And it’s that constant ebb and flow of demand for people to fix their cars that has sustained the auto parts retailer over the past century, and will likely keep it motoring for at least another 100 years into the future. (Even if we’re driving flying cars by then, owners will still need the parts to repair them.)
One of the most attractive things about Genuine Parts, however, is its record of dividend payments. The company has paid investors a cash dividend every year since going public in 1928, and its payout this year of $3.26 per share represents the 65th consecutive year it increased the dividend, which currently yields 2.6% annually.
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