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7 of the Best Long Term Stocks to Buy and Hold

7 of the Best Long Term Stocks to Buy and Hold

Professor Jeremy Seigel's hugely influential book "Stocks for the Long Run" hit bookstore shelves 30 years ago. The book has been revised and updated several times since, but Professor Seigel's conclusions have stood the test of time; if you have a long time horizon, it pays to buy and hold blue-chip stocks.

Over the long term, economic growth, product innovation and technology-driven productivity gains combine to increase the earnings power of well-run companies and push stock prices higher. Volatility, of course, cannot be avoided – the stock market goes up and down and will continue to do so – but history demonstrates the wisdom of a buy-and-hold strategy and highlights the difficulty of trying to time the market by attempting to identify tops and bottoms.

Tax efficiency is another potential benefit of holding stocks for extended periods rather than trading them actively. Every round-trip purchase and sale of a stock is a taxable event. Even if you're successful in your trading strategy, you create multiple tax bills that have to be paid every April 15. On the other hand, unrealized capital gains are not taxed no matter how big they get. It's often smarter to hold on to your winners and sell them some time in the future on a planned schedule that works with your tax situation.

The bottom line is that stocks tend to increase in value over time despite short-term volatility and occasional bear markets. Buying high quality equities and holding them for the long term is a sound approach to investing.

If a buy-and-hold strategy appeals to you, consider this list of seven of the best long-term stocks to buy today and hold for the long run:

Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB)

KMB is an established leader in the personal care and consumer household products segment of the consumer defensive sector. Wall Street is anticipating $20.5 billion in revenue from the company for 2024, and is projecting that number to grow to close to $21 billion in 2025.

The strength of KMB is in the good reputation of its brands. It sells facial tissues under the iconic Kleenex brand name and has captured more than 20% of the disposable diaper market with its well-known Huggies brand. Its Scott and Viva paper towels brands are also very popular with American consumers.

The company distributes its products by supplying grocery stores, drugstores, big box retailers such as Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) and other department stores. They also sell directly to restaurants, property managers, government facilities, hotels and other industries that use paper products.

Market cap: $42 billion
12-month yield: 3.8%
Sector: Consumer defensive

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)

GS is one of the most recognized and respected names in the investment industry. This $132 billion financial powerhouse provides financial services to high-net-worth individuals through its wealth management division and to companies and institutions through its global investment banking division. The company also has a thriving platform solutions segment that offers consumer credit cards and point-of-sale financing.

The financial services business has its ups and downs but, in general, business is booming at GS. Wall Street analysts estimate that the firm will take in $50.3 billion in revenue in 2024 and more than $52 billion in 2025.

CFRA equity analyst Kenneth Leon has a "buy" recommendation and a 12-month price target of $430 for GS stock, which closed at $406.82 on March 22. This 155-year-old company is a Dow Jones Industrial Average component and can truly be considered a blue-chip stock.

Market cap: $132 billion
12-month yield: 2.6%
Sector: Financials

Lowe's Cos. Inc. (LOW)

In 1921 LOW was nothing more than a single, small hardware store located in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Today, 103 years later, the company has more than 1,700 locations, and most of them are massive, warehouse-style big box stores.

Lowe's is known for selling building supplies, tools and construction materials to individual homeowners and residential building contractors all over North America. Wall Street revenue estimates top $84 billion for fiscal 2025 and are expected to grow to more than $87 billion in fiscal 2026.

Ever-increasing single-family home prices should support demand for the kinds of items LOW offers as more people are renovating their existing homes instead of buying at inflated prices. The general outlook for LOW is positive and should remain positive for some time to come.

Market cap: $148 billion
12-month yield: 1.7%
Sector: Consumer discretionary

Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL)

CL manufactures and distributes detergents, soaps and oral hygiene products, as well as home care items and a large variety of pet and livestock food. The diversity of its product offerings and the solid reputation of its well-known brands are responsible for the more than $20 billion in revenue that the company is expected to generate in 2024.

Most of the company's customers are located in North America, but CL is making a concerted effort to continue expanding in Latin America, Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. Those efforts appear to be paying off.

On March 14, CL announced that it was raising its quarterly dividend from 48 cents to 50 cents, a 4.2% increase. Just a week later, equity research firm CFRA upgraded its recommendation on CL from "hold" to "buy," and put a 12-month price target of $95 on the stock, implying 6.5% upside from its March 22 closing price.

Market cap: $73 billion
12-month yield: 2.2%
Sector: Consumer staples

Sysco Corp. (SYY)

SYY is a premier player in the food services industry. The Texas-based company, through its several subsidiaries, distributes fresh and frozen prepared and unprepared food and related items to thousands of restaurants, hotels, stores, caterers, hospitals, entertainment venues, clubs, casinos and just about any other business that provides dine-in or take-out meals.

In addition to edibles, SYY provides a wide variety of ancillary dining products such as tablecloths, silverware, glassware, napkins, kitchen equipment, cleaning supplies and much more. SYY is not quite a one-stop shop for restaurateurs, but it's close.

Wall Street analysts are projecting $79.5 billion in revenue for SYY in 2024 and are expecting that to increase to $83.1 billion in 2024.

In a research note to clients dated March 19, JPMorgan reiterated its "overweight" rating on the stock.

Market cap: $41 billion
12-month yield: 2.4%
Sector: Consumer staples

Coca-Cola Co. 

Most people know Coca-Cola as the preeminent non-alcoholic beverage company in the world. The company generates more than $10 billion a quarter selling carbonated drinks under world-famous brand names like Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. It also offers fruit juices under the Minute Maid brand and flavored sports drinks under the popular Powerade brand.

The company is more than 130 years old and is an established blue-chip stock. This makes it an excellent choice for equity investors with a long-term time horizon.

KO currently pays an annual dividend of $1.94 per share which it distributes in 48.5-cent quarterly payments; the company has raised its dividend for 62 consecutive years, making it a member of the Dividend Aristocrats club.

Wall Street is looking for $10.19 billion in revenue and 74 cents per share in earnings when the company releases its next quarterly report on April 22.

Market cap: $261 billion
12-month yield: 3.1%
Sector: Consumer staples

S&P Global Inc. (SPGI)

Officially, SPGI is in the financial sector, but in practice the company could fit comfortably into the information technology or communications spaces.

SPGI is a multifaceted company that provides important services like credit ratings, data analytics and benchmarking, which consists of creating and maintaining the integrity of securities indexes. Through its Global Market Intelligence segment, it provides comprehensive hardware and software workstation solutions for financial professionals on Wall Street and around the world. The company is even making significant inroads into the automotive and mobility industry by providing information and communication solutions to carmakers, auto parts suppliers, car dealers and insurance companies.

The incredible and ongoing growth in the financial services sector, fintech space and automotive technology areas are all contributing to an estimated $13.4 billion in revenue that SPGI is expected to generate in 2024. The revenue number for 2025 is projected to increase to $14.4 billion. Long-term investors will also be reassured to know that the company was founded all the way back before the Civil War, in 1860.

Market cap: $134 billion
12-month yield: 0.9%
Sector: Financials

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