Disclaimer: I am riding the coat tails of one of my employers here, and the thoughts expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Motley Fool in any way. I was not compensated for this post in any way. Please do your own research prior to investing your own money in stocks, and a great place to start would be www.fool.com.
The folks that I do my paid writing for, The Motley Fool, invented a holiday yesterday, and I hope it is something that continues going forward. Dubbed World-Wide Invest Better Day, or WWIB, featured a day of programming from Fool analysts all over the country at various meetings. Unfortunately, I was unable to take part during the day, but the short videos that I was able to watch gave me an idea for today. Many of the videos featured the analysts speaking about their favorite stocks, and every hour the folks there, who are much smarter than me, gave a stock idea and why it would make a good investment.
With that in mind, I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite stocks, which may be stocks that I currently own. Per the disclaimer above, please do your own research prior to investing in individual stocks, and do not invest more than you can afford to lose. With that in mind, here are a few of my favorites:
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A, NYSE: BRK-B) – This is a stock that I own, and I wish it was the super-expensive “A” shares, but I am not that wealthy. Owning a handful of “B” shares is not super terrible, however. Berkshire Hathaway is a former textile mill that was purchased by Warren Buffett back in the ’60s. Buffett turned the cash flow from that dying business and invested it in other companies, including insurer GEICO. He then in turn took the “float” — the difference in the money collected by GEICO as premiums and paid out in claims — and purchase numerous other companies, including See’s Candy, Benjamin Moore Paints, Dairy Queen and many others. By owning shares of Berkshire, shareholders have a stake in a large portfolio of companies, as well as the performance of the multi-million dollar investment portfolio hand-picked by Buffett himself. With an excellent track record of beating the market going back nearly 50 years, you can’t do much worse than investing in this mini mutual fund. I like it and plan to hold on for a very long time, and hopefully I will one day be able to afford one “A” class share.
Waste Management (NYSE: WM) – Another stock that I own, and I like the idea of a company that is the largest trash hauler in the United States. We create a lot of trash in this country, and not only does Waste Management own the trucks, but they also own a lot of landfills. Because of this, even if a town or other municipality wants to collect its own trash, they will still have to pay the company for a place to dump it. Founder Wayne Huizenga has a great track record of success at various companies since starting Waste Management with one truck back in the day, including profitable stops at Blockbuster — long before they went bankrupt after losing to Netflix — and AutoTrader. Even though he is no longer with the company, he established the brand that we know today, and the company remains successful because of what he did. Another holding I plan to hold onto for a while, and quarterly dividends will help grow my investment.
Boston Beer Company (NYSE: SAM) – Not a company that I currently own, but one that I have owned in the past. They produce one of my favorite products, the Samuel Adams brand of beers, and I really like the passion they have for their product. CEO Tim Koch personally tastes every barrel of beer that is made at their brewery in Massachusetts, and is known to partake in the hoppy goodness during press conferences and other public events. Beyond that, the company is probably the most well-known “craft” brewer, and brews a couple of million barrels a year. While not quite on the same level as Molson Coors or Budweiser, the attention given to the product puts them a leg up on most of its competitors. Again, not a company that I currently own, but it is one that I am keeping an eye on to see if it returns to a competitive price.
These are just three of my favorite companies. I probably have another handful that I like or own, but I wanted to keep this semi-short. Feel free to ask any questions that you might have about investing in the comments, and I’ll try my best to answer them in future posts. If not, thanks for reading and I hope that you learned something more than you did before today.
Until next time…