Investors looking for stocks to invest in generally look for sizzle. That’s a problem. The very best stocks to buy aren’t always the most interesting stocks to analyze. Quite often, they’re downright boring. For all the glory of using a biotech stock or indebted turnaround to triple-digit increases, most successful investors win by beating the market and consistently narrowly, year after year. That type of outperformance usually comes from choosing companies with relatively stable performance on the long-term – not stocks which have huge potential (and huge risk) in the near term.
In this more volatile market, some of those boring stocks and shares have held up perfectly. But it’s worthy of noting that at the same time of low-interest rates, some of these stocks have developed questionable valuations. Stocks like WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC) and pest control company Rollins (NYSE:ROL) apparently trade at nosebleed levels – even in an easy market that has used a hit. Even for quality stocks, valuation matters.
These 10 shares may be boring but all have attractive valuations – and perhaps, real risk. But also for the most part, they must be consistent winners going forward … even if they won’t get the same media coverage as sexier names. The world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffett, has generated Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) on the back of boring companies mostly.
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Major stakes in Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and American Express (NYSE:AXP), among many others, have been long-term winners. Wholly-owned businesses include insurance providers Geico and General Re; railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe; outfits maker Fruit of the Loom; battery manufacturer Duracell; and consumer brands Dairy Queen and See’s Candies. To be sure, Buffett has taken on risks every once in awhile. 5 billion in Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) near the depths of the financial meltdown. And the “Oracle of Omaha” has missed out on the tech boom generally. The firm has exited its biggest investment in the sector, IBM (NYSE:IBM), at a loss. Still, Berkshire continues to be an impressive long-term winner – and it might be back toward being cheap enough.
1 billion of its stock in the 3rd quarter. Taking into consideration the prowess of Buffett and the always-underrated Charlie Munger, traders would do well to check out their business lead likely, and buy Berkshire stock as well. Admittedly, it might be a little of stretch to place furniture producer Knoll (NYSE:KNL) on this list. KNL stock has been on a bit of roller-coaster since 2015, along with peers Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR) and Steelcase (NYSE:SCS).
But from a broader perspective, Knoll is at least getting ultimately more boring. Considerable contact with high-end markets in both the home and commercial categories offers a steady way to obtain demand. Acquisitions of businesses like HOLLY HUNT and Finland’s Muuto have diversified the business into residential and so-called “resimercial” applications. The company’s long history gives it usage of timeless works from famous designers like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, and Frank Gehry.
Trading may be volatile in the years ahead, and KNL is unlikely to provide tremendous returns. However the dividend and the valuation suggest a solid path toward many years of above-market earnings … even if those earnings might take some endurance. Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A) seems almost like a forgotten stock. The S&P 500 element provides test and measurement solutions to a true number of well-covered industries, including life energy and sciences. But Agilent stock itself hardly appears to get much press.
To be sure, it’s not as if the market ignores Agilent stock. At 23x FY19 EPS assistance, the stock isn’t everything that cheap. Still, growth is still impressive – and above its peers. A fourth-quarter beat the other day capped off an extremely strong fiscal 2018. Margins already are impressive, at about 22% on the non-GAAP basis, and continue steadily to expand.