The Top Stocks to Own in 2024 The Top Stocks to Own in 2024

By: Alex Freidmen

If you’ve been investing for a decent length of time, you’ve probably heard the debate over how many stocks you should own. Some investors believe you should own 15-20 stocks or more to be fully diversified. Others believe you can get by with far fewer stocks. If you believe that less is more, here is a list of what could be the only stocks to own in 2024.

That’s a bold claim to make, I know. And this list is far from comprehensive. But I dare say it would give you exposure to the key sectors that are likely to lead the economy forward this year. Not surprisingly, some of the same themes from 2023 are still in place: artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and consumer staples.

This list of stocks to own also includes a favorite in the energy sector. It also features a couple of stocks that were laggards last year. These stocks will do fine with interest rates where they are, and even better if the Federal Reserve becomes more accommodative.

The Resilient Costco (COST)

Costco Stock May Be the Market’s Top Recession Pick

Source: Shutterstock

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) is a consumer staples stock that continues to generate growth far beyond its blue-chip status. In the last five years, the COST stock price has increased over 218%, and it’s up 42% in the last 12 months alone.

The buying thesis for Costco is simple enough. The company has a membership model. As long as consumers are willing to pay that fee, and with inflation being particularly sticky in an area like food, they have an incentive to shop at Costco.

To the first point, based on independent data Costco has about a 90% retention rate. As for being a safe haven from inflation, that evidence can be seen in the company’s revenue and earnings which continue to grow year-over-year.

And the company also pays investors a safe and growing dividend which came with a special dividend of $15 at the end of 2023. That’s just another way the company continues to provide shareholder value. At 43x forward earnings, you’re definitely paying a premium for COST stock. But that shouldn’t scare you away from a company that continues to deliver for shareholders.

The Revolutionary Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

In this photo illustration, the AMD logo is shown on a smartphone screen.

Source: Pamela Marciano /

You might be curious as to why Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) isn’t on this list of stocks to own. And I believe that NVDA will have another strong year in 2024. But if you’re looking for a stock that may have a more 2023 Nvidia-like year, you may want to consider Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD). A key reason is that after last year’s inventory glut, demand for semiconductors is expected to rise about 15% in 2024. One of the key applications will be AI. Currently, Nvidia simply can’t keep up with the demand. That opens the door for AMD and its new MI300 series accelerators. It’s priced lower than the NVDA H100 chip and is likely to fill a niche with companies that have indicated they want more choice. AMD is targeting $2 billion in revenue from the MI300 in 2024. Since Nvidia made an estimated $37.5 billion off its H100 chip last year, that estimate may be too conservative. Regardless, the company is forecasting 50% earnings growth that does not appear to be priced into AMD stock at this time.

The Innovative Fortinet (FTNT)

The Fortinet logo on a wall

Source: Sundry Photography /

Cybersecurity will be another important theme for investors in 2024. Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) is not the leader in this space. That goes to Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW). But like Advanced Micro Devices with Nvidia, Fortinet has an opportunity to capture market share that offers the chance for outsized gains. The reason is that Fortinet has a deep product portfolio geared towards companies who may not have the budget for the best-in-class products. But even “low-value” targets need to be concerned about cybersecurity.

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Furthermore, Fortinet’s pioneering work around AI and machine learning (ML) powered security has made the company a leader in network firewalls specifically as it relates to its ability to execute. Fortinet is forecasting 5.4% earnings growth in the next year and analysts are lowering their price targets in advance of the company’s earnings. This suggests that FTNT stock may continue to face resistance near its 200-day simple moving average. However, if earnings surprise to the upside, there is significant room for the stock to recapture its all-time high made in July 2023.

The Visionary Microsoft (MSFT)

Microsoft logo close up. Microsoft (MSFT) Flagship Store Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, NYC.

Source: The Art of Pics /

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the one Magnificent 7 stock that I’m including on this list of top stocks to own in 2024. One reason is the company’s commitment to digital innovation. And you can’t talk about that without noting the company’s leadership in generative AI which started with its investment in OpenAI and ChatGPT.

If you work with the Microsoft 365 suite of products, you’re already familiar with one of the first fruits of that collaboration. That is, the company’s Copilot assistant software. Copilot will help fuel growth in Microsoft’s cloud computing division. It will also be an arrow in the company’s quiver if the PC market comes back as many analysts believe it will.

Beyond AI, Microsoft is also a leader in gaming. In 2023, the company generated over $15 billion in revenue from gaming. With its acquisition of Activision Blizzard that number is expected to reach

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Microsoft (MSFT)

Amidst a market poised to balloon to $20 billion by 2029, Microsoft (NYSE:MSFT) remains a forerunner, projected to yield substantial capital gains. As the behemoth’s dividend surges to unignorable levels, boasting a $3.00 annual payout for the past two decades, MSFT stock gleams with the timeless allure of a “forever stock.”

Visa (V)

When clichés about the indomitable American consumer seem exhausted, 2023 corroborated their resilience. Despite the looming specters of soaring interest rates and inflation, the consumer’s steadfast penchant for expenditure prevailed. The truth rings stark in the New York Fed’s revelation that credit card debt spiraled to $1.08 trillion in Q3 2023. This sturdy dynamic signifies a compelling case for investment in Visa (NYSE:V).

PepsiCo (PEP)

The parable of the comeback kids finds resonance in PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP). Dismal concerns about the consumer’s inclination towards soda and snacks in light of spiraling food prices was it’s plight at the start of the year. However, the denouement of 2023 disclosed resilient revenue and earning figures, elevating PEP stock’s value despite recent skirmishes with its 50-day simple moving average.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY)

As one of Warren Buffet’s favored picks, Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) epitomizes a phoenix amidst the energy sector’s recovery. Shellacked by underwhelming performance in 2023, the quiescent trajectory of crude oil prices yielded limited respite. However, the enduring allure of oil demand continues to underwrite the promise of OXY stock, bolstered by the weighty imprimatur of Buffett’s resounding confidence.