Do you just want to set it and forget it, so to speak? While this mindset is the essence of a buy-and-hold strategy, it also arguably oversimplifies it. Buying and holding is clearly a long-term thing, but that doesn’t mean you should never check in on those stocks.
Some publicly traded companies out there, however, are so reliable regardless of the economic backdrop that they can be considered “unstoppable” for long-term investors. Here’s a closer look at three of them you might want to consider adding to your portfolio while they’re cheaper than they were just a few months ago.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK) never really seemed like it was wholeheartedly working on a COVID-19 vaccine and seemed happy to let rivals like Pfizer and Moderna take up the mantle. And what little effort Merck had made on the coronavirus vaccine front was largely abandoned early last year when the company discontinued trials of its vaccine candidates V590 and V591. The reason? Lackluster effectiveness. Given all of this, it’s not surprising Merck was one of the few drug stocks that underperformed for the better part of the past couple of years.
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In retrospect, it’s probably been more of a benefit than a liability that Merck didn’t wade waist-deep into COVID vaccine waters.
Although the pandemic proved lucrative for some pharma names, that revenue surge was never going to be fully sustained. A great deal of other research and development was put on hold to focus on the creation of COVID vaccines. Now many of these companies’ pipelines are a year or more behind.
But not Merck. It has 77 unique phase 2 trials underway and 29 phase 3 programs. That’s in addition to three drug approval requests being reviewed by regulators right now. Its pipeline also consists of several new uses of cancer-fighting miracle drug Keytruda, which after its first approval back in 2018 has expanded into a franchise worth $17 billion per year. There’s still more growth in the cards, though.
The market’s starting to figure all of this out, by the way. After nearly two years’ worth of tepid performance, Merck shares are now up more than 20% just since the end of 2021. However, there’s more gas left in the tank for this pharmaceutical outfit that remained focused on its particular bigger picture.
2. Procter & Gamble
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) is the …….