You don’t make money when you buy stocks. And you don’t make money when you sell stocks. You make money by waiting.
— Mohnish Pabrai, businessman, investor, and philanthropist
It’s not easy to pick which stocks in my portfolio are my favorites, as each holds its own kind of promise. But I’ve chosen three because they’ve made me a lot of money over many years, while I simply waited. Better still, they have room to grow further, so I plan to keep waiting for many more years.
1. Intuitive Surgical
Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) is an early entrant in the robotic surgical equipment market with its da Vinci systems, which generally cost more than $1 million apiece. Check out some of the highlights it shared in January from its fourth quarter:
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- Worldwide da Vinci procedures increased approximately 19% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020, driven primarily by growth in U.S. general surgical procedures and growth in markets outside the U.S.
- The company shipped 385 da Vinci surgical systems, an increase of 18% compared with 326 in the fourth quarter of 2020.
- The installed base of da Vinci systems grew to 6,730 as of Dec. 31, 2021, an increase of 12% compared with 5,989 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020.
- Fourth-quarter 2021 revenue of $1.55 billion increased 17% year over year.
In addition, 2021 saw some 1.5 million procedures performed with the company’s systems, bringing total procedures performed so far to more than 10 million.
Intuitive Surgical has grown rapidly in recent years, at an average annual rate of 16.7% over the past decade. But management recently suggested that its growth might slow due to rising costs, supply chain issues, and fewer upgrades to its devices.
Still, I like the stock’s prospects as a long-term holding. Even if sales of its machines slow, it reaps considerable recurring revenue from sales related to its thousands of installed machines because they will keep needing supplies and servicing.
Relatively few people will likely scratch their heads at my choice of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) as one of my favorite stocks. I love Apple’s business model, which involves building a sticky ecosystem of products, so that if you have one or two of its products, you’ll likely buy more, partly because they all interact with one another so well. The ecosystem includes smartphones, smart watches, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, a music streaming service, …….