7 of the Best Long-Term Stocks to Buy

After the last few years of pandemic and geopolitical unrest, there’s no telling what 2024 will bring. And if you start trying to guess what 2025 or even 2035 will be like, chances are even less likely that your predictions will be correct.

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Interestingly enough, however, a lot of investment research shows that a buy-and-hold approach can be more profitable in the long run than quickly trading in and out of stocks. That’s because the costs incurred by active trading — and by betting on the wrong fads at the wrong time — can counteract any potential gains you may make short term when you happen to be right.

The following seven picks are all well-established companies that pay dividends, with a good chance of sticking around regardless of what comes their way:

Stock Sector Market Cap Dividend yield
Apple Inc. (ticker: AAPL) Information technology $3 trillion 0.5%
Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) Utilities $31 billion 3.6%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Health care $374 billion 3.1%
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Financial $484 billion 2.5%
Prologis Inc. (PLD) Real estate $122 billion 2.6%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Communication services $157 billion 7.1%
Williams Cos. Inc. (WMB) Energy $42 billion 5.1%

Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Market cap: $3 trillion

Dividend yield: 0.5%

Sector: Information technology

Apple is the largest stock listed on U.S. exchanges, exponentially larger than other technology stocks on Wall Street. For instance: Next year, the firm is forecasting some $420 billion in revenue, and it’s currently sitting on more than $60 billion in cash and marketable securities. With a scale like that — and with one of the most valuable brands on the planet thanks to its iconic iPhone — it seems all but a certainty that AAPL stock is going to remain dominant in the years to come. Throw in the fact that many investment funds allocate their assets to the largest stocks first, and there are also significant structural reasons why institutional money will keep flowing to Apple for the foreseeable future.

Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED)

Market cap: $31 billion

Dividend yield: 3.6%

Sector: Utilities

Utility stocks are generally a great sector to consider for long-term investing given that electricity is a necessity, the infrastructure is expensive for new entrants to build out, and the industry is highly regulated and controlled. ConEd is a great example of a utility stock with a “wide moat” to fend off competition, distributing electricity to about 3.5 million customers in the New York City area and natural gas to 1.1 million more. The company just notched its 50th year of consecutive dividend increases, proving a long-term commitment to sharing its success with shareholders. There may not be a ton of growth in the utilities sector, but there is definitely stability. That’s what makes ED appealing as a buy-and-hold investment.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Market cap: $374 billion

Dividend yield: 3.1%

Sector: Health care

Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest and most established stocks in the health care sector, with more than 135 years of operations and one of the best credit ratings in the world. From a dividend perspective, the health care giant has raised its payouts for 61 years running — one of the longest track records on Wall Street. A few months ago, J&J spun off its consumer health business that includes Tylenol and Band-Aid products to focus operations and provide capital for a M&A appetite that its CFO called “voracious.” With current scale and future ambitions like that, JNJ is definitely a long-term investment to watch.

[5 Strategic Technology Trends to Watch in 2024]

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Market cap: $484 billion

Dividend yield: 2.5%

Sector: Financial

Megabank JPMorgan Chase has long been a leader in the banking industry. It was the first major financial organization in the U.S. to eclipse its pre-financial-crisis dividend levels — and thanks to the bargain basement purchase of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual during the crisis, it quickly emerged much stronger on the other side. That track record has continued more recently with its acquisition of First Republic, after the bank failed in early 2023 amid volatility associated with changes to interest rates. This megabank has roots dating back to 1799 and is currently the largest U.S. bank by assets thanks to moves like that. If you’re a long-term investor after income, JPM is definitely worth a look.

Prologis Inc. (PLD)

Market cap: $122 billion

Dividend yield: 2.6%

Sector: Real estate

Prologis owns or operates real estate across 19 countries. But it’s not a residential property company or even an office building specialist. Instead, it dominates industrial parks with logistics and warehouse facilities. Top Prologis clients include Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and FedEx Corp. (FDX), with a broader portfolio of roughly 6,600 customers renting 1.2 billion square feet of space. With dominant scale and a bulletproof business model in the age of e-commerce and just-in-time delivery, PLD is a dividend-paying real estate firm for all long-term investors to consider.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

Market cap: $157 billion

Dividend yield: 7.1%

Sector: Communication services

Telecom king Verizon is the No. 1 wireless carrier in America right now, with more than 140 million customers compared with a little over 110 million for T Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) and about 100 million for AT&T Inc. (T). And in an era where mobile connectivity is a must-have for consumers and businesses alike, VZ is a pretty safe long-term bet. Throw in the fact that it yields nearly five times the dividend of the typical S&P 500 stock, with a reliable payout history thanks to customers sending in regular monthly payments like clockwork, and there’s a lot of reason to buy and hold VZ stock for the long haul.

Williams Cos. Inc. (WMB)

Market cap: $42 billion

Dividend yield: 5.1%

Sector: Energy

It’s no easy task to identify energy stocks with staying power in this age of climate change. But “midstream” energy stock Williams is perhaps more noteworthy than the other multinational Big Oil leaders out there because its unique business model leaves it relatively insulated from the ups and downs of commodity prices. As an energy infrastructure company, it operates more than 33,000 miles of pipelines, 29 processing facilities and about 24 million barrels of storage capacity. This more consistent focus in the energy sector makes it a more reliable dividend payer and a safer long-term bet than smaller and more aggressive stocks in the industry.

More from U.S. News

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7 of the Best Long-Term Stocks to Buy originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 12/26/23: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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