Millennial investors -- that is, those who were born between 1980 and 2000 and have been investing in just the past 15 years -- have only known extreme unpredictability. Many of them grew up in the 1990s, during one of the greatest economic and market expansions in U.S. history. They saw the dot-com boom and then bust, the ravages of 9/11 and the global war on terror. They lived through the Great Recession, the flash crash and now are seeing markets hit new highs and a roaring economy.
That's a lot of volatility to take in in a short period of time. You could forgive millennials for being skittish investors.
But, like every generation before it, millennials need to be in the markets. Investing in equities has long been a road to prosperity for Americans and millennials will be no different. But which stocks should millennials own?
As a millennial myself, I can tell you that we have been trained through the ups and downs of the market and the constant news media coverage around it to chase the upside and ride the downside. We would have been better off doing the exact opposite. So how do you invest as a millennial?
First, you should start off with a solid set of stocks that you can depend on for the long haul, a value investing portfolio that, if prudently managed, should earn you good returns for the length of your life.
Here are 10 stocks that every millennial should own.
The company has built itself a reputation. Exxon currently delivers a 3% dividend yield, undergoes low selling pressure, and doesn't panic when oil volatility strikes. Another attractive feature is its price-to-earnings ratio which is 11.0, which is attractive. Given the current global oil situation, the stock has been affected and is down 5% over the quarter. Yet, the oil giant is predicting earnings-per-share growth to be a little over 4% in 2015, despite its already big size. As the cost of oil starts to trend back upward, so will Exxon Mobil.
With the recent launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple continues to experience record levels of demand. The technology giant sold 39.27 million iPhone devices in the last quarter alone. The number represents an increase of 26% on a sell-through basis. Additionally, the company proved that its demand is continuing with full momentum as it increased sales guidance. As far as valuation goes, the company is attractive at 14.9 price-to-earnings ratio.
Google seems to be very reasonably priced. The company has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 18.0. Investors in Google have been fearful as the company has reported earnings below estimates for the past few quarters. The company's shares have also suffered a minor setback but might be poised for a major comeback as the shares are down.
Rocket Fuel (FUEL)
Shares of Rocket Fuel have consistently been in turmoil as the company lowered its guidance and its full-year outlook. The company has only been public for a year and has already seen highs of nearly $72.00 and lows of $13.75. The ad-buying platform debuted about a year ago with an initial public offering price of $29.00.
Actavis is a stock packed with growth. The company has a diverse portfolio of drugs. The company has made some smart and strong decisions such as its recent acquisition of Forest Labs. The company's net revenue has increased to a staggering $3.68 billion, an 83% jump.
The online auction site announced back in Oct. that it would be splitting itself and payment processor PayPal up into two different companies. eBay has a strong balance sheet and will only continue to strengthen while revenues will do the same. With PayPal transforming, is eBay prepping itself as a buyout target?
Kate Spade (KATE)
The handbag seller is going neck and neck with brands like Coach (COH) and Michael Kors (KORS) . The stock rallied 18 percent on its last quarterly earnings release as the company reported momentous sales growth. Kate still has room to grow, the company recently announced a deal with Gap, and additionally plans to expand its products into Asia.
SolarCity Corp (SCTY)
Unlike others in its industry, the company is fundamentally solid with a great balance sheet. Although shares of the company have proven to be very volatile, SolarCity will prove to be a great investment as the company continues to gain long-term contracts. Merill Lynch recently issued a new price target of $95.00, while shares are currently trading near $50.00. Shares of the company were higher this past Friday as the company announced its partnership with Bank of America. Bank of America has agreed to finance $400 million of its solar power projects through 2015.
The company is rock solid. It has been around for nearly a century. The company is currently trading at discounted valuations compared to previous levels. Kellogg also boasts a dividend yield of nearly 3.2%. The company has historically traded at an average price-to-earnings ratio of 18.5, with that in mind the stock is currently trading at a mere 13.3 ratio.
Bank of America continues to be an attractive stock. I picked bank of America this past summer, as technical and fundamental signs pointed to an upward trend. I continue to believe that Bank of America will surge upward as the growth is still present.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL and FUEL.