Top Stocks for 2014

The top stocks for 2014 are going to be those that have a strong track record of growth, a promising outlook for the future, and fair distribution of dividends among stockholders. One of the best ways to make sure your investments are not only sound, but also smart, is to know your market before buying a single share. The following tips will help you pick the right stocks on your own, and give you companies to use as starting points in researching different industries. The top stocks are going to be the ones that can weather another economic downturn, if and when it happens. For that reason, look to industries like pharmaceutical companies, personal entertainment powerhouses, and the growing technology sectors to find a stock that you feel good about investing in.

Picking the Right Stock

There is no magic formula for picking a great stock. Each potential investment needs to be considered carefully, from both your own financial standpoint and that of the company you’re thinking about investing in. Finding the right stock means taking a few steps to ensure you’re making sound judgments. First, find companies you really and truly believe in. Take an assessment of the things you spend money on, and make an inventory list of whose products you buy and which companies do you continue to regularly make an investment in? Compare these different companies by looking at annual financial statements and evaluating them closely: What are the company’s earnings? What dividends does it pay? Also look at the different prices per share of each company’s stock. Prices that reflect accurate value are usually safer investments, but if a company is being undervalued in the market, boom times could be just around the corner.
Here are four top stocks that you need to consider for your portfolio:

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX)

This company already has a good track record for excellent returns. Its focus is on products used in neurology, dermatology, and branded generics — industries that are generally experiencing continuous growth. The company markets its products worldwide, and innovative treatments mean profits. So for someone with an interest in investing in pharmaceutical companies, this one tops the list of investments to give serious consideration to.

Netflix (NFLX)

Although there were problems for the company when it pushed its focus to data streaming, its success over the past year has been great for investors. Its original programming is even getting the attention of national awards shows. Last year the stock rose by 150% in 2013 and more growth is expected through 2014. For someone who wants to invest in both technology and entertainment, Netflix has to be on the list of potential investments.

Mazor Robotics (MZOR)

The robotics industry has experienced lots of growth in recent years and is expecting lots more.The company has been recognized recently for some innovative breakthrough treatments in Parkinson’s Disease. The company is expecting more growth, and is currently seeking capital. Its offering of 2,400,000 shares in late 2013 could mean more innovations in the near future. A stock that combines technology and healthcare, this one is looking promising for 2014.

Sirius XM (SIRI)

No longer a start-up, Sirius XM has been around for years now and the company is seriously keeping its momentum going. The network continues to add big names to its lineup, and it already has a strong track record of growth that is expected to continue producing returns over at least the next two years. Projections are looking good for the company — and its stock.

Sometimes the best way to approach the stock market is to emulate the behavior of people with sound, proven investment strategies. Take Warren Buffett, for example. He picks companies he likes, and buys when the market is down. That way, he knows he can expect a return when the market picks back up.

A few warning signs to watch for include making sure large one-time expenses are not being claimed by the same company every year. This could be a sign of trouble within the company, and a careful evaluation of a potential pick‘s financial statements can reveal discrepancies that may give you a heads up on the health of a company.

It’s always a good idea to compare similar stocks, and analyze why certain companies are valued higher when what they do is similar to an under-performing company. Learning to see trends in the market is key to making good investments. The best way to learn how to do that is to really study the companies you’re buying into. It’s easy to lose sight of that important fact when you’re actually buying stock, but make sure you keep it in mind as you make investment decisions: What you’re actually buying is a share of that company. So make sure to only invest in companies you really believe in based on solid information and strong, detailed financial statements.