Best Stocks to Buy Now

Our list of the best stocks to buy now reflect the lesson of the past few years: Be ready for anything.

gold, silver and bronze medals
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Kiplinger's annual investing outlook, which includes the best stocks to buy, has been a feature for our readers since 2012. Anne Kates Smith, executive editor for Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, has skillfully authored the piece, surveying the stock market and economy and synthesizing her findings into key takeaways. 

That's no small task, given the broad and dynamic nature of the market. Along with conducting plenty of research, Anne relies on the depth of her experience to draw out the most important trends and likely winners for the best stocks to buy in the coming year. "This is my 13th year writing this story, but I've been an investing writer for far longer," says Anne. "I've seen investors through a lot of bull and bear markets." 

Over the years, Anne has honed a rigorous process for shaping the outlook, interviewing many economists, market strategists and money managers for their perspectives on what's to come. She also attended several investment webinars and read dozens of pieces of Wall Street research and analysis to inform the outlook this year. 

Typically, Anne says, "it takes an enormous amount of reporting just to start hearing common themes come through" on where the market is headed and how investors should respond. 

How you can choose the best stocks to buy

But for 2024, amid the usual diversity of opinion among her sources, she quickly encountered broad acknowledgement that the best line of defense for investors in an uncertain macroeconomic environment is being disciplined and selective as they seek out high-quality companies. 

That means when investors are seeking out the best stocks to buy, they should look beyond factors such as company size (small-capitalization and large-capitalization stocks, for instance) or investing style (such as growth or value) and search for stocks of companies with consistent profits, good cash flow and other indicators that reflect quality, says Anne.

Anne also points out that although our outlook provides context and advice related to general market trends, individual investors have their own risk tolerance and time horizon to consider. A good financial adviser can help you compose and manage a portfolio that suits your situation. But finding an adviser who has the right expertise, with whom you feel comfortable (both in managing your investments and on a more personal level) and who charges fees that seem commensurate with the services provided can be a challenge. 

In Kiplinger's feature, "How to Find the Right Financial Adviser," contributor David Rodeck takes you through the options – especially when it comes to price. He also outlines the pros and cons of various fee structures and offers guidance on finding the right overall match, too. "Hiring an adviser is often a costly undertaking," Rodeck writes. "Just remember that the typical investor who goes it alone underperforms the market, and mistakes such as selling in a panic after a market crash and missing the future rebound contribute to that underperformance."

Anne Kates Smith
Executive Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Anne Kates Smith brings Wall Street to Main Street, with decades of experience covering investments and personal finance for real people trying to navigate fast-changing markets, preserve financial security or plan for the future. She oversees the magazine's investing coverage,  authors Kiplinger’s biannual stock-market outlooks and writes the "Your Mind and Your Money" column, a take on behavioral finance and how investors can get out of their own way. Smith began her journalism career as a writer and columnist for USA Today. Prior to joining Kiplinger, she was a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and a contributing columnist for TheStreet. Smith is a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., the third-oldest college in America.


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