6 Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

Warren Buffett once said, “Our favorite holding period is forever.” Although “forever” may be an exaggeration (even for Buffett), it would certainly make investing simpler if you could buy good stocks and then mentally lock them away in your portfolio.

(Image credit: Illustration by Zara Picken)

Warren Buffett once said, “Our favorite holding period is forever.” Although “forever” may be an exaggeration (even for Buffett), it would certainly make investing simpler if you could buy good stocks and then mentally lock them away in your portfolio. But not every stock is a keeper.

We went looking for financially healthy, well-managed companies with an ironclad lead in their industries and promising prospects for growth. These are the kind of winning businesses you can buy no matter what the overall market is doing, the ones that smart investors buy more of when prices dip.

Some of the firms on our list may surprise you; others are no-brainers. They aren’t stumble-proof. Every company has its weak spots. But we think these have enough potential for gains to overcome those risks. Although they look like good buys now, a bargain share price wasn’t our top priority. If the firm is a powerhouse and your commitment is long term, sometimes it’s okay to pay a premium. “Price is what you pay,” as Buffett also once said. “Value is what you get.”

Prices and other data, unless otherwise noted, are as of June 15. Earnings growth rates are annualized estimates for the next three- to five-year period. Stocks are listed alphabetically.

Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.