7 Boring Stocks to Buy and Hold for a Lifetime

Finding buy-and-hold long term stocks for your portfolio is essential for success. Especially when we’re talking about firms producing strong returns, with solid long-term outlooks. While the stocks listed below may not grab headlines like the leading tech companies do, but they can — and have provided returns that are equally as impressive. 

Long Term Stocks: Coca-Cola (KO)

It’s easy to argue that Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) isn’t a very interesting stock. Soft drinks and snacks are probably much less commonly discussed than iPhones and Artificial Intelligence. Still, the KO stock has returned an average of 7.83% over the past 10 years. That’s the kind of growth that doubles the value of an investment in a decade’s time. Juxtapose that with any of the many trendy stocks that have boomed only to bust during the same period and it begins to become clearer why ‘boring’ isn’t actually bad. Further, KO stock comes with a dividend that isn’t going to be reduced. It’s also a dividend that wasn’t factored into those aforementioned annual returns so actual returns are higher. 

Long Term Stocks: Honeywell (HON) 

Honeywell (NASDAQ:HON) is a diversified holdings company that touches a wide swath of industry overall. That makes the stock a reasonable proxy for the economy and a bet on future growth. The stock market is divided into 11 sectors and Honeywell touches all of them in some form. It provides software to firms in every corner from energy to aerospace to healthcare and building technology. 

It’s that last category that has many investors particularly interested in Honey of late. There’s a big push for increased connectivity between everyday objects. The thinking goes that the more objects there are connected to teh internet, the more efficiency there will be derived. Analytics and remote sensing offer strong returns for exactly that reason. Honeywell is, therefore, one of the more notable firms in the IoT space, a sector that is expected to produce 26% compound annual returns (1) between this year and 2030. Revenues and earnings are expected to continue growing and investors will get a dividend song with that growth. 

Long-Term Stocks: 3M (MMM)

3M (NYSE:MMM) isn’t doing so hot at the moment. The company remains embroiled in disputes that it is responsible for PFAS (Polyfluorinated Substances) detectible in public water supplies across the nation. That dispute led to 3M recently agreeing to pay as much as $10.3 billion over 13 years to remediate affected public water supplies. 

There’s an obvious pattern here that investors should recognize. Big business creates an issue, gets caught, share prices fall, pays to move past the issue, and prices rebound. Investors can rightly be cynical about that pattern but the pattern remains. That suggests MMM stock is currently one to buy for the long haul. 

I think inventors inherently expect that 3M will rebound due to its sheer size and presence. Q1 earnings were weak with sales slumping by 9% and EPS falling by $0.50 to $1.76. That didn’t do much to share prices. That leads me to believe that investors do expect a rebound and for 3M to simply rise. The PFAS issue sent shares lower which creates a buying opportunity despite the misgivings of those who understand the broader implication. 

Exxon Mobil (XOM)

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has leveled off in 2023, creating buying opportunities for long-term investors. You know what you’re going to get with XOM shares: A company that steadily rewards with dividend income and is transitioning from a pure play in oil. 

We saw that big oil firms boom on unpredictable market factors in 2022. Skyrocketing earnings resulted and investors moved into oil en masse. But oil prices are fickle and in 2023 have fallen since. Further, Exxon Mobil is dealing with a sea change affecting energy production in which pressure to reduce carbon emissions forces its hand. For its part, Exxon Mobil has jumped into the mix and is now seeking lithium production. It purchased drilling rights in Arkansas in the Smackover formation, signaling what many already know: Internal combustion vehicle demand is facing a peak that will limit the company’s future growth prospects. 

Big Oil won’t sit by and watch profits slip through its fingers. Exxon Mobil has the resources to pivot iteratively and may or may not win. But it’s going to pay those who invest in that bet through dividends and relative stability as it moves in that direction. 

Costco (COST)

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) has been good at what it does for quite some time. The stock has more recently boomed as price-conscious shoppers flood its aisles. But it’s always been a strategic firm that executes well. It’s a psychological study in getting the consumer to spend incrementally more that is winning. 

There’s little reason to believe Costco will change in that regard. I know I always spend more than I intend to when visiting Costco. The data confirms I’m not alone in that regard. The result is a company that has reported more than $160 billion in sales over the past 36 weeks and continues to grow at a moderate pace. Net income is rising as well in a time when many other firms are having trouble controlling expenses. 

Costco has gained important data as foot traffic soared over the past year that it will use to make its shopping experience even better tailored to quietly separate customers from even greater amounts of cash. That’s how stocks appreciate in value over the long run. 

MercadoLibre (MELI)

MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) is, in my opinion, the most exciting stock on this list simply due to its growth. Latin America’s eCommerce champion has seen its EBITDA growth rate more than triple over the past 3 years. In 2020 revenues reached $3.97 billion and by 2022 had eclipsed $10 billion. 

Those phenomenal figures don’t stop there. Firm-wide revenues grew by 58.4% in the first quarter with net income more than doubling. It is growing in a way that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) did long ago garnering obvious comparisons. Its user base continues to groe rapidly. MercadoLibre now has more than 101 million users, up from 81 million a year earlier. It is the name in Latin American eCommerce. 

The comparison between MercadoLibre and Amazon is telling. Amazon provided massive returns for investors over the past few decades as it grew to dominate North American eCommerce. MercadoLibre promises the same just in a different market. 

Realty Income (O)

Realty Income (NYSE:O) is a REIT that operates a leasing business focusing on convenience store retail properties and reliable income for investors. It certainly does that with a monthly dividend yielding more than 5% that hasn’t been reduced since 1999. So, Realty Income is a great choice for income alone. However, it’s much more than that. 

Without even factoring in the dividend, O stock has grown at 9.04% annually over the last decade. That’s better than the markets overall. Investors who reinvested those dividends received much greater returns. Those who didn’t, had extra cash while their initial investment capital more than doubled. 

What’s even better about Realty Income is that it is invested in stable commercial real estate that includes stores like 7-Eleven, Walgreen’s and others that simply have more stability. That was the initial strategy of its founders and it was a strong one. 

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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