It’s been a volatile time for the stock market, but these top-performing stocks have posted solid growth despite that rockiness. Below are the best stocks in the S&P 500, measured by year-to-date performance.
Are these the best stocks to invest in right now? Not necessarily. Not only is predicting the future of even the current best performers a job the pros haven’t yet mastered, but the best stocks for your portfolio aren’t necessarily the best stocks for someone else’s portfolio.
If you’re looking for the best stocks to invest in, NerdWallet’s recommendation is to invest in stocks through index funds, devoting 10% or less of your overall portfolio to individual stocks. For more on index funds, jump to below this list.
Best stocks as of June 2019
|Symbol||Company Name||Security Type||Security Price||Price Performance (YTD)|
|COTY||Coty Inc||Common Stock||$12.34||88.11%|
|APC||Anadarko Petroleum Corp||Common Stock||$70.37||60.52%|
|XRX||Xerox Corp||Common Stock||$30.61||54.91%|
|CMG||Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc||Common Stock||$659.97||52.85%|
|TSS||Total System Services Inc.||Common Stock||$123.53||51.96%|
|CPRT||Copart Inc||Common Stock||$71.48||49.60%|
|GPN||Global Payments Inc.||Common Stock||$154.04||49.36%|
|MSCI||MSCI Inc||Common Stock||$220.01||49.23%|
|AMD||Advanced Micro Devices Inc||Common Stock||$27.41||48.48%|
|CELG||Celgene Corp||Common Stock||$93.79||46.34%|
|CDNS||Cadence Design Systems Inc||Common Stock||$63.57||46.21%|
|XRAY||DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc||Common Stock||$53.87||44.77%|
|DISH||DISH Network Corp||Common Stock||$36.11||44.61%|
|SYF||Synchrony Financial||Common Stock||$33.63||43.35%|
|TSN||Tyson Foods Inc.||Common Stock||$75.89||42.12%|
|LLL||L3 Technologies Inc||Common Stock||$242.06||39.39%|
|FLT||FleetCor Technologies Inc||Common Stock||$258.21||39.03%|
|HRS||Harris Corp||Common Stock||$187.19||39.02%|
|SNPS||Synopsys Inc||Common Stock||$116.44||38.22%|
|HES||Hess Corp||Common Stock||$55.86||37.93%|
Data is current as of June 3, 2019.
The answer for many: index funds
Picking individual stocks is difficult, which is why many investors turn to index mutual funds, which bundle many stocks together.
When individual stocks come together into a diversified portfolio via index funds, they have a lot of power: The S&P 500 index — which includes approximately 500 of the largest companies in the U.S. — has posted an average annual return of nearly 10% since 1928.
» Learn more: How to invest in index funds
An S&P 500 index fund will aim to mirror the performance of the S&P 500 by investing in the companies that make up that index. If you want to cast a wider net, you could purchase a total stock market fund, which will hold thousands of stocks.
Within an index fund, the winners balance out the losers — and you don’t have to forecast which is which. That’s why we think low-cost index funds and exchange-traded funds — a type of index fund that is traded like a stock — should form the basis of a long-term portfolio.
Below are some of our picks for the best brokers for mutual funds and index funds:
» Want to see more options for index-fund investing? See the full list of brokers here.
Index funds won’t beat the market. They aren’t supposed to. An index fund’s goal is to match the returns posted by its benchmark — for an S&P 500 fund, that benchmark is the S&P 500. There are index funds that track a range of underlying assets, from small-cap stocks, to international stocks, bonds and commodities such as gold.
Index funds are inherently diversified, at least among the segment of the market they track. Because of that, all it takes is a few of these funds to build a well-rounded, diversified portfolio. They’re also less risky than attempting to pick a few could-be winners out of a lineup of stocks.
The downside: Some might argue they’re significantly less thrilling than chasing the current hot stocks. If you’re seeking that stock-picking rush, go for a happy middle ground: Dedicate 10% or less of your portfolio to predicting the next big thing, and use index funds for the rest.