Shave and a latte

My next stock picks are boring ones: Starbucks and Procter and Gamble. Both score 11/14 on my scale and show impressive growth each year. Except this year, of course – but we knew that already. (Articles abound on what a horrible year it’s going to be on Wall Street and why: primarily the bottom falling out of the housing boom and catching subprime lenders with their pants down).

Procter and Gamble is a nice safe bet. They make everything you need to run a household: dish soap, laundry detergent, even beauty products… and oh yeah, they own Gillette. So even though their annual growth only averages between 6-20% (“only” when compared to stocks like Berkshire, that once jumped 608% in one year), it’s still nothing to sneeze at. And if you do, they’ll have a tissue for you. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Starbucks has run into some trouble lately. Their financial appeal is down quite a bit, and will likely go down even further before it turns upward (I may wait a few more days before buying) – but for a very good reason: a new expansion effort. Hey, it costs a lot of moolah to build all those cute little trendoid magnets! So for a short while, it looks like they have lots of debt and not a lot of cash on hand…. but after that, watch those (star) bucks roll in. So it’s a great buy right now.

A friend of mine and I are new subscribers to Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor magazine, and I’m surprised at how few of the stocks they suggest fit my criteria well (perhaps 10%). Strange, considering that I adopted the criteria from their own publications. Still, it’s going to be helpful as a springboard towards doing some more of my own research… and creating a wishlist. They each score 11 points or better, are leaders in their field, show significant growth per year, and blah blah blah.

Johnson & Johnson

Navteq Corporation

Netflix (because it’s been tanking during its war with Blockbuster, the price is right – but I mean think long-term, and who do you think will win, Netflix or Blockbuster? Come on.)


American Express (and Visa when it becomes public – supposed to be sometime this year)

Hewlett Packard

Intuitive Surgical

Berkshire Hathaway B (like I would ever be able to afford one of these)

…Aaaand there are lots and lots of others that I sorta want too, but I won’t bore you all the way to tears tonight. I’ll save more of that for later posts. :)

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