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James Glassman’s 10 Stock Market Picks for 2021

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Since 1993, I have offered an annual list of 10 stocks. Nine are culled from the choices of experts I trust, and I include one of my own. For the fifth year in a row, those annual selections beat the S&P 500 index. This kind of streak isn’t supposed to happen, and readers should be warned that there’s no guarantee it will continue. Still, allow me to celebrate a bit. The 2020 results again illustrate the importance of diversification. Four of the 10 stocks fell in value (including one that went bankrupt), but five rose more than 25% each (including two that more than doubled). Overall, my selections returned an average of 28.8% over the past 12 months, compared with 16.3% for the S&P 500. (Prices and returns are as of November 6.)

Once again, Terry Tillman, an analyst with Truist Securities (formerly SunTrust Robinson Humphrey), came through big-time. My annual selections from Tillman’s “buy” recommendations have beaten the S&P now for nine years in a row. His 2020 choice, Okta (symbol OKTA), returned a whopping 115.5%. For 2021, I like his choice of Upland Software (UPLD, $47), based in Austin, Texas, which offers digital tools for companies to manage their customer base. This small-cap stock is risky. Profits are still elusive, but Upland has more than 10,000 customers, and revenues rose in the most recent quarter by 35% over the same period last year.

The other huge winner in 2020 was Nvidia (NVDA), maker of microprocessors for applications such as artificial intelligence and PC gaming. Returning 180.9%, it was a standout in the portfolio of another regular on my list, Jerome Dodson of Parnassus Endeavor (PARWX). Dodson, a value maven, has lately been scooping up shares of another chipmaker, Intel (INTC, $45), which moved in the opposite direction of Nvidia in the past year, falling 18.9%. Intel looks like an unusual tech bargain, with a price-earnings ratio of 10 and a 2.9% dividend yield.


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