Stocks to buy

Investors can find growth plays in many corners of the stock market, but  a smart play would be looking for the stocks reshaping the future. These are companies at the forefront of a burgeoning trend that look poised to run away with a large slice of the growing market share. 

A good first place to look is at the population as a whole. Unfortunately, we’re getting older and more unhealthy. The WHO estimates that 1 in 6 people will be over 60 by 2030. By 2050, the proportion of the population that’s over 60 will have almost doubled t0 22% from 2015 levels. It’s an undeniable opportunity for the healthcare market, and one that’s compounded by the growing obesity epidemic. By 2035, over half of the global population is expected to be overweight or obese. This condition is expected to cost about $4.32 billion annually, or about 3% of global GDP.

That makes healthcare and pharmaceutical drug makers a good first place to start your search. While treating obesity is going to be a top priority, managing the conditions that stem from it will also be a big business. There’s an undisputed link between obesity and cancer, and with the rising average age, cancer drugs will be in demand. Joint replacement is another market worth watching — it’s expected to grow rapidly over the next few years as aging and obesity takes a tole on the public’s bodies. 

Switching gears from healthcare, technology is another obvious place to look for the best stocks for the future. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been gaining momentum with the advent of ChatGPT and its competitors. But machine learning is set to become much bigger than just a chat bot that knows it all. It’s a market that’s expected to grow at nearly 40% per year through 2030, offering a great investment opportunity. 

Zimmer Biomet (ZBI)

Source: Shutterstock / PopTika

Zimmer Biomet (NYSE:ZBH) specializes in large-joint reconstruction, meaning things like hips and knees. The past few years have been a challenge for Zimmer as it struggled with inventory issues and quality control. But with new management at the helm the group appears to be in a strong position to ride the wave of new demand well into the future. 

Zimmer has been working to build out its portfolio of complementary procedures in order to capitalize on the savings and synergies between its businesses. Strategic acquisitions together with deft management have put the group in a strong position to drive growth and improve profitability. This strategy is starting to bear fruit as the group boosted its 2023 earnings guidance in the first quarter after posting revenue growth across all categories in the first quarter. 

Zimmer should be able to hold on to its strong position in the industry even as it grows, though there are some risks to be mindful of. Right now, surgeons themselves tend to be the main decision makers when it comes to the brands they use. But this could start to change as healthcare reform takes hold and hospitals look to streamline their costs. Given Zimmer already has a stronghold on the market, the group should be able to adapt to the changing landscape.

Roche Holding (RHHBY)

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Plenty of stocks are reshaping the future in the pharmaceutical sector, such as Swiss healthcare giant Roche Holding (OTCMKTS:RHHBY). The group has a strong track-record of revenue growth and its pipeline looks promising for the years ahead. However, Roche shares are depressed as the market digests the impact of lower Covid-19 diagnostic sales and failed trial results. But this could make for an attractive entry point for long-term investors. 

The group’s Covid-related demand losses are expected to be offset by growth in two new treatments to address lymphoma. Roche’s existing portfolio is heavy on oncology drugs and its pipeline follows a similar trajectory. It’s got 47 drugs in Phase 3 trials, suggesting there could be new revenue streams online in the near future.

Thomas Schinecker has taken over as CEO at Roche, and he’s overseeing the transition to a more efficient organization. This should accelerate the pace of change at Roche, allowing the firm to squeeze more out of its promising pipeline.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Source: Asif Islam / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the OG when it comes to stocks reshaping the future. There will likely be a lag before its next big project has a real impact, but that shouldn’t stop long-term investors from picking up the stock now. 

The group is made up of an enviable mishmash of strong businesses— from the software that people use everyday to its growing cloud arm. Notably, personal computing is struggling at present thanks to stretched budgets. But the cloud marches on, continuing to pick up the slack. It’s here we expect to see most of Microsoft’s growth, especially as the group integrates AI into this offering.

Microsoft owns a large stake in OpenAI, which puts the group directly at the center of the AI revolution. As AI capabilities grow, so should Microsoft’s potential in the cloud. Not only will AI bolster the offerings from Microsoft’s suite of cloud computing services, but it will also help Microsoft develop a strong cloud security offering at a time businesses will be looking to protect themselves against AI attacks.

On the date of publication, Marie Brodbeck did not hold (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.

Marie Brodbeck has a Finance degree from Duquesne University and has been a financial journalist for more than a decade. Her work can be seen in a variety of publications including InvestorPlace, Benzinga, Yahoo Finance and CCN.

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