Growth stocks can make you rich. Rapidly expanding companies can grow their sales and profits exponentially over time, thereby creating enormous wealth for their investors along the way.
The key, of course, is knowing which stocks to buy -- and when. One way to do so is to find powerful long-term trends that can propel the growth of even the largest industries -- and the companies best positioned to profit from them.
Here are five outstanding stocks with particularly powerful growth drivers.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) gives investors multiple ways to win. Its graphics processing units (GPUs) are increasingly being used by cloud computing giants such as Google Cloud to accelerate their data-center operations. Its GPUs also help to power cutting-edge gaming systems, which are benefiting both from higher demand for home-based entertainment during the COVID-19 crisis and the growth of competitive gaming around the world.
Better still, NVIDIA's chips are finding new uses in areas such as healthcare, autonomous vehicles, and telecommunication networks. These are potentially massive new markets for NVIDIA, and they should help to fuel its growth for many years to come.
DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU) is helping businesses adapt to a coronavirus-filled world. Its software helps people create, sign, and manage digital agreements. DocuSign's e-signature technology was already enjoying solid adoption before the COVID-19 crisis, and the need for social distancing during the pandemic has only served to boost demand for its services.
As the e-signature leader, DocuSign is helping to accelerate the digital transformation megatrend. And with many businesses still in the early innings of transitioning their paper-based processes to the cloud, DocuSign has many years of strong growth still ahead.
COVID-19 is also accelerating the growth of e-commerce and digital payments. Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) stands to benefit from these industries' expansion in China more than any other company.
Alibaba dominates the online retail market in China, where e-commerce sales are forecasted to surpass $4 trillion annually by 2023, up from $1.9 trillion in 2019, according to eMarketer. Alibaba also owns a 33% stake in Ant Group, which operates Alipay, a leading online and mobile payment service in China. This gives Alibaba -- and its shareholders -- two powerful ways to profit as retail sales shift online in the world's most populous nation over the coming decade.
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) likewise stands to profit from the e-commerce industry's impressive growth. In fact, the digital payments leader is helping to drive it.
PayPal makes online sales easier, faster, and more secure. It eliminates the need for online shoppers to expose their credit or debit card account numbers each time they make a purchase. In doing so, it helps to protect them from those who would use this information to make fraudulent purchases. More confident consumers make more purchases, much to the pleasure of online merchants.
PayPal also owns the popular peer-to-peer payments app Venmo. This provides its shareholders with another great way to profit from the surging growth of digital payments and cash transfers around the world.
Like DocuSign, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) is helping companies digitally transform their operations. The tech titan's cloud-based customer relationship management software makes it easier to conduct business remotely. It also tends to be more cost-effective and secure than traditional software.
Moreover, Salesforce's data integration platform -- which helps companies aggregate and analyze data from a multitude of sources -- is widely considered best-in-class. Additionally, its Einstein artificial intelligence platform is helping to position Salesforce as a leader in increasingly important fields such as natural language processing, image classification, and automatic speech recognition. Together, these advanced technologies should help to fuel Salesforce's relentless expansion in the decade ahead.
10 stocks we like better than Salesforce.com
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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), DocuSign, NVIDIA, PayPal Holdings, and Salesforce.com and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.