Personal Finance

3 Stocks You Can Keep Forever

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We Fools believe that the best way to build wealth is to buy high-quality stocks and hold them for extended periods of time. The trick to making this work is to only buy companies that are capable of growing their revenue and earnings for years on end. That's why when I find a company that I believe fits that description, I tend to hang on to it through thick and thin. Below is a list of three companies -- The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN) , Mercadolibre (NASDAQ: MELI) , and Proto Labs (NYSE: PRLB) -- that I believe are ideal "keep forever" investments.

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When added together, these trends should keep MercardoLibre's top line growing at a furious rate for years to come. That makes this a terrific stock for growth-focused investors to get to know.

3D printing as a service

The last few years haven't been kind to 3D printing investors, and it is not hard to understand why. Like the dot com bubble of the late 90's, most 3D printing stocks became vastly over-hyped in late 2013. These stocks have been in free fall ever since, which has weighed heavily on shares of Proto Labs, even though it stands apart from other 3D printing companies.

What makes Proto Labs unique is that it doesn't manufacture the 3D printers themselves. Instead, the company caters to developers who are in the prototyping process with a new product. Proto Labs has created proprietary software that allows developers to order custom parts in a flash. Once an order is placed, the company uses specialized machines and 3D printers to turn the designs into real parts in little as one day. That's far faster than the traditional process, which gives Proto Labs a huge edge over rivals.

Proto Labs' unique offering has attracted a big following that continues to grow at a rapid pace. As of the third quarter, the company counted more than 14,271 unique product developers and engineers on platform, which is up 14% over the year-ago period. This number should continue to tick higher in the coming years as more developers learn about Proto Labs' services. That provides Proto Labs with a huge opportunity to grow its revenue and profits for decades to come, making this a stock that I plan to hold on to for the ultra long term.

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Brian Feroldi owns shares of MercadoLibre, Priceline Group, and Proto Labs. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MercadoLibre, Priceline Group, and Proto Labs. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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