Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner has just a little experience picking stocks over the last 25 years. In this week's episode of Rule Breaker Investing , he shares his 15th five-stock sampler -- five companies hand-picked to beat the market in the next four years. This time, they're inspired by the ongoing drama that is the World Cup.
These companies run the gamut from video games to e-commerce to search engines and more, but what all of them have in common is huge long-term potential. And what's a game with no points? David checks back in on the five-stock set he picked shortly after Brexit was announced -- Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG) , Hain Celestial (NASDAQ: HAIN) , Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT) , Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) , and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) . Did this tiny portfolio beat the market's 26% gain in the last few years? Tune in and find out.
A full transcript follows the video.
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This video was recorded on July 4, 2018.
David Gardner: Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing ! This is going to be a fun show. Why is it going to be a fun show? Two reasons come quickly to mind. The first is, I'm going to be picking five new stocks, five stocks that I like for the next four years going forward. It's always fun to do our five stock samplers, and it's that time of the year. Every ten episodes or so, we have one of our five stock samplers. This is that episode. It's our 15th stock sampler. We've done this 14 times. This continues our series with No. 15, and it's all World Cup-themed. That reason to think this will be fun No. 1.
Reason No. 2 is, I'm going to get to look back at one of those five-stock samplers that I picked two years ago this month. That's right, two years ago this month, I picked what I called the Brexit-inspired stock list, five companies that made me think in some way that I related back to Brexit, which had happened just weeks before -- in late spring of 2016, you'll remember. We'll get to see how those five have done. Always fun to see whether we're going to win or lose.
As I know many of my regular listeners will know, we've been pretty good with these five-stock samplers. In fact, almost all of them are beating the market as little five-stock portfolios, with the exception of just one that I talked about a few weeks ago on this show, which broke a streak. All other previous stock sampler reviews had been beating the market, except for that one. Let's see how we do with the Brexit-inspired stock list. That's what we have on the agenda this particular week.
We're going to be thinking more about the World Cup. Having watched a fair amount of World Cup soccer myself, I'd like to offer an observation or two about the event prior to getting started with our stock review lists. You have to remember that these points come from somebody who does not regularly watch soccer, or football, as it's known worldwide; somebody who tends to just show up every few years, maybe watches the women's or men's World Cup, but not really much soccer beyond the World Cup. I have a thought or two to share.
Before I get to that, I'd like to mention that I did give six investing takeaways from the World Cup on this show just a few weeks ago. If you're a World Cup fan and you're new to this podcast, you might enjoy my June 28th, 2018, where we come up with six investing takeaways from the World Cup.
Alright, let's call this short list my gripes about the World Cup. Just one or two gripes, specifically coming out of my experience watching Spain play Russia over the weekend. I'm sure some of you saw that game, or at least heard that Russia won. 1-1 was the final score of the regulation game, and then it went to penalty kicks, and Russia hit four in to Spain's three, so Russia advanced.
Two quick gripes about the World Cup. It's really more about soccer. I realize that I have a pretty big soccer fan in my producer, Rick Engdahl, who's going to be scrutinizing, I hope, what I'm about to say. Rick, if at any point you feel like I'm being unjust, or if I'm missing something about the sport, I want you to come in and correct me, or speak for the other side, if it needs to be aired out.
Rick Engdahl: Just don't blame the ref.
Gardner: Alright, I won't blame the ref. I think what troubles me about the game of soccer is how it's decided by penalty kicks. Now, this is not a new point. I see Rick nodding his head. I think a lot of people have complained about this aspect of soccer. And I think it's worth complaining about. I think there's a better way to settle this game than the artificial mini game of having guys step a few yards away from the goal to get five shots to boot it past the goalie, and whichever country in this case does better, wins. That just isn't very satisfying after watching these epic, two-hour long contests.
Two quick thoughts about how to fix what I think is broken about soccer in this case. I don't think either of these are original, so I'm just going to be sharing things you may have already thought before. The first one came to me by my good friend Todd Etter, with whom I've worked many years here at The Motley Fool. I'm sure this idea came to him from somewhere else. He said, what they really should do is, when the game gives out, when time is up, and the score is tied, they should keep playing, but every few minutes, each team loses one guy off the field. So, it starts from 11 on 11, goes down to, let's say, three minutes in, ten on ten. Three minutes later, nine on nine; eight on eight three minutes after that.
Eventually, someone's going to score. You've maintained the organic nature of the sport. You're not going to this artificial, random number generator, coin flip way of deciding with penalty kicks. You're able to enjoy the game. And you can imagine those epic endings when it got down to, let's say, three on three, or something as crazy as one on one -- which would never actually happen. But isn't that a more exciting, satisfying way to conclude a game of soccer? At least, I think it is. Rick, I do see you shaking your head.
Engdahl: Why do you think that a five on five game, say, is going to be more likely to have a goal than an 11 on 11 game?
Gardner: I think, as you thin it out, the chances of somebody kicking it without going off side and finding a striker that's largely undefended -- my theory is, let's go the other direction -- what if soccer started as 100 on 100? Do you think that there would be any goals at all?
Engdahl: Well, the number of players has a lot to do with the size of the field. And when you have these exhausted players down to five on five on that huge field, it's probably not healthy, and I'm not sure it would help.
Gardner: I understand, Rick, except that I have to counter by saying, I think it would be awesome. It would be a great test of endurance. For this reason, I think you would actually have goals that would be scored as the players thin out, because people would start getting exhausted.
Engdahl: Could be.
Gardner: [laughs] Now, an alternate way of approaching the same problem. Maybe this one's a little bit more original, because I came up with this one with my kids watching it over the weekend. How about this? Before the game starts, we go through the penalty kicks. Before the game has even started, we go through the exact same exercise. We find out ahead of time that, in this case, Russia has outscored Spain four to three on penalty kicks. Now, let's play a game of football. Over the course of those 90 or 120 minutes, there's going to be a lot more urgency on the part, in this case, of Spain, to get out there and score.
I'd like to put that very subversive thought before anybody who loves the game of soccer, because I think it would add or urgency, and it would take away, again, some of the coin-flippy nature that it feels like the game suffers from, especially when you get to these knockout games, where everything counts and it comes down to the 71.5% chance -- which is, by the way, the chance of somebody scoring a penalty kick. Historically, in World Cup games, 71.5% of the time, you kick it in. It's just really very close to coin flips when you think about how important these games are.
Engdahl: One thing about that is that it would inspire the team that wins the penalty kicks at the beginning -- Russia, in your example -- to just park the bus and play for the draw, which is not a very exciting game.
Gardner: It really could. For this reason, that one might not work as well. I think I probably still prefer the first. Although, Rick, I think you didn't like either of these.
Engdahl: I like the effort, and I think maybe we should send it out to listeners. Let's get out on Twitter figure out how we should end the World Cup draws.
Gardner: I love it. @RBIPodcast is, of course, this podcast's address on Twitter. If you have a way to solve how to end a soccer game in a more satisfying manner, go crazy. Let us know. Maybe at the end of this month, mailbag, we'll feature a few of our best ideas. I know that our listenership, replete as it is with so many Rule Breaking thinkers, can come up with a better way to do it.
If you think about it, the penalty kicks are truly just a mini game. It's an artificial mini game staged outside of the game itself. I bet there are some other good mini games. How about just a three on three with a much shorter field? Let's just settle it that way. That would be more fun. Unlimited goals could be scored over a ten-minute period. I'd love to watch that. As long as we're going to have artificial mini games decide things, let's make them actually strategic and interesting.
And then, my one other gripe -- and then, darn it, let's get to the show -- is just that Spain-Russia game. I watched it for two hours. How many shots on goal did Russia have over those two hours? The answer is, Russia had one shot on goal for the entire game. Now, I love soccer. I love what soccer can be. I don't have a specific fix for that other than to say, it's kind of funny to think, how many people felt how deeply meaningful that win was for the entire nation of Russia? They had one shot on goal over two hours, and their actual goal was scored on a penalty kick.
Alright, let's go over our stocks picked two years ago first. We're going to start with our Brexit-inspired stock list, and close out this episode with five new stocks inspired by the World Cup.
I went back and listened to my episode. It was July 13th, 2016. Went back and listened to what I was saying at the time. I had just tweeted out, in response to Brexit, this line. "We make fearful the things we don't understand." That's something that I just believe is true of human nature. Medieval map makers -- as I've had wont to say on this podcast in years past -- when they got to a place that they actually hadn't visited in the world, they would write, what? Up in the corner, usually, they'd write, "There be dragons." They wouldn't write, "We've never actually been to Ultima Thule, or to this place up here that no one has actually been to." Instead of writing, "We don't know," they wrote, "There be dragons."
We make fearful the things we don't understand. That's so true in the money world. How many people are afraid of the stock market? They don't really know it, they haven't been taught it, they don't understand that it's risen on average 10% a year for decades. They hear about the bad news when the market drops, they worry about a crash. The short-term media has them fixated on day-to-day movements. As a consequence, they've made fearful something they don't understand, and they don't get started investing, sometimes for their whole lives. Or, they never invest in stocks, or they think it would be crazy to invest directly in individual stocks.
I understand why it wouldn't be a good idea if you don't understand it, if you're not interested in it, if you're not following it -- you're probably not listening to this podcast in the first place. But, for the rest of us, I think we can recognize the great beauty of the stock market, and the great fortunes that we can make in buying the best companies of our time -- that's right, buying directly individual stocks. In a world where mutual funds, let's say index funds or sector funds, have to buy all of a sector, or all of the S&P 500, you and I can just buy the best companies in a sector, or the best companies among the S&P 500, hold them for five or ten years, or five or ten decades, and make out like bandits, I think, if we're doing it Foolishly, if we're doing it the way we've always talked about in our 25 years at The Motley Fool.
People make fearful the things they don't understand. Two years ago, the idea that Great Britain would leave the European Union was a fearful thing. It's something that really hadn't happened before since the E.U. was formed, that that significant a country, that major a player, would opt out.
While I'm politically neutral, I don't have strong feelings either way on this, it was treated so negatively, and typically continues to be treated so negatively, that as I was saying two years ago on this podcast, The Fool in me who wants to always challenge the conventional wisdom, maybe will take devil's advocate on any argument if one side isn't represented -- The Fool in me thought, "Hey, maybe things are better than we all expect. Maybe things will work out better." And certainly, the FTSE -- which is basically the Dow Jones equivalent for the London Stock Exchange in the U.K. markets -- did quite well, after people thought that it wouldn't do well at all post-Brexit. In general, that economy has held up pretty well.
That's about all I want to say about Brexit, because I don't have a lot to say about Brexit, per se. I'm talking about these stocks that I picked two years ago this week, these five companies.
One thing I love about these samplers is that we're actually picking them and we're holding ourselves accountable. I'm going to be scoring these for you very shortly. That's in a world where very few people put skin in the game. They have a lot of opinions -- we all think Brexit is good or Brexit is bad, or this or that company is good or bad, but how often in your experience or my experience do we see people actually scoring and giving real statistics about who's right and who's wrong? At least, with these stock samplers, I hope I'm modeling for you what I believe you should be doing with your own investing, your own portfolio, which scoring if you're beating the market. You should also be asking the same of your financial advisors, or any source of financial advice -- be it Barron's or something on CNBC.
I really want everybody to be holding themselves accountable. When you don't have skin in the game, you just opine, you talk off the top of your head about what you think's going to happen, and you never revisit that. I don't think that's really a service to your listening public, whoever you are, and it's ultimately not a service to you, because it's only through scoring that we can figure out whether we're doing well or not and how to improve.
One other thing I'll mention before going over these five stocks, the market was at all-time highs two years ago. A lot of people were probably thinking, "I don't want to buy a stock because it's at all-time highs." That's the opposite of how we think here on the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, where I'm constantly talking about how good companies and good markets, over the course of time, will inevitably constantly make new highs. You shouldn't be afraid of investing at all-time highs. Since the stock market is up 26% -- yup, that's the bogie we'll be competing with this Brexit-inspired stock list -- over the last two years, it turns out it was a good move to be buying two years ago when the market was at all-time highs.
Each of these five stocks was picked for three years. That's the way I set up the game two years ago on this podcast. We'll revisit it today, and then we'll conclude with a look one year from now at these five stocks. Without further ado, here they come, in alphabetical order by company name.
Therefore, the first one is and was Alphabet. The ticker symbol is GOOG, because, for whatever reason, Alphabet a few years later has not changed its ticker symbol. It loves that GOOG ticker symbol, I guess. They certainly could have changed their ticker symbol, but they haven't, so the ticker symbol for Alphabet is GOOG. Alphabet's stock two years ago was at $717 when I picked it on the show. Today, it is at $1,110. This is up 55%. Spoiler alert of these five: this is the best performer, up 55% over these last couple of years.
Looking back now, how valuable has YouTube become? These days, Morgan Stanley puts a value on YouTube at about $160 billion, which is pretty remarkable when you consider that when Google bought out YouTube for $1.65 billion in the year 2006 -- from $1.65 billion to $160 billion looks like a 100-bagger for the Google management team at the time. What an outstanding call it's been, and how valuable is YouTube, not just today but really for the rest of our lifetimes? That's an incredible platform, and it helps to explain Google's outstanding gains. A lot else happening, certainly, at Alphabet over these last couple of years, but I just wanted to highlight that.
Why did this stock show up on the Brexit-inspired stock list? Well, I was talking about how Britain has made the decision for the U.K. to be independent and autonomous. Google itself and Alphabet is probably the most autonomous and independent company that I can think of worldwide. It has so many different businesses that it's playing in. A lot of them are independent of each other, and it is a remarkable entity unto itself. So, I was wishing Britain good luck with being independent, saying, "Maybe you could be a little bit more like Alphabet."
With that stock up 55%, the market up 26%, that's a plus 29% in the win column for this five-stock sampler list.
Stock No. 2 is Euronet Worldwide. The ticker symbol is EEFT. This is, as I was saying two years ago, kind of the PayPal for Europe. This is a company that does a lot of e-payments, a lot of digital payments. Focused mostly in Europe, hence the name Euronet Worldwide. Yet, it also owns a lot of ATMs. Even though that may sound like an older business, because this company is expanding pretty mightily through India, where things are lower-tech in a lot of places throughout that country, a network of ATMs in India is a valuable commodity.
Euronet Worldwide two years ago was at $72 a share. Today, it tips the scales at $84 per share. That's up 17%. Good news, the stock is up, but bad news, the stock is losing to the market by 9%.
Well, why did this stock appear on the Brexit-inspired stock list? Well, for Euronet Worldwide, I was reminding anybody in the European Union who felt bereft that the U.K. had opted to leave that Europe remains such a substantial and important block. Yes, you've potentially lost one of your star players -- sticking with soccer, out on the field, you've lost one of your start players -- but you still have a really good team.
I like, I was saying at the time, the so-called PayPal for Europe, and I think that you should too. Let's hope that this stock has a better year over the next year so that I can put this one in the win column when we close out a year from now. But, for now, Euronet Worldwide is a minus 9%. If you combine that with Alphabet, plus 29%, minus 9%, that equals plus 20% as we move in our game to stock No. 3.
Stock No. 3 is Hain Celestial. The ticker symbol is HAIN. When I picked it two years ago, I was talking about the Celestial part of Hain Celestial. Hain Celestial is an organic food company. It has a lot of brands. It's rolled up part of its industry, organic food, over the course of time, buying well-known brands that are then seen in places like Whole Foods and lots of grocery markets, not just here in the U.S. but other places, too. Europeans care about the food they eat, I was saying at the time, and that's why I wanted to put Hain Celestial on the stock list. The Celestial part ties into the Celestial Seasonings brand, which a lot of us know as a well-known tea brand. Since the Brits love their tea, I was throwing Hain Celestial onto the Brexit-inspired stock list.
Bad move, Dave. Really bad move. This stock two years ago was at $51.50. Today, it's just over $29 a share, $29.37 as I do this podcast. That's a drop of 43% for Hain Celestial. Motley Fool Stock Advisor members will know that Hain Celestial, we decided recently to part ways with it. It's no longer even in the Supernova universe or on my active recommendation list. Not a big fan of the CEO. The company, over the six years we held it in Stock Advisor, was up 23%, but the market was up 130%.
At one time, Hain Celestial had been a three-bagger for us. But as the world got crowded with more and more organic food brands and more and more places to buy organic food, Hain Celestial found itself with a lot more competition, and I don't think had the visionary leadership to bring it through into the future as a big-time winner.
So, unfortunately, Hain Celestial has been a dog, a really big dog, for the Brexit-inspired stock list. That's right, it was down 43% with the market up 26%. That's a minus 69% in the loss column. That puts us at minus 49% with two stocks left.
Stock No. 4 -- again, these are all alphabetical by company name -- is Priceline. This one reminds us of how the world changes, because the company Priceline is no longer known by that name. In just the succeeding two years -- really, in just the last several months here in 2018 -- Priceline renamed itself to Booking Holdings, ticker symbol BKNG. Priceline at the time when I picked it two years ago was at $1,339 -- that's right, $1,339 per share, for one share. Today, I'm happy to say it's up to $2,046. The stock is up 53%. Playing along with our game here, 53% minus 26% gives us a plus 27%. That means we're now minus 22% as we go to our final company.
But before we get there, I just want to remind you why I included this stock on the Brexit-inspired stock list two years ago. There was a lot of pessimism around travel through Europe. The idea of firming borders was, it's a less fun world, people won't travel as much. And yep, in just a couple of days, Priceline's stock lost 15% reacting to Brexit. The stock had been battered up a little bit. I like the company a lot. It's one of my personal biggest holdings. It's been a big-time winner for Motley Fool Stock Advisor. That's why I included it on this list a couple of years ago. I'm really happy to see that it's up more than 50% since.
In fact, this is a company that bought booking.com in 2005. Booking.com was the biggest player in Europe at the time. Back in 2004, when I first picked Priceline, Priceline was mainly an American brand. It was doing what we know today, with the hotels and booking flights and travel, mainly for America. In 2005, it bought booking.com. These days, it's known as Booking Holdings, showing the centerpiece that Booking represents for this company. It also has Agoda, which is the Asian version of Booking or Priceline. It owns the world at this point.
It's a beautiful company. It has top and bottom line growth in double digits, even at the size and scale it's achieved today. So, yes, I continue to like this company a lot. I'm really happy to see it was on this list, bringing us within 22 points of publishing a win.
That takes us, finally, to stock No. 5. Stock No. 5 was Tesla, ticker symbol TSLA. The stock was at $223 a share at the end of trading July 13th, 2016. Now, somewhere midday Monday July 2nd as I tape this, it's up to $331.
That's a gain of 48%. Minus 26%. If you've done the math with me -- I realize it's not that easy to listen to math in audio form -- we were minus 22% going into this stock, and we just published a plus 22% on Tesla, which brings us to a grand total of zero points for this stock list!
Amazing that the math would work out that way. We've only ever lost once. We've won every other time until this one, where we've technically tied, leaving things in the balance. You might wonder, is Brexit even a good idea? Is it right there in the middle with this group of stocks? Is it clear whether it will win or lose? We'll have to watch the drama going forward.
Why did I pick Tesla two years ago? I was thinking about that word autonomous. Again, Britain choosing autonomy for its future, more autonomy. I was thinking about autonomous cars and how big Tesla was at the time.
Autonomous cars, as it turns out, are going to come online slower than a lot of people were probably thinking in 2016, me included. Having now a Tesla myself with some autonomous features, I'm reminded every day of just how many more gains truly need to be made before this kind of technology will really be ready for primetime. I realize, every car company and his little sister is out there, pretty much, trying to figure out how to make things autonomous. It's working in some contexts worldwide. I'm a big fan of it. I just think it's going to take a little longer than we were thinking in 2016. Fortunately, Tesla has still done really well, up 48% from two years ago.
Alright! There you have it, my review of our five-stock sampler from two years ago, where we published a zero! We're right in the middle!
Now, I will say, if you actually calculate the gain of the S&P 500 from then until now, it was 25.5%. I rounded it to 26% and compared each of these five stocks to a 26%. But, if you're looking for a victory here, or a little bit of a silver lining, technically, we are ahead by a couple of percentage points if you don't round things. But I did round up for the market. I always try to help the market out. It was at 25.5%, so I made it 26%, and that's the results that we've enjoyed.
Engdahl: Take it to PKs.
Gardner: [laughs] You know, we don't have PKs on this podcast because I'm not a big fan of them, but I understand that there may be no better way. Let's put it this way -- if, a year from now, these five stocks are dead on zero, and we need to close out the three-year game, because that's what this one was playing, maybe we'll go to PKs.
Alright. That was then, and this is now. It's time to look forward at five stocks that I favor over the next, we're going to make it -- sure, why not -- four years. The World Cup for men comes around every four years. Four years from now, the game that we'll play with these five stocks will end right in the middle of the new World Cup. That's fun, that'll be fun to keep track of. These five companies are all companies that, in my mind, have something to do with either the FIFA World Cup or global investing. We're thinking globally as we go through these five companies. But, before I get to that list ...
Alright, let's get to it! We're going to call this list five stocks celebrating the 2018 World Cup. Each of these I'm suggesting for the next four years, I'm picking each of these stocks individually -- I hope -- and certainly the group together, as market-beaters. We're going to try to outpace the S&P 500, as we do in all things here at The Motley Fool, or at least with my approach through Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor . This is our 15th stock sampler. And, yes, the market is still at or near all-time highs, just like it was in 2016. It'll be interesting to see how these four years ago, especially for these five stocks.
Stock No. 1. This is one I've already talked about on this podcast. It has a different name than two years ago. It's Booking Holdings. The ticker symbol is BKNG. How could I not pick one of my personal biggest holdings, a company I deeply admire, that's such a dominant worldwide player, and that's still enjoying such significant growth?
Some of that growth might be coming in ways that you or I might not expect. For example, have you ever heard of Airbnb? I bet you have. I have, too. A lot of people think that Airbnb might make life tough on hotels in particular -- hotels, motels, etc. Why pay Hilton or Marriott when arguably, you could pay less and stay in sometimes nicer accommodations by using something like Airbnb? Sounds like a threat, doesn't it, to Priceline/Booking/Agoda?
Here's some good news. As of -- well, I'm looking at last summer's numbers, anyways. I'm assuming these haven't changed dramatically. Airbnb had about four million unique properties that were listed there that you could stay in, that you could rent. Booking, with the same business model, had five million places that you could stay that were not hotels or motels. Like Airbnb, Booking is doing the same kind of a business. It's playing in that sharing economy. What might look like a threat to some on Wall Street as they look at Booking Holdings, maybe they need to make sure they've done their homework and recognize that that same model's going to work really well for this company, too.
BKNG, again, the ticker symbol. It's been an 85-bagger for Stock Advisor members who listened to me when I first picked it in 2004. But even more fun, I think -- even though it hasn't been quite as rewarding -- was when, in 2010, I decided to rerecommend Priceline at the time for Stock Advisor members. A lot of people were saying, "It's already up eight times! From 2004 to 2010, it's gone up eight times! Why would you recommend we buy this stock today?"
The reason this is fun is because, as of this year now, it is up 949% from that rerecommendation. Over 900% is a ten-bagger. Doing the math -- always reminding people of this, by the way -- a 100% gain is a two-bagger. A 900% gain is a ten-bagger. That rerecommendation is up itself ten times in value, proving that when you find a great horse, stick with it. Keep the bets in place. Maybe add some more purse over the course of time, because these great companies can win the triple crown sometimes on their own track by themselves. Booking Holdings is a good example of that, BKNG, stock No. 1.
Alright. Again, proceeding alphabetically, stock No. 2 is Dassault Systèmes . The ticker symbol is DASTY. I attempted just a slight French lilt, with the accent grave over one of those Es in the second name. That's my high school schoolboy French talking. The one that I didn't continue, the one that, sadly, I kind of lost. I can still pronounce French pretty well, I just can't speak it back and forth very well at all.
Dassault Systèmes has been an outstanding performer since first picked in September of 2009. It's up 429% for Stock Advisor members. The market over that time is up 206%, so it's a couple of hundred percentage points ahead of the market. It's a five-bagger. It's a $36 billion company today, but a lot of people haven't heard of it.
Some people in America might especially ask, "Is France really a capitalist nation?" There's a lot of socialism, or has been, in France. Although, under Macron, it looks like more and more capitalism might be in the offing. If so, I think that's a great antidote to beleaguered Europe. A stronger, more capitalist France sounds really good to me. If so, Dassault Systèmes would be a great example of that.
This is a company that was operating in CAD/CAM software back in the day. When you were designing things using software, whether you were an architectural designer, or you were designing packaging for a new children's toy, you could use CAD/CAM software to design it right there on the computer and show people, prototypically, what it would look like. Well, that's still a big business today for Dassault Systèmes. But as the world has moved more and more toward 3D graphics, or think about virtual reality, think about all of those assets and prototypes that are being developed purely digitally, you're seeing the beauty of being a leader in that space, which is certainly what Dassault Systèmes is. Again, the ticker symbol is DASTY.
As the world goes more and more 3D -- in fact, their website is 3ds.com, you can check it out -- as the world goes toward virtual and augmented reality, you're going to see a lot more use of this company's product. Already, though, very substantial worldwide leader.
And, great to include France here. As I do this taping, France is still alive in the World Cup, so I have France on my mind. I'm certainly cheering them on. I'd like to see them do pretty well. I'm not sure, at the end of the day, I think I'd pick England to win it all if I had to pick a team right now. But I'm certainly cheering France on. Good luck, France. But, even more, good luck Dassault Systèmes.
Stock No. 3. This is not a stock tied to a specific country. I do have couple of others coming on this list. Nope, this one is the No. 1 maker of the biggest FIFA World Cup video game in the world, and that would, of course, be Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) . Today, with its ticker symbol, EA, it totes a $44 billion market cap and is one of the worldwide leaders in interactive entertainment. In fact, the FIFA World Cup 2018 game that many are enjoying -- maybe you have it on your PlayStation or Xbox these days -- that is in its 25th installment.
Certainly, a big part of EA's success over a few decades now has been these sports games, like Madden football or FIFA World Cup. They just keep coming out with a new edition each year that fans willingly pay up for -- most years, anyway, as long as it gets decent enough reviews, as long as the company has put some effort into improving the game from one year to the next. I can't say that Electronic Arts has distinguished itself every year in that regard, but more often than not, it has, which is why it has a very substantial sports business.
Of course, EA has wide-ranging assets and properties across all genres of interactive entertainment, not just sports. But, because this is our five stocks celebrating the World Cup list, I had to think about including Electronic Arts, one of my favorite companies.
This is, if you're a Motley Fool Rule Breaker member, a starter stock. Hint hint, if you're not a Motley Fool Rule Breaker member -- we think you should join Rule Breakers , just go to fool.com or rulebreakers.com and take a 30-day free trial to join us at Rule Breakers . You'll see what our starter stocks are. That's a shorter list of stocks that we think anybody who's just starting investing, these are good picks for them. Why? Because usually, these are companies with larger sizes, more substantial resources, they're safer companies, and most of these companies, you would recognize their names. They're recognizable names in businesses in which they reside. They're often the leader within their category.
Certainly, Electronic Arts is one such example, and darn it, I wish I'd picked this stock on my Brexit-inspired stock list two years in place of Hain Celestial! I did actually pick this stock for Rule Breakers in June of 2016. It's up 89% since then, with the market up 36%, marked directly against the market. This would have been a big-time winner.
That's why I'm putting it on my list for the next four years. A company like this, I see thriving and continuing to grow, again, for at least the next decade plus out, unless the world changes in some way I can't really see. Interactive entertainment, big brands, these are really vital businesses, and Electronic Arts is a great example. That's stock No. 3.
We're coming down the home stretch. Here comes stock No. 4, the company MercadoLibre (NASDAQ: MELI) . The ticker symbol is MELI. Again, a slight effort at trying to pronounce the name as a native speaker of Spanish might. This is a company that's a $13 billion company. It's one I've mentioned a number of times on this podcast. I'm sure, in some of our five-stock samplers, I've included it. I'm not looking at the full list right now. It's one of my favorite go-to companies.
Here's a few things about MercadoLibre. First of all, I'd like to point out that a number of Latin American countries are still in the World Cup. MercadoLibre operates in all of them. That's one of the things I love about the World Cup, actually. Latin America doesn't often make the leadership category when you look at a lot of other, especially athletic, things worldwide. You don't see a lot of dominance in the Winter Olympics or the Summer Olympics from this block, although it's well ahead of the Middle East in terms of its gold medals, no doubt. But, think about soccer and how many tremendous teams come out of Latin America. So, I had to think about including this company on my five-stock sampler.
Two more quick things I want to say about MercadoLibre. First of all, it has for me what I consider to be a shockingly low, and therefore very promising, risk rating. One of the things we do at The Motley Fool and in Rule Breakers and Stock Advisor , my services, is we put a number estimating the risk we think you take on when you buy a stock. We make that number somewhere between 0 to 25 -- the higher the number, the higher the risk of the stock. Our highest-risk stock that I think I've ever recommended off that 0-25-point scale is a 17 or 18. Very infrequently do I take that much risk. In general, we like to take, if possible, as little risk as we can and get the best returns we can imagine.
This is a tremendous multi-bagger for us off of a risk rating of five. That means, the way we define risk, that your chances of actually losing money if you hold this over a long period of time are very, very low. That's how we estimate risk.
When I talk about our risk ratings, longtime listeners will remember, I've done a whole series on risk ratings. It's something that I care and think a lot about. It's something we invented at Motley Fool Rule Breakers . I love these risk ratings, so I really wanted to double underline that -- a risk rating of just five for Mercado Libre. Really surprisingly safe investment for what might sound like a risky e-commerce player in a sometimes-volatile area of the world. But no, this is a grounded company with a $13 billion market cap.
In fact, since Uruguay is still in the World Cup, I decided I'd just visit the Mercado Libre Uruguay site. Sure enough, right on the front page, they're advertising a soccer ball. They're advertising Father's Day 40% off prices. Father's Day, as it turns out, in Uruguay, is the 15th of July. It's maybe a universally celebrated day worldwide, but at least in the country of Uruguay -- side note, a little bit of trivia for you coming out of your RBI podcast experience -- this year, it's the 15th of July in Uruguay. And yep, they're advertising soccer balls for Dad. Play soccer with Dad for Father's Day.
Have I saved the best for last? Well, these are all alphabetical, so we go down from M and we hit the letter Y. This is a really interesting company. It might be the best performer for last. We'll see. If it is, it'll be a lot better than its recent performance, which hasn't been great.
The company is Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX) , ticker symbol YNDX. How could I not think to include this longer-time Rule Breaker ? I first picked it in 2012, so it's almost six years old in the Rule Breakers service. It's up 54% over that time, the market up 114%, so Yandex is down 60% to the market.
But if you know search engines, and you think about companies like Google, and you think, who's the Google of Russia? What's the No. 1 most-used search engine among Russian speakers, in that area of the world? And the answer is Yandex, a company founded in 1997 by Arkady Volozh, who today is still the CEO and founder of this company. He is a billionaire, but he's not one of those Russian billionaires who's just sitting on a whole heap of oil and milking it or striking questionable deals with the Russian government. Some of those oligarchs, there are a lot of questions about where that money's come from asked worldwide in a more transparent world these days. No, Volozh has done it through inventing the Google of Russia.
This is a company I have great hope for. It has been, as I mentioned, a significant underperformer over its first six years. But as I watch Russia, through penalty kicks, advance into the next round of the tournament, being held in Russia, it makes me happy for the nation. I think the better it performs, the more it comes online and connects with the rest of the world. I have great hopes for Russia, and not just for their soccer team or their national pride, but very specifically for the capitalism.
When I look at Yandex, I see a company that is the No. 1 search engine, but it's also doing a lot of other interesting things that you might do the same if you were Arkady Volozh looking at other competitors worldwide. "Who else is leading in search engines in other places? Let's start to mimic them," I think Volozh has been thinking, because in 2017, Yandex began to introduce its intelligent personal assistant, which is Alice.
Then, a few months later, it's time to buy Foodfox, a food delivery service. Or, how about this year, when it combined with Uber to merge their businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia, but most prominently there in Russia, so that Uber and Yandex are now together operating Uber Russia, another pretty good business model? Yandex owns the majority of that stake, and Uber owns a minority of that stake.
If you're seeing what Volozh is doing here, what Yandex is doing, they're getting into a lot of horizontal businesses using the optionality that you get if you're the leader in search for an important territory in the world. So, let's see how Yandex does over the next four years.
OK, those were our five stocks. Just recounting them alphabetically to close: Booking Holdings, BKNG; Dassault Systèmes, DASTY; Electronic Arts, EA; Mercado Libre, MELI; and finally, Yandex, YNDX. Good luck, five stocks celebrating the 2018 World Cup. We'll check in with you each year going forward.
Alright. This podcast was taped one day early because Rick and I, presumably, when you hear this, are off celebrating Independence Day here in the United States of America. Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans. I hope you've had a wonderful week. In my case, a portion of it will be spent at a North Carolina beach, so I'm not really sure what we'll do it next week. I'll just be getting back from the beach.
I know one thing: we'll be aiming to educate, to amuse, and to enrich, which is what the Rule Breaker Investing podcast -- and indeed, The Motley Fool now, celebrating its 26th year of doing business -- are all about, to educate, to amuse, and to enrich. In the meantime, I will simply say, thanks for listening and Fool on!
As always, people on this program may have interests in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Learn more about Rule Breaker Investing atrbi.fool.com.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Booking Holdings, MercadoLibre, Tesla, and Yandex. Rick Engdahl owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Electronic Arts, PayPal Holdings, and Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Booking Holdings, Hain Celestial, MercadoLibre, PayPal Holdings, Tesla, and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts, Euronet Worldwide, Marriott International, and Yandex. 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.