The Top 10 Stocks for 2013

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I told you a few days ago that it's our most popular piece of annual research. Literally hundreds of thousands of investors have read -- and profited -- from this advice.

And since we first started publishing our annualmarket seven out of nine years. For comparison,shares ofWarren Buffett 's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) have only beaten the market five out of the past nine years.

I've shared one of these stocks with you already. EPD) . This pipeline company has raised itsdividend 40 times since 1998. ( You can read more about EPD here. )

And in today's article, I'll tell you about another one of my Top 10 Stocks for 2013 .

But before I continue, I want to make something clear. I can't provide you with all 10 of my Top 10 Stocks for 2013 here. I've reserved the report exclusively for my Top 10 Stocks advisory subscribers. It wouldn't be fair to them to give this list away to everyone.

But I can give you something even more valuable than just a couple of stock picks...

You see... I want to show you why these stocks made my list for 2013... and how you can find similar stocks on your own.

I think my 2013 ideas may end up being the most profitable in our history. As you can see in my chart, this group of 10 stocks has already beaten the S&P during each of the past five years -- that includes the sharpbear market we saw in 2008 and the powerfulbull market we enjoyed in 2009 and 2010.

In fact, if you had invested $10,000 into this group of stocks just five years ago, yourinvestment would be worth $18,694 as of the end of October -- an 86.9% total return. The same investment in the S&P would be worth just $10,471 -- a 4.7% return.

So what's the secret behind this performance?

Well, after years of research, I've found that companies with a few basic characteristics are the ones that consistently beat the S&P...

I've found that more often than not, companies that match these three simple criteria are the ones that make you the mostmoney long-term.

It makes sense -- strong companies that take care of their shareholders tend to do better over the long-run. These are the stocks that consistently create value for their investors year after year, delivering some of the market's biggest returns.

Take Philip Morris International ( PM ) , for example. Philip Morris made my Top 10 Stocks for 2013 list precisely because it meets the criteria listed above.

Does Philip Morris enjoy huge advantages over its competition? Absolutely.

The company holds one-fifth of the cigarette market outside the United States. Its brands include seven of the world's top 15 names, including Marlboro, the number one cigarette brand worldwide.

Does it buy back massive amounts of stock? Yes. More than nearly any other company.

In fact, Philip Morris has repurchased 467 million shares (more than 22% of allshares outstanding , worth $26 billion) since 2008.

Does it pay a steadily growing dividend? You bet.

Since the 2008 spin-off from itsparent company Altria ( MO ) , Philip Morris has raised its dividend 85%... from 46 cents per share every quarter to 85 cents.

It doesn't take a Ph.D to understand that this is the sort of stock that should continue to make money for its investors year after year.

And in recent years, Philip Morris has done just that. Since 2008, the shares have returned roughly 120%. That includes a nearly 35% gain in the past year.

Action to Take --> Performance like this provesinvesting doesn't have to be complicated. There's nothing complex about investing in simple businesses that dominate their industries and return billions of dollars to their investors with dividends and buybacks. Yet, it works.

Keep this in mind. It might be the most profitable investing lesson you'll ever learn.

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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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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