VRTX

Want $1 Million in Retirement? Invest $250,000 in These 3 Stocks and Wait a Decade.

Many an investor has set a retirement goal of $1 million, and that's not necessarily impossible to reach -- or even surpass -- if you're consistently building your portfolio through the years.

Whether you have a lot of capital to put to work, which could shorten the period in which it takes you to reach that $1 million goal, or you have a more modest amount of capital, which means you'll want to start investing earlier, consistently adding cash to high-quality businesses poised for long-term growth can help you achieve the returns you desire.

Were you fortunate enough to have $250,000 to invest long term -- after paying off high-interest debts and establishing an emergency fund -- here are three fantastic stocks that could help you turn that amount into $1 million over the next decade and beyond.

1. Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) is trading up by roughly 124% over the last five years. The biotech giant continues to build on an incredible wave of growth brought about by its highly successful cystic fibrosis drug franchise. The company brought in profits of $3.6 billion on revenue of $9.8 billion in the full year 2023.

However, the company may be looking at just the beginning of its growth potential. It's developing multiple promising candidates across a variety of disease areas, many of which address rare conditions for which there are minimal effective treatment options.

Management plans to launch five new products by 2028. It's already in the early stages of accomplishing two of those five product launches with the recent approval of Casgevy, its CRISPR-based gene-editing therapy that is designed to be a one-time functional cure for sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia.

Vertex is taking on 60% of the costs associated with Casgevy while its development partner, CRISPR Therapeutics, will cover 40% of this cost. On the flip side, Vertex will share in 60% of the profits from Casgevy, with the cost of a single treatment expected to run at $2.2 million each.

Management expects that its next two product launches are likely to be its new triple-combination cystic fibrosis therapy, and a drug that could potentially disrupt the standard of care for various pain ailments including acute and neuropathic pain across surgical as well as non-surgical settings.

This latter candidate, called VX-548, is not an opioid, so it wouldn't have the addictive qualities of many current pain treatment options that aren't over-the-counter drugs. Vertex estimates that the currently addressable market for VX-548 numbers around 90 million patients.

The future looks bright for this healthcare stock as it continues to derive growth from its existing portfolio of drugs and looks to future potential blockbusters that may be just on the horizon.

2. Netflix

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is trading up over 50% from a year ago as the growth stock has regained favor with some investors after a volatile period. While many streaming stocks have dealt with growth decelerations following the pandemic peak when many consumers had little to do but view content for hours on head, Netflix is regaining its footing in a major way.

Bear in mind, Netflix is still the leading streaming provider in the U.S. with a robust market share of around 44%. There are certainly plenty of competitors, but with the global streaming market set to hit a valuation of $109 billion this year, there's room for multiple players.

The company generated net cash from operating activities of $1.7 billion in the final three months of 2023 alone. Full-year 2023 revenue came in at $34 billion, with net income totaling $5.4 billion, representing respective increases of 7% and 20% from 2022.

Netflix ended the year with about 260 million paid streaming memberships globally. That was a 13% increase from a year ago, and an even more notable 56% increase from four years ago, right before the pandemic began. The company is having tremendous success in growing its subscriber base, partly due to a series of initiatives in the last 12 to 18 months.

Starting last spring, it initiated a full-throttle crackdown on password sharing. This was a few months after launching its ad-supported tier, a more cost-effective option that runs at just $6.99 a month and allows access on two devices along with a wide range of content viewing options. Subscribers seem more than willing to pay for that viewing option and sit through some ads in the process for a monthly fee that runs about the same price as a couple of cups of coffee.

In fact, ad-supported-tier subscribers jumped 70% in the final quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter. Incidentally, that ad-supported tier alone now boasts 23 million active monthly users at last count, compared to the 15 million reported just in November.

There's so much room left for this company to run. Its continued profitability and the expansion of its subscriber base -- along with a broad addressable market that management estimates is around $600 billion -- can drive its share price steadily upward.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) entered the public markets in December 2020, a volatile stretch during the height of the pandemic. However, its shares have had quite a run recently as a resurgence in travel, coupled with the platform's resilience, have rekindled investor interest in the stock. The shares are trading up by around 30% over the trailing 12 months alone.

The company's effectiveness in facilitating both sides of a travel accommodation arrangement has led to considerable growth. Plus, the potential ahead is enormous. Management estimates Airbnb's total addressable market at $3.4 trillion. Of that total, short-term stays comprise $1.8 trillion, long-term stays $210 billion, and experiences $1.4 trillion. Experiences include activities like tours and classes that guests can book in their chosen stay location.

People use Airbnb for all sorts of reasons, from vacations to business trips to long-term living arrangements, and this diversity is helping to drive the business forward even in a difficult macro environment. In fact, the cohort of guests living on Airbnb continues to account for a substantial portion of overall bookings.

In the third quarter of 2023, long-term stays of 28 days or longer comprised 18% of gross nights booked, while approximately 25% of long-term stays were for reservations of three months or more. Nights reserved for more than three months on Airbnb rose 20% in the third quarter of 2023 on a year-over-year basis.

In total, nights and experiences booked on Airbnb jumped 14% in the quarter compared to the prior-year period, while revenue rose 18% year over year to $3.4 billion. Profits for the quarter totaled $4.4 billion, a 267% increase from one year ago. Over the trailing 12 months, the travel stock has raked in free cash flow to the tune of $4.2 billion.

With a vast and still untapped addressable market, and a platform that management is constantly refining to meet the needs of hosts and guests, this business is well-positioned to launch itself to future growth over the next five to 10 years and beyond.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

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Rachel Warren has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Airbnb, CRISPR Therapeutics, Netflix, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. 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.

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