Stocks to buy

It pays to invest in stocks with billionaire-backing. 

How’s that, you ask?

At the end of May, CNN Business reported that the U.S. Treasury had just $38.8 billion in cash, less than the net worth of the top 31 billionaires in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Billionaire-backed stocks to buy have always been popular with investors. After all, if someone with more money than God is investing in a particular company, it stands to reason that you should too. 

My idea of partnering with some of the world’s richest would be to buy the stock in companies managed or controlled by a billionaire. Looking at Bloomberg’s list, I note that most of the top billionaires have a stake in large publicly-traded companies, including Elon Musk in the top position, worth $199 billion. 

I could select Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as one of my three best stocks with high-profile support, but that would be too easy. Therefore, my three stock picks will come from outside the top 10 to make it a little more challenging.

Walmart (WMT)

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Sam Walton not only created one of the largest companies in the world in Walmart (NYSE:WMT), but he also created a family dynasty for generations to come. 

Three of Sam Walton’s children are in Bloomberg’s top 20: Jim, Rob, and Alice. Their combined net worth is $199.2 billion. Lukas Walton, Sam’s nephew, ranks at 62 on Bloomberg’s list at $23.6 billion. Lukas’ mother, Christy Walton, is at 183 with a net worth of $10.4 billion—for a total of $233.2 billion.   

If you include Sam Walton’s brother Bud’s two daughters — Nancy Laurie and Ann Kroenke, and Ann’s husband Stan — the Walton family wealth jumps to $262.1 billion. They are the world’s wealthiest family.

And they owe it all to a company that grows by leaps and bounds. 

The retail behemoth recently released very healthy Q1 2023 earnings, including 7.6% revenue growth, a 17.3% increase in operating income, and 26% growth in e-commerce revenue. The growth was so substantial, resulting in the company raising its guidance for the year.   

Walmart also wants to double the gross merchandise volume it generates internationally over the next five years from their omni-channel business model. The U.S. has long been its major growth driver for years, and now the company wants to expand internationally.

L’Oreal (LRLCY)

Source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

L’Oreal (OTCMKTS:LRLCY) founder Eugene Schueller’s granddaughter, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, is the world’s wealthiest woman with an estimated net worth of $87.4 billion. The Bettencourt Meyers family is L’Oreal’s largest shareholder, with a 35% ownership stake. She serves on L’Oreal’s board and is the chairperson of Téthys, the family holding company. 

L’ Oreal’s first-quarter revenues were very healthy at 10.38 billion euros ($11.12 billion), up 13.0% over Q1 2022, with all four operating segments and geographic regions delivering increased sales. 

On April 4, the company announced it would buy Australian luxury brand Aesop for $2.53 billion, which would be the largest brand acquisition in its history. Ironically, L’Oreal is buying Aesop from Natura, the company it sold The Body Shop to in 2017. L’Oreal plans to use Aesop to expand its China footprint.    

“Given L’Oreal’s strong track record of creating value from recent acquisitions, we expect this transaction to be helpful to sentiment, despite its limited size relative to L’Oreal,” Reuters reported comments about the deal from Barclays analyst Ian Simpson.    

Nike (NKE)

Source: mimohe / Shutterstock.com

According to Bloomberg, Nike (NYSE:NKE) founder Phil Knight and his family are worth an estimated $41.7 billion. Wealthy family aside, the company has been busy shaking up its senior management. 

On May 24, Nike announced many management changes.  The sportswear giant promoted their current president of consumer and marketplace, Heidi O’Neill, to president of consumer, product and brand. Jordan Brand president, Craig Williams, was promoted to president of geographies and marketplace, and in turn, Sarah Mensah took his previous position. Converse CEO Scott Uzzell  replaced Mensah as vice president and general manager of North America.

Are you following the musical chairs?

“These shifts will allow us to streamline our focus across product, brand storytelling and marketplace, mining deep consumer insights to deliver breakthrough innovation and engagement, while building long-term growth and profitability,” CEO John Donahoe said in its press release, RetailDive reported. 

Since Donahoe was named Nike CEO in October 2019, NKE stock has appreciated less than 10%, significantly less than the S&P 500 return of 44% over the same period.

Despite Nike’s underperformance, it remains an excellent consumer stock for the long haul.  

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

      

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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