“It may be a matter of months, or more likely a few years,” I wrote in the September 2017 issue of Kiplinger’s, “but sometime soon a U.S. company will breach the trillion-dollar mark.” By June 2021, to my pleasant surprise, all five companies I highlighted had become trillionaires.
The question now is how high these stocks can go. Big is not beautiful to many regulators and elected officials (of both parties), and President Biden is developing an executive order to rein in businesses that dominate their sectors. The Federal Trade Commission lost an antitrust case against FACEBOOK in June, but the setback merely convinced many in Congress that tougher laws are needed.
Another constraint is a sort of law of financial gravity. It’s not hard to imagine a stock with a market capitalization (stock price times shares outstanding) of about $100 billion becoming what the great mutual fund manager Peter Lynch called a four-bagger—that is, quadrupling in value. That could happen with UBER, SQUARE or Zoom Video Communications. But APPLE? As a four-bagger, it would have a market cap of $9 trillion, roughly the same as the gross domestic products of Germany and Japan combined. Investing in giant companies may considerably limit your upside.
Then again, a few years ago the whole concept of a trillion-dollar stock was alien, even nutty. Now, we have AMAZON.COM, which hit the mark just a year after my 2017 column, and ALPHABET, the parent of Google, which exceeded $1 trillion in January 2020. Facebook hit the milestone in June. Although it has since retreated some (based on data calculated for this column as of July 9), we’re including it in the trillionaires club for now. Plus, there are two stocks whose market caps have breached two trillion dollars: Apple and MICROSOFT.
UNLIKE THE HIGHFLIERS OF THE LATE 1990S, THESE TRILLIONAIRES MAKE TONS OF MONEY.
I’ve now disclosed the punch line to this column in the boldfaced names (as usual, stocks I like are in boldface). I’m doubling down and recommending them all. As for the trustbusters: If the worst happens, and Google is forced to divest YouTube, Facebook has to shed Instagram, or Amazon has to spin off its cloud business, well, so what? As a shareholder, you will get stock in the new stand-alone companies, too.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Stay Above the Interest Rate Fray
Spend Without Worry
Fears of running out of money prevent many retirees from tapping the nest egg they’ve worked a lifetime to save. With these strategies, you can generate enough income to pursue your retirement dreams.
Complain and Get Results
Use these tried-and-true strategies to get companies to listen to you.
Should You Invest in Crypto?
Check Out Your Stock's ESG Report Card
A sustainability report offers insights into progress toward environmental, social and corporate governance goals.
The Pandemic Pet Problem
This vet used telemedicine and other creative ways to handle a surge of new cat and dog patients.
HOW TO DECIDE IF IT'S TIME FOR A CAREER CHANGE
THE PANDEMIC HAS PROMPTED MANY WORKERS TO CONSIDER MORE FULFILLING JOBS. THESE PEOPLE MADE IT WORK.
The Beauty of Boring Stocks
Instead of popular but volatile stocks, owning under-the-radar defensive gems will let you sleep at night.
Think Twice About Applying for Credit
Credit card issuers are offering a lot of incentives, but your credit score could suffer.
WE RANK THE ONLINE BROKERS
Our survey spotlights firms with great investment choices, tools, advice and more.
Steve Jobs and the GTN
Why the ubiquitous works
Cityscape: Emma Orlow
Big Apples The tree expert who turned the five boroughs into his personal orchard.
Apple Won't Let Fortnite Back Until Case Ends
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Fortnite maker Epic Games Inc., said Wednesday it’s been told by Apple that the game will be “blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem” until the companies’ legal case is resolved and all appeals are exhausted, which could take as long as five years.
FACEBOOK OVERSIGHT BOARD REVIEWING ‘XCHECK' SYSTEM FOR VIPS
Facebook’s semi-independent oversight board says it will review the company’s “XCheck,” or cross check, system following an investigation by The Wall Street Journal into the use of this internal system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules.
APPLE, GOOGLE RAISE NEW CONCERNS BY YANKING RUSSIAN APP
Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business.
Series 7: Largest ever display, a refined & durable timepiece
Despite numerous reports that Apple would overhaul the design of this year’s Apple Watch, the announcement of a Series 7 smartwatch was a more muted affair.
California 1st to Set Quota Limits for Retailers like Amazon
California became the first state to bar megaretailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that grew from Amazon’s drive to speed goods to consumers more quickly.
South African-Swiss explorer Mike Horn has conquered both poles and the Amazon. Here’s how he’s built the fortitude to thrive in extreme environments.
T-Mobile and Sprint customers can get a free year of Apple TV+
Offer available to Magenta and Magenta Max subscribers starting on August 25.
Apple beefs up Intel Mac Pro performance with three pricey new GPU options
You can add the Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X to a new Mac Pro, but it’ll cost you.