Although 2022 ended on a sour note for the benchmark equities, the incredible volatility allows contrarians to consider the best stocks to invest in for big gains in the new year. To be clear, this narrative involves heavy risk. Each of the market ideas on this list carries the potential of delivering double-digit returns. However, taking potshots necessarily entails greater-than-average danger.
Still, what makes 2023 so compelling is that several enterprises feature extremely discounted prices. True, discounts alone don’t mean much because businesses can always slip even more. However, not all companies face the same fundamental factors. Certain entities or industries have become more relevant than others, leading to an interesting discussion regarding the best stocks to invest in for the next 12 months.
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)
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To say that Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) suffered a brutal 2022 would be a gross understatement. Last year, the GOOG Class C shares gave up nearly 39% of equity value. Granted, it’s not the absolute worst performer within the broader technology sphere. Nevertheless, Alphabet consistently attracted investors over the years until the wheels fell off in late 2021.
It’s not just technical rumblings that hurt the enterprise. Toward the end of last year, Alphabet courted high-level criticism, with many voices urging the firm to take aggressive action. By that, we’re talking about layoffs. In addition, activist investors took issue with the company’s Other Bets unit of longshot endeavors.
However, faced with myriad uncertainties, I’m confident Alphabet will regain its mojo. As I’ve mentioned before, the company’s Google ecosystem practically owns the internet. Moreover, people will be searching through its YouTube platform to find advice on various topics, particularly business help (as layoffs start to mount). Thus, GOOG represents one of the best stocks to invest in for its comeback potential.
Cheniere Energy (LNG)
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Unless you’ve been deliberately ignoring the news throughout 2022, you’re going to know why I selected Cheniere Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:LNG) as one of the best stocks to invest in. It all has to do with the asset that shares the same name as the company’s ticker symbol. With chaos erupting globally because of Russia’s ill-advised decision to invade Ukraine, liquefied natural gas may see an upswing.
True, throughout the troubles last year, western European countries began fast-tracking alternatives to Russian hydrocarbons. This pivot included renewable energy infrastructures. However, any dramatic transitions will take time. In the meantime, Russia still commands considerable leverage regarding its LNG exports. Unfortunately, the war shows no sign of ceasing. And it appears that Russian President Vladimir Putin stubbornly locked his legacy in with this senseless military conflict.
It’s a cynical framework but it’s also unavoidable. Unless some miracle materializes, global LNG supplies will effectively diminish because of Russia’s energy blackmail. Therefore, basic supply and demand dynamics imply LNG will be one of the best stocks to invest in.
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At first glance, appliance manufacturer Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) seems like an utterly ridiculous idea. For one thing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more boring entity. Secondly, Whirlpool symbolizes an asset class that’s often taken for granted. Here, you’re not going to find the next innovation in digital technologies or an earth-shattering medical breakthrough. Instead, you’re dealing with refrigerators and washing machines.
Before you swipe lift, however, consider the basic principles of product engineering. No matter how well-manufactured something is, it’s going to break down at some point. Further, this breakdown period may be pushed forward depending on usage magnitude and frequency.
Now, thinking fourth dimensionally, the mass work-from-home experiment translates to common household devices operating much more frequently than anticipated. Therefore, if an appliance were to fail in 2024 based on normal usage, it could fail instead in 2023. Of course, we’re talking about just one appliance. But at scale, this storyline could translate to spiked demand for WHR. That’s why this oddball could rank among the best stocks to invest in.
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Borrowing the same underlying principle as Whirlpool, Valvoline (NYSE:VVV) should benefit from the increased usage-and-frequency thesis. To better gauge the viability of this specific reasoning, let’s go back to the initial onslaught of the coronavirus. Seemingly overnight, vehicle miles traveled crumbled as government agencies imposed restrictions on non-essential travel. Further, the aforementioned work-from-home experiment made the morning commute an archaic relic.
However, the labor market may be returning to normal expectations (as in, back to the office). As Reuters pointed out, one of the clear disadvantages of remote operations is lost productivity. For certain industries such as finance, remote work poses compliance challenges. As well, those logging in from home expose their companies to cybersecurity threats.
Experts call this expanded attack surfaces. But upper management can mitigate this risk by simply recalling their employees.
For Valvoline, that a majority of drivers still use combustion vehicles represents an upside catalyst waiting in the wings. Thus, the automotive oil and lubricant provider should rank among the best stocks to invest in.
NuScale Power (SMR)
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If 2022 taught us anything, it’s that political correctness alone should not be the arbiter of national energy policy. For instance, at the start of last year, the Washington Post reported that Germany was shutting down additional nuclear power plants. Of course, just two months later, war erupted practically in its backyard, leading to an energy crisis.
That’s why I believe NuScale Power (NYSE:SMR) represents one of the best stocks to invest in. Leveraging an innovation called small modular reactors, NuScale’s nuclear facilities feature a small footprint (relative to their traditional counterparts). This means SMRs can be developed closer to sources of demand, facilitating greater efficiencies. As well, NuScale delivers advanced safety protocols, helping to ensure proper operations throughout.
And fundamentally, nothing comes close to the astounding energy density of nuclear fuel. For instance, one uranium fuel pellet creates as much energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas. Eventually (probably soon), international policymakers will wake up to scientific realities. That would make SMR a compelling candidate for the best stocks to invest in.
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Advanced film projection specialist Imax (NYSE:IMAX) suffered a rather harsh performance in 2022. Shares lost 22.5% of equity value, which is conspicuously worse than the benchmark equities index. Further, much of the losses came recently. In the trailing month to the end-of-the-year session, IMAX tumbled almost 14%. The main culprit centered on a lackluster debut of Avatar: The Way of Water.
It’s not that the so-called Avatar 2 was a bad film (though it could have used, you know, some editing). Rather, it just didn’t meet incredibly lofty expectations. Plus, Covid-19-related headwinds in the China box office didn’t help matters. Nevertheless, among covering analysts, IMAX enjoys a consensus strong buy rating. In other words, you don’t want to miss the forest from the trees. For starters, Avatar 2 received robust revenue from its second weekend, which occurred during the holidays. And more recent data suggests the film continues to chug along.
More importantly, let’s not forget the core attraction. Pound for pound, Imax delivers a reasonably priced entertainment experience. Plus, people can use a delightful distraction if a recession materializes. Therefore, IMAX is one of the best stocks to invest in.
Just to get the disclosure out of the way upfront, Rover (NASDAQ:ROVR) got the brown stuff beat out of it. I mean, just in the worst way possible. In 2022, ROVR hemorrhaged over 64% of its equity value. For some folks, it might appear like a lost cause. For those that don’t want to deal with it, I totally understand.
Nevertheless, Rover – which runs an online marketplace for people to buy and sell pet care services – presents an enticing profile. Essentially, Rover acts just like a freelancer platform. However, rather than swapping cash for Excel spreadsheet-related tasks, Rover connects pet owners with pet service providers. Because Americans collectively spend $123 billion on their furry friends, ROVR deserves consideration despite its volatility.
It’s possible that the Covid-19 crisis allowed worker bees to take care of their own pets. However, with the possibility of more back-to-office recalls this year, pet care will become vital. Of course, ROVR remains risky. However, fourth-dimensional thinking possibly makes it one of the best stocks to invest in.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto 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.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.