The biggest stocks dominate the headlines and investor portfolios.

Therefore, although I am fond of unfamiliar stocks, once a year I give buy or avoid ratings to the top 20 stocks. Today is a day.


($2.4 trillion in market value). He buys. The company’s iPhones and Macs have a loyal following. Having $48 billion in cash and marketable securities also helps.


($1.8 trillion). to avoid. It’s a good company, but the stock was overvalued a year ago, in my opinion, and it’s still somewhat overrated now.

the alphabet

The Google
(1.3 trillion dollars). He buys. The most innovative American company in my opinion. It has increased its dividend by 15% annually for the past decade.


($1.2 trillion). to avoid. In the past few quarters, revenue growth has slowed and profits have fallen. However, the stock still sold at 101 times the recent earnings.


($863 billion). to avoid. It’s an exciting company and Elan Musk is a charismatic guy, but in my opinion the stock price (14 times revenue) is way too high.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B $591 billion). He buys. Under CEO Warren Buffett, Berkshire owns dozens of companies, and has $327 billion in investments. In my book, no one beats Buffett.

United Health Group

United nations
($480 billion). neutral. I'm lukewarm. But if a widely expected recession is at hand, healthcare stocks will likely have a place to hide.

Johnson & Johnson

($438 billion). He buys. This healthcare conglomerate is cheaper than UnitedHealth, and has a better return on total capital (17% vs. 10%).


($388 billion). to avoid. Visa's earnings growth has been impressive. But it is costly at 14 times revenue and is timely if a recession is at hand.

meta pads (META, $377 billion). to avoid. Facebook, its flagship product, appears to be losing traction among young people. Earnings in the June quarter were lower than a year ago.

ExxonMobil (XOM, $357 billion). He buys. Exxon shares are up 45% in the past year while most shares are down. I think the recovery of the oil industry will continue.


($353 billion). to avoid. I'm torn, because Walmart usually holds up well in downturns. But the last profit is 25 times more than what I want to pay.

Procter & Gamble Company

($323 billion). to avoid. Products like cleansers and razors are essential items; People buy it even in difficult times. But I think investors are overpaying for the supposed stability.

c. B. Morgan Chase (JPM, $320 billion). He buys. This premium segment has fallen more than 34% in the past year. Banks have their problems, but at nine times the profits I think it's a bargain.

nvidia (NVDAA $312 billion). to avoid. The Fed's drive to raise interest rates is toxic to multiple stocks, and Nvidia's multiplier is 41 times earnings.

Eli Lilly

($296 billion). to avoid. Lilly's 10-year revenue growth figure is an unimpressive 3.3%, yet the stock still posted 50 times earnings.

Master Card Credit Card

(MA, $284 billion). to avoid. My colleagues have talked to me about buying MasterCard a few years ago and we have succeeded. But 13 revenue tune? This is dangerously high.


($283 billion). He buys. After six years in the wild, the oil industry is once again making solid profits. Also, Chevron has a dividend yield of 3.8%.

Home Depot (HD, $277 billion). He buys. I've had Home Depot as an "avoid" for the past four years. But with inventory down to what it was eight years ago, I think it's valuable.

American bank

($255 billion). He buys. The Fed's hike in short-term interest rates is hurting banks. However, at 9 times earnings, I think BAC is cheap enough to buy.

previous record

The past year has been tough for almost all stocks, and the top 20 companies are no exception. A year ago, I placed an "avoid" rating on 14 large stocks. They decreased by an average of 23.7%. The six stocks I recommended to buy fell an average of "only" 17.1%.

My long-term "buys" outperformed "avoids" by the narrowest of margins, 11.4% to 11.2%. (The long-term figure covers 18 columns about the largest stocks written from 2001 through 2021.)

Keep in mind that my column results are hypothetical and should not be confused with the results I get for clients. Also, past performance does not predict the future.

disclosure: I personally own Alphabet, Apple and Berkshire Hathaway and for most of my clients. One or more customers own, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Nvidia, Tesla, and United Health.