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5 Great Stocks to Buy in July

Keith Speights, The Motley Fool

July's fireworks don't have to end just because the U.S. Independence Day celebrations on the Fourth of July are over. You can put your money to work by investing in stocks that hold the potential to light up your portfolio over the long run.

But which stocks should you buy? My view is that it makes sense to first identify major trends that are likely to generate tremendous growth in the future. After identifying those trends, look for the stocks of companies that have already established a leadership position and appear to be in good shape to remain at the top. 

Here are five trends that I think will be important for years to come and the five stocks you can buy in July to profit from these trends.

Nighttime fireworks show with a dollar sign in the sky

Image source: Getty Images.

Major trends

There are five trends that in my opinion are likely to generate tremendous growth over the next several decades:

  • Aging demographics
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Cannabis
  • Genomics
  • War on cash

Aging demographics refers to the large numbers of individuals reaching age 65 or over. This isn't just a U.S. phenomenon; it's happening across the world. More older individuals will drive greater demand for healthcare products and services.

Computers doing things that typically require human intelligence. That's what artificial intelligence is. And AI has already changed the world, helping insurance companies process loans, powering chatbots to interact with customers, performing facial recognition, translating languages, and more. The future of AI should be even more exciting.

Cannabis makes the list of major trends because of its huge potential market growth. Analysts with investment firm Stifel predict that the global cannabis market could soar to $200 billion in the next decade as more countries legalize cannabis products.

Genomics research unlocks the secrets of DNA by mapping the sequences of genes. The potential for genomics to revolutionize how diseases are treated and even prevented makes it a tremendously important trend.

The war on cash is a catchy term used to describe the move to a cashless society. The trend includes e-commerce, mobile payments, and cryptocurrencies -- all of which have become big businesses and are likely to continue to expand.

Which stocks appear to be in a great position to profit from these trends? I like Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC), Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), and PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL)

1. Teladoc Health (Aging)

Teladoc Health is the largest global provider of telehealth services that enable patients to interact with healthcare professionals remotely, either online or over the phone. The company's customer base includes around 40% of the Fortune 500 plus major government healthcare programs and thousands of smaller businesses.

The important thing to know about Teladoc is that its services help reduce healthcare costs. As the numbers of older individuals increase across the world, payers are likely to look to telehealth to control rising healthcare costs. Teladoc Health's global reach and broad scope of clinical services should make the company a major beneficiary of this trend.

2. Alphabet (AI)

Alphabet is known for its popular products including Google Search and YouTube. The tech giant is also a leader in AI. Alphabet uses AI for a wide range of applications such as image and voice recognition. 

Perhaps the most important AI growth opportunity for Alphabet is in self-driving cars. The company's Waymo subsidiary ranks as one of the pioneers in developing self-driving car technology. UBS analyst Eric Sheridan predicts that Waymo will generate $114 billion in revenue by 2030. That's nearly as much as Alphabet made in total sales last year from all of its businesses.

3. Canopy Growth (Cannabis)

Canopy Growth is by far the largest cannabis producer in terms of market cap. The company claims the leading market share in Canada's adult-use recreational cannabis market. It's also one of the top players in the global medical cannabis market.

What really sets Canopy apart from its peers, though, is the company's partnership with big alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands. Thanks to a $4 billion investment from Constellation last year, Canopy has a huge cash stockpile that it's already putting to use to enter the U.S. hemp cannabidiol (CBD) market. The company is also in position to immediately jump into the U.S. marijuana market as soon as federal laws permit.

4. Illumina (Genomics)

Illumina is kind of the 800-pound gorilla in the genomic sequencing industry. The company's technology played a pivotal role in reducing the cost of mapping a human genome from $200,000 in 2009 to less than $1,000 today. Illumina CEO Francis deSouza thinks that in the future "the ubiquity and impact of genomics will dwarf everything we've seen to date." He's probably right.

The use of genomic sequencing in consumer genomics products such as 23andMe, noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), and population genomics efforts to map the DNA of large groups of people present significant growth opportunities for Illumina. But the company should enjoy even bigger growth in providing genomic sequencing systems and services for cancer research, screening, and drug development.

5. Paypal Holdings (War on Cash)

PayPal has been at the forefront of the war on cash for years. The massive expansion of e-commerce has made PayPal a big winner. The company currently has partnerships with around 22 million merchants that offer PayPal as a checkout option.

Don't think PayPal's growth is in the past, though. The company is only in the early stages of monetizing its popular peer-to-peer payment app Venmo. PayPal is also teaming up with rapidly growing e-commerce platforms including ridesharing leader Uber Technologies and Latin American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Keith Speights owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Illumina, PayPal Holdings, and Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Illumina, MercadoLibre, PayPal Holdings, and Teladoc Health. The Motley Fool recommends Constellation Brands and Uber Technologies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.