Warren Buffett is widely recognized as one of the greatest stock pickers of all time, and for good reason. During his tenure as Berkshire Hathaway‘s (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) CEO, Berkshire stock has crushed the market, generating a total return of 2,810,526% between 1965 and 2020.
Put another way, through prudent investments and savvy acquisitions since 1965, Buffett has grown Berkshire on an average annual return basis by 18.3%. Given that market-beating performance, it would seem that savvy investors might stand to benefit from keeping an eye on Berkshire’s portfolio and perhaps following Buffett’s lead when picking stocks.
For instance, the company owns stock in Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) and Visa (NYSE:V). Both have characteristics that suggest they are good long-term investments. Here’s why they might just be two top stocks to buy right now.
Enterprises collect and store data across a range of applications and infrastructure. For instance, departments like marketing, finance, and human resources rely on different software, and the data created by each team is typically stored in siloed systems. That’s problematic, as it limits accessibility, making it difficult to derive value from that data.
Snowflake solves this problem. Its cloud-based platform allows enterprises to securely store, integrate, and analyze siloed data sets. That, in turn, helps clients make data-centric decisions, build data-driven applications, and share data with partners — all of which can be instrumental in developing a competitive advantage.
Notably, Warren Buffett once said: “In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.” And Snowflake certainly has a solid moat.
Rather than relying on just one provider, the company takes a cloud-agnostic approach to big data — meaning its platform is built across all three major public cloud services: Amazon‘s AWS, Microsoft‘s Azure, and Alphabet‘s Google Cloud. That gives Snowflake’s clients flexibility, allowing them to pick the best features for their needs from each provider.
Moreover, Snowflake employs a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) business model, so clients avoid the cost and complexity of managing infrastructure. In other words, Snowflake’s cloud-native platform is more scalable and cost-efficient than on-premise solutions.
Powered by those advantages, Snowflake has delivered triple-digit percentage growth over several years.
Q1 2022 (TTM)
Looking ahead, Snowflake should see strong demand as enterprises continue to spend heavily on digital transformation. In fact, management puts the company’s market opportunity at $90 billion. That leaves Snowflake with a long runway for growth.
Visa operates the largest payments network in the world. It’s issued 3.6 billion credit and debit cards that are accepted at over 70 million locations in over 200 countries. More impressive, for every $1 spent at physical and digital retailers, $0.15 and $0.43, respectively, goes through Visa’s network.
However, even with a market cap that has risen to $505 billion, Visa has plenty of room to grow. In fact, management cited several catalysts during a recent investor presentation, suggesting that Visa could grow tenfold in the years ahead.
According to Visa, transactions totaling $18 trillion still occur in cash and checks each year. For reference, Visa facilitated $9.2 trillion in payments over the last 12 months.
To grow its business, the company needs to issue more cards and earn acceptance with more merchants, and it’s doing just that. Over the last two years, the number of Visa cards and merchants has jumped 7% and 34%, respectively.
Additionally, the company sees a $185 trillion opportunity in “new flows.” This term describes account-based business-to-business (B2B) transactions, person-to-person (P2P) payments, and government-to-consumer or business-to-consumer (B2C, G2C) disbursements. To address these opportunities, Visa has launched products like B2B Connect and Visa Direct, and both appear to be gaining traction.
For instance, Visa Direct — a real-time platform that enables P2P, B2C, and G2C push payments — saw a 60% increase in transactions in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 (ended March 31, 2021). Likewise, during the most recent earnings call, CEO Alfred Kelly noted Visa B2B Connect continued to add new banking partners, which should help scale the product by 2022.
Here’s the big picture: In the near term, Visa should benefit as economies reopen around the world and consumers return to their normal habits. And in the long term, Visa’s immense scale should keep it ahead of the competition and help the company capture more of a $200 trillion addressable market. That’s why investors should consider adding this Buffett stock to their portfolios.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.