Alphabet (GOOG)

In the last 25 years of investing, I've bought just about every type of investment. Actually, that's not true. I've skipped a lot of insurance products like variable life insurance, whole life, and variable annuities. However, I've invested in quite a few different mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and individual stocks. Stocks are a different flavor of investing. They are riskier and therefore represent a greater possible return AND larger potential loss.

Stocks provide a stronger personal connection to certain companies for me. There are businesses that I feel are head and shoulders above their competition in what they do, so I like investing in them. I still rely on ETFs and mutual funds for the most part, because they provide easy access to global markets.

A person might ask, "Can an individual stock be an OAK?" That is, can an individual corporation be something you hold for the next 20, 30, or 40 years? I think the answer is a careful 'yes'.

If you see a company that is delivering an outstanding product or service, has strong governance and stands on a strong financial foundation, then I think you can expect that company to last for many years.

I see Google as that kind of business (now known by its parent name of Alphabet). There is no search engine I like better. I believe the power of the internet will continue to grow and flourish. Their role in directing the traffic of billions of internet-users is likely to remain a pivotal piece of the economy.

The three-year return from Alphabet is over 28% per year, which is consistent with the Internet Content & Information sector. There are bound to be difficult times for this stock -- that is part of the investing cycle. Nevertheless, GOOG is a market leader in the internet search space.

Remember that individual stocks are more risky and volatile than diversified investments such as mutual funds and ETF's.