August is the best month for you to add to your individual retirement account (IRA) since... July.
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The truth is that regularly adding to your retirement accounts is a really smart way to achieve your long-term goals. Markets will go up, and they'll go down, but time is on your side if you've got years to go before retirement.
But what stocks should you look at buying for your IRA? Dividend stocks, growth stocks, and value stocks all have their place. With that in mind, here's why International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JAZZ) could be top stocks for your IRA in August.
Dividend pick: IBM
Loading up your IRA with dividend stocks isn't a bad option for most investors. One dividend stock to consider is IBM. The technology giant's dividend currently yields a mouthwatering 4.13%.
There's a pretty good chance that dividend will grow in the coming years. The company currently uses 47% of earnings to fund its dividend program, indicating room for future dividend increases. IBM has raised its dividend for 17 consecutive years, underscoring the company's commitment to its dividend.
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IBM certainly faces some challenges. Revenue has declined for 21 consecutive quarters, and its stock has sunk as a result. However, I don't think IBM will drop significantly more than it already has -- and the stock should move higher over the long term. I wouldn't look for IBM to generate impressive earnings growth anytime soon, but remember that our primary goal with this stock is income. On that front, IBM should continue to deliver.
Growth pick: Facebook
Facebook offers the opposite benefits from IBM. The social-media provider doesn't pay out a dividend currently, but it claims a tremendous growth story. Facebook stock is up 50% so far this year, after the company posted strong revenue and earnings growth.
Can Facebook keep its momentum going? Wall Street thinks so, with the consensus among analysts projecting average annual earnings growth of more than 27% over the next several years. I suspect that Wall Street is right about Facebook's prospects.
The company has definitely figured out how to make money -- lots of it -- from mobile advertising. Facebook now has 1.3 billion daily active users and 2 billion monthly active users. I think it will continue to be one of the top venues to which advertisers will flock. My view is that Facebook will also be highly successful over the long term with its augmented-reality initiatives.
Value pick: Jazz Pharmaceuticals
With Jazz Pharmaceuticals' stock trading at more than 23 times trailing-12-month earnings, you might be surprised to see it included as a value pick for IRAs. Remember, though, that the past isn't nearly as important as the future when it comes to investing.
Jazz stock trades at less than 12 times expected earnings. Even better, its PEG ratio is only 0.79. Any value below 1.0 is considered to be a good deal for a growth stock like Jazz. The challenge with metrics like the PEG ratio, though, is that they rely on future growth estimates that can be way off. In Jazz's case, though, I think projections for annual growth of nearly 18% aren't unrealistic.
The company recently won U.S. regulatory approval for acute myeloid leukemia drug Vyxeos. Sales for sleep-disorder drug Xyrem continue to grow. More important, Jazz's JZP-110 holds significant potential in treating excessive sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy. The company expects to submit JZP-110 for approval later this year.
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