Are these really the best stocks to buy right now?

Three signposts pointing in different directions, with 'Buy' 'Sell' and 'Hold' on

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How do we find the best stocks to buy? One way might be to take a look at the ones most people are buying right now.

Investment platform provider Saxo has just done exactly that, looking at the most popular stocks so far in 2023. And it’s a very interesting list.

First, a key question. Does it make sense to follow the crowds?

Well, doing that would have led us to sell off all our shares in the 2020 stock market crash. And maybe buy the high-flying winners at times when they’re already up there.

What are they buying?

So, I would never buy a stock only because it’s popular.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn by checking what others are buying, especially in volatile times like these. And sometimes the crowds are right.

When will a fallen growth stock start to climb again? Well, that’s one of the things that can be answered by keeping an eye on popular stocks.

The top few stocks are pretty much the same as last year. They’re US Nasdaq giants, including Apple and

Standout stocks

But the list has a couple of standouts for me. Tesla is one of them. Remember how the electric car maker’s stock crashed in 2022?

Tesla shares soared above $400 in late 2021. But they lost three-quarters of that by the start of 2023, trading for around $100 at one point.

Since then, we’ve seen a recovery to $260 at the time of writing. So that’s a big win for anyone who got in at the bottom.

Most popular for two years

But here’s the thing. Tesla topped the Saxo list of most popular companies in 2022, the year the stock was tumbling. And it’s still at number one, as the price has climbed again in 2023.

So, are Tesla and the other US growth stocks the ones to buy now? Well, even though they’re super popular now, I bought some indirectly.

I went for Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. It holds Tesla, Nvidia, Amazon, all among these top 10 favourite stocks at the moment.

Back from the depths

There’s one other standout in the top 10 for me. It’s Rolls-Royce Holdings, which has seen its share price double in the past 12 months.

Rolls shares spiked when the company posted positive cash flow for the 2022 year. And it jumped again when 2023 H1 results beat expectations.

With its shares on a high valuation now, and being so popular, is there more to come? Or does disappointment await? With popular growth stocks, it can be hard to guess.

So what’s my bottom line here?

Well, most of my share picks are contrarian, and I like to buy cheap when others are selling. But I did also put some money into Nadaq shares through Scottish Mortgage.

Maybe the crowds are right. Individual investors will have to decide that for themselves.

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