James Glassman's Top Stock Picks for 2020

My annual stock choices beat Standard & Poor's 500-stock index for the fourth year in a row in 2019, and the margin was pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. For the 12 months ending October 31, 2019, my picks returned, on average, 30.0%, compared with 14.3% for the S&P. But as I reminded readers last year, don't get too excited about my forecasting ability. No one beats the market consistently.

Since 1993, I have drawn nine selections for the year ahead from experts and added a choice of my own. The big winner for 2019, returning 112.1%, was Coupa Software (symbol ), which connects businesses with suppliers. It was the choice of Terry Tillman, an analyst with a golden touch at . His picks on my list have beaten the S&P for eight years in a row. Among his recent recommendations, I like Okta (, whose software verifies and manages the identity of people seeking online access to company websites--a valuable corporate defense against hacking. Okta went public in 2017 and now has a market value of $13 billion. The company still hasn't turned a profit, but revenues are soaring.

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