Investing Like A Hippie

By Matthew McCall | June 18, 2010 AAA

Many of you were hippies in the 1970s, and the old days of Flower Power are still alive and well for many, especially when it comes to investing. If you are into yoga, eat organic foods and want to do as little harm to the environment as possible, you are likely spending money at companies I call my "hippie stocks".
So if you want to invest like a hippie, look closely at the stocks below.

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Start With Starbucks
There's nothing like starting your day with a fresh-brewed cup of coffee from Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), where many coffees are considered free trade - a must for all hippies. The SBUX stock price has been strong lately, as it sidestepped the market pullback and hit a new two-year high in mid-June. The world of $5 lattes is not going anywhere yet, and SBUX is still the best of the best.

If you want a snack with your coffee, Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq: HAIN) offers a variety of natural and organic foods that include granola, chocolate and frozen entrees. The stock has been growing through acquisitions; two coming in early June. The company purchased a British goods supplier and the Sensible Portion brand only days apart. With a forward P/E ratio of 18.5, the company is not overvalued and is a buying opportunity in the low $20s.

Two other hippie-like companies related to HAIN and the food aspect of living well are Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI) and SunOpta (Nasdaq: STKL). WFMI is the well-known organic grocery store that is more expensive than its rivals, but it provides a higher-quality product in my opinion. Similar to SBUX, WFMI made a comeback when it hit a two-year high in May before a modest pullback. STKL is trading at an 18-month high and is more diverse than the previous companies. With three ethical business divisions (Food, Minerals and BioProcess), the company has its hands in many fast-growing sectors as it continues to act like a hippie.

Healthy Lifestyle And Fitness Products
Before you get fully into the swing of things, you may want to check out a product from Gaiam (Nasdaq: GAIA), a leading producer of lifestyle and fitness products that focus on healthy and eco-conscious living. Maybe you will choose one of its yoga DVDs and get your mind ready for the day. And, of course, you will have to be in your yoga-specific wardrobe that you can purchase at Lululemon Athletica (Nasdaq: LULU). The Canadian-based retailer offers athletic wear for the fashion-conscience athlete, and sales were booming last quarter. Revenues increased by 69%, and net income more than tripled.

And before you head out into your clean-burning vehicle, you may want to check out Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE), the Boone Pickens-backed provider of natural gas fuel to vehicle fleets in the U.S. and Canada. The company also manufactures alternative fuel systems and natural gas conversions. The stock is a bit of a roller coaster and is only for investors with a long-term time horizon and a strong stomach.

Bottom Line
Many more companies fall into my hippie stock category, but the above-mentioned were my top picks, and they covered several market angles. Keep in mind that you do not have to be a long-haired hippie to own the stocks! (For more, see The Successful Investment Journey.)

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