If I Had to Pick One Stock, It Would Be ____

 | Jun 25, 2014 | 2:00 PM EDT
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Luckily, investors don't have to bank their entire portfolios on one stock. But if you think about it, some of the most magnificent fortunes in the world have been made by doing just that. Bill Gates and Microsoft (MSFT), Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook (FB) -- the list goes on. Names like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan all built fortunes betting on one thing.

Recently, a handful of investment professionals were asked this question: If they could pick one stock to retire on, which would it be?

Sam Stewart, the small-cap growth investor who manages $20 billion at his firm, Wasatch Advisors, picked Google (GOOG, GOOGL). Google is a truly remarkable company and it perhaps the one company where I regret not having invested after it debuted on public exchanges. Google is about the closest thing to a toll road of the Internet. Just about every Internet process starts with a search and there is no better search engine than Google, period. Microsoft's Bing doesn't even come close. Google now has its hand in so many things that it will be around for a long, long time.

Speaking of search engines, Jim Oberweis of the Oberweis Asset Management chose China's Baidu (BIDU) as his top pick. He likes Baidu simply because he believes it is a big mistake for baby boomers not to own China stocks.

Bruce Greenwald, famed value-investing professor at Columbia Business School and an advisor for First Eagle Investment Management's $98 billion portfolio, had no problem naming one company to put all his eggs into if he were forced to do so. His pick is Swiss food conglomerate Nestle (NSRGY), which generates revenues from more than 100 different countries and no more than 30% of total revenues comes from one region. Greenwald notes that Nestle went through the 2003 commodity crisis and 2008 economic crisis without much effect on its bottom line. With a yield of 3%, Greenwald sees Nestle earning 9% to 11% on an annualized basis.

It's no surprise that these names are giants of their industry. After all, when talking about putting all your eggs in one basket, capital preservation is the name of the game. It's no surprise that names like Berkshire Hathaway and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) were also on the list. Interestingly, most pros agreed that their picks not only preserve capital but also have the ability to deliver market-beating returns in the long haul.

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