Industry analysts expect the total number of battery-powered electric vehicles to go from 6.8 million in 2020 to some 230 million by the end of the decade — which, incredibly, is only eight years away, observes Jim Woods, editor of Successful Investing.

The Boston Consulting Group projects EV sales to rise from 12% of the global market in 2020 to 47% in 2025. Now, in addition to more charging stations, the explosion of EVs around the world have one other thing in common — the batteries that power them all rely on lithium.

Yes, this is the same lithium that’s in those lithium batteries powering your flashlights and portable electric gadgets. Yet unlike your little AA batteries, EV batteries require a whole lot of this mineral to function, and the leading company that literally unearths that lithium is Albemarle Corp. (ALB).

In fact, ALB is the world’s largest lithium producer, as it gets the lithium from its salt brine deposits in Chile and the U.S. and its hard rock joint venture mines in Australia. Albemarle also happens to be one of the leading producers of bromine, a key component used in flame retardants.

Given the robust outlook for lithium demand in the years to come due to the anticipated burgeoning demand for electric vehicle batteries, ALB is in a perfect position to continue profiting mightily. Wall Street knows this already, as do intelligent investors.

We know this because ALB shares powered to a 60.3% total return in 2021. Looking back at ALB with a longer lens, we see the shares are up some 217.2% over the past three years. That is stellar, long-term performance driven by strong demand from an EV industry that really is still in its youth.

For those investors looking for a long-term hold that can take advantage of an undeniable consumer trend toward electric vehicles, Albemarle Corp. is one to embrace.

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A Look Back at 2021's Top Performer

Jim Woods picked the #1 performing stock in last year's Top Picks 2021 report — cryptocurrency trading firm Voyager Digital Ltd. (VYGVF). Here, he updates that idea.

Shares of the digital trading platform operator surged some 250% in 2021, as the company rode the emerging wave of cryptocurrency buying during the year. Interestingly, the big gains in VYGVF came mostly in the first quarter, as the stock went from $3.90 at the end of 2020 all the way to a high of $29.00 by Apr. 5, 2021.

The stock actually trended lower from there, but because of that massive spike in the first three months of the year, VYGVF was able to maintain much of its triple-digit percentage gains on the year.

Now, how did I know VYGVF would be a big winner in 2021? Well, I didn’t know, because the virtue of modesty informs us all that the future is unknowable. Yet what I did know is that Voyager Digital offers customers interested in buying cryptocurrencies what I think is the best platform out there for accomplishing this mission.

And I also knew that consumers were hot for Bitcoin, Ethereum and the scores of other digital currencies on the market today. So, do a little logical connecting of the dots and you come to the wisely modest conclusion that VYGVF was a great way to profit from the circumstance.

As for the current status of VYGVF, if you bought the stock last year based on my thesis and are still sitting on that 200%-plus win, there is nothing wrong with taking profits here to start off the new year.

Having said that, if you are just discovering VYGVF, then I don’t think it’s too late to add this one to the portion of your portfolio dedicated to the more speculative stocks—the ones capable of delivering yet another triple-digit percentage win. After all, who amongst us thinks cryptocurrencies aren’t here to stay? Enough said.