For long term investors, a blue chip stock is considered one that is highly stable, has a large trading volume, and has a more than probable chance of long term future growth. Money managers look to these types of companies to even out the bumps in their portfolios because they tend to reflect the marketplace that they are in, and they are often far more stable than the indices that pick them up. For example, a blossoming blue chip stock like Apple has a beta of 0.994, indicating that it is slightly more stable than the NASDAQ. General Electric, a blue chip that has seen struggles over the last few years, has a beta of 1.271, which means it is a bit more volatile than its index. These are good measurements of what traders can expect over the short term, but long term prognoses are more favorable.

Looking back at 2015, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones showed almost no movement for the year, although the NASDAQ did go up by about 6 percent. Sideways motion is a trader’s worst enemy, but for those that paid attention throughout the year, this was a rollercoaster of a ride that ended almost exactly where it started. By just looking at the starting and ending points, it could be easy to miss the fact that there was a ton of money making opportunities throughout the year. 2016 promises to be even better than the previous year, although this remains to be seen, of course.

The Big StocksOne exercise that many long term analysts like to partake in is to try and scout out what the next big blue chip stock is most likely to be. A few names have been tossed out, including Facebook, British Petroleum, Netflix, and Alphabet—the company formerly known as Google. These all have specific upsides, and downsides, too. However, because of their long term appeal, these companies are likely to be around in 50 years, and thus have a good chance of being consistent money makers during that time period.

This information really doesn’t help short term traders, specifically binary options traders where the longest trade available are up to one year in length. But, because they do have a good long term outlook, that upward motion needs to start somewhere. It puts the overall trend of these companies on an upward slant, and that means that the ups will eventually outweigh the downs, assuming the analysts that came up with this list were correct in their predictions. Companies like Alphabet and Netflix have strong followings, and they are currently big innovators. BP is also a solid choice as the need for oil will only grow over time. Once the price of crude begins to find traction, this company is likely to see some solid forward movement. However, social media companies, like Facebook, do not have the same guarantees behind them. Social media is a very new industry still, and although Facebook is the industry leader in this sub-sector, there’s a lot of turmoil here and a lot of kinks to still be worked out. It looks like some of their initial growing pains are behind them, but there are likely to be many changes in the industry over the coming years. The same argument can be made for companies like Alphabet and Netflix, but these companies have a much more tangible product without the same level of competition.

Because this information is stretched out so far into the future, it’s hard to formulate short term strategies, but looking at these as starting points for your binary trades or day trades can be a good way to get an idea of what the market is doing, and how you should act.