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3 Stocks on My Christmas Shopping List

The market may be down, the loonie may be lower than it has been at any time in the past 11 years, and both oil and gold have dropped in price, too. As deflating as that may sound, the holiday season is on and investors should be thinking about spreading some yuletide joy to their portfolios.

Here’s a look at a couple of stocks on my own wish list.

BCE Inc. pays dividends–the gift that keeps on giving

BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE) has been around for decades and has been paying healthy dividends to shareholders for over a century. With a 4.69% yield, BCE is one of the better dividend-paying options on the market. Even better is the fact that the company has raised that dividend for seven years consecutively and is likely to do so again.

The company is able to sustain the higher dividend payout level thanks in part to the massive infrastructure that is already been set up. High barriers to entry in the market also make it unlikely that a new competitor with the same clout that BCE has will emerge.

BCE is up by 2.5% in the past month, and extending this out further shows that the stock is up by 4% year-to-date. The stock currently trades at just over $55. Investors looking for steady dividend income will be more than pleased with BCE. That’s not to say an investor won’t be happy with growth from BCE–over the past five years the stock is up by 53%.

Canadian National Railway Company hauls the perfect mix of freight

Who doesn’t love trains during the holidays? If it’s not under your tree this year, it may as well be in your portfolio.

Canadian National Railway Company (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) is the nation’s largest railway with a huge network spanning over 32,000 km with access to three different ports in North America.

That massive network ensures that there is a constant supply of freight to haul and a wide array of customers and industries. To put that volume into perspective, Canadian National hauls over $250 billion in cargo across Canada and the U.S. each year.

Canadian National is highly diversified, hauling everything from grain, coal, automotive parts, to oil. Because the company is so diversified, a single product category is never responsible for a majority of all cargo.

Canadian National currently trades at $73.50. Year-to-date, the stock is down by just over 8%, but extending this out over longer periods of time shows significant gains for long-term investors. The company also pays a quarterly dividend of $0.31 with a yield of 1.7%.

Canadian Tire Corporation Limited–a brick and mortar retailer with high-tech DNA

I can’t think of the holidays without conjuring up memories of the “give like Santa, save like scrooge” commercials from Canadian Tire Corporation Limited (TSX:CTC.A). The retailer is the go-to destination for Christmas shopping, whether you’re looking for a snow blower, Christmas ornaments, hockey equipment, or anything in between.

The country’s largest retailer of general merchandise has not only outperformed the market this year, but has reinvented itself with its innovative use of technology in stores and online. The use of technology in stores has proven extremely successful for the company and has resulted in a fresh look at the brand of the company, putting the retailer firmly in the realm of being a “phygital” (physical and digital) retailer.

Canadian Tire currently trades at $122.10. Year-to-date the stock is relatively flat, in the red by just 0.4%, but expanding the timeline out over the course of five years shows an impressive 81.3% increase in share price. Long-term investors seeking growth will be pleased with what Canadian Tire has to offer.

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Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Canadian National Railway. Canadian National Railway is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

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