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4 Reasons to Put Toronto–Dominion Bank in Your RRSP

With RRSP season now upon us, investors are looking for the best names to add to their retirement portfolios.

Trying to get top quality stocks at decent prices has been a challenge in recent years, but the market is finally cooperating for once, and a number of Canada’s best companies are now on sale.

Here are the reasons why I think RRSP investors should consider Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) right now.

1. Earnings strength

TD reported adjusted net income of $8.754 billion or $4.61 per share for fiscal 2015, up 8% over the previous year.

The strong results demonstrate just how successful the bank is at managing costs and finding ways to get more revenue out of its existing customer base.

TD gets most of its earnings from the retail banking segment. The Canadian operation is a well-oiled sales machine with every customer-facing employee always on the lookout for opportunities to increase revenue. Some bank customers might be put off by the constant offers of higher credit lines or new investment products, but investors are all smiles.

We think of TD as a Canadian bank, and it is, but the company actually has more branches south of the border than it does in Canada. That wasn’t the case a decade ago, but a massive buying spree has put together an impressive network of nearly 1,300 U.S. locations.

The strength of the U.S. dollar is turning out to be a windfall for TD as earnings from the U.S. operations jumped 21% in 2015. Higher interest rates coupled with the effects of recent restructuring efforts should bode well for TD’s U.S. margins in 2016 and beyond.

The company is targeting 7-10% adjusted earnings-per-share growth over the medium term. That’s pretty good given the economic headwinds.

2. Dividend growth

TD is a dividend-growth machine. The company raised the payout by 9% in 2015 and has delivered a 12% annual growth rate in the dividend since 1995. The distribution is very safe and now offers a yield of 4%.

3. Low risk

TD’s focus on retail makes it a lower-risk bet than some of its peers who derive a much higher percentage of their revenues from more volatile segments like capital markets.

TD also has the lowest loan exposure to the oil and gas industry with less than 1% of the total loan book tied to the energy sector.

On the mortgage side, TD’s portfolio is more than capable of withstanding a pullback in the housing market. The company finished Q4 2015 with $246 billion in Canadian residential mortgages, of which 44% is uninsured. The loan-to-value ratio on that component is 61%, so house prices would have to fall significantly for the bank to take a material hit.

Most analysts expect a gradual decline.

4. Investments for the future

Mobile banking services offered by non-bank tech companies are a threat to the traditional banks.

TD realizes this and is making the investments necessary to ensure it stays relevant as the industry evolves. The company has set up an innovation lab and is forming partnerships with strategic FinTech start-ups. The bank is also moving toward a system where as much as 30% of its sales will originate online by 2020.

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Fool contributor Andrew Walker has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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