Start Your Portfolio With These 3 Great Stocks

For investors just starting out on the market, prioritizing which stocks to begin investing with can be a little overwhelming. There’s no shortage of stocks to pick, and there are different types of investments to pick from as well, not to mention the importance of diversifying your portfolio, which is almost just as important as selecting the right stock.

If you are wondering where to start, here are a couple of stocks you can start off with that will set you down the path to a well-diversified portfolio consisting of both growth and dividend paying stocks.

Telus Corporation

Telus Corporation (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) is one of the largest telecom companies in the country, offering phone, internet, and TV services to subscribers.

Telus is one of the few companies on the market that can provide both growth prospects and dividend income. The current quarterly dividend of $0.46 per share translates into a very handsome 4.33% dividend for investors. On the growth front, Telus’s share price has increased approximately 20% over the past three years.

In terms of growth, Telus is already regarded as the fastest-growing telecom in the country. This was confirmed in the most recent quarter: the company added 61,000 new wireless subscribers, 18,000 internet subscribers, and 13,000 TV subscribers. The ARPU (average revenue per user) continues to rise with the total number of subscribers, hitting $64.23 recently. The most recent quarter was also the 23rd straight quarter that the ARPU has increased year over year.

Another reason to look at Telus is for long-term growth in new areas. The company is investing in new and emerging technologies and making significant investments in infrastructure across the country. Telus has already slated over $2.5 billion to be spent on upgrading existing copper wires to fibre optic cable. Telus is also actively expanding the services it offers to businesses in the medical field; this past summer it acquired the EMR software solutions of Nightingale Informatix Corp.

Telus trades just over $42 and has a P/E of 18.05.

Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX:L) is the largest grocer and pharmacy operator in the country. The company has impressively set up a myriad of brands, encompassing grocery, pharmacy, financial, general merchandise, and clothing lines, that affect our daily lives.

Loblaw has recently transitioned into the healthcare field with the acquisition of the largest EMR provider in the country. This latest addition should prove lucrative in coming years, as EMR records can be a benefit to both the company’s Shoppers Drug Mart business and the medical industry as a whole.

Loblaw currently trades at just over $66 with a P/E of 41.44. While this may appear at first glance to be a little pricey, future growth is the primary reason to consider this stock.

National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA) may not be the largest bank in the country, but there are a number of great reasons why investors should consider adding the bank to their portfolios.

National has traditionally been seen as a more domestic, smaller-client-base bank, particularly when compared to the larger banks in Canada. While this is largely a true statement, National has been expanding steadily over the past few years with a focus on rapidly developing economies around the world.

From a dividend perspective, National is one of the best options on the market, especially within the financial sector. The current quarterly dividend pays $0.55 per quarter, which results in a fairly impressive yield of 4.70%. Even more impressive is the fact that National has increased that dividend twice each of the past five years. That trend doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon either.

National currently trades at under $47 with a P/E of just 13.60.

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Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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