Many investors are in the same situation. They’re good at saving — often accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in a high-yield savings account — and they want more than 1.2% interest. They do a little research and decide to check out the stock market.
There’s just one problem: there are thousands of stocks to buy, each with their own pros and cons. Even exchange-traded funds, which are supposed to make the stock selection easy, are overly complex. There are hundreds of ETFs that track dozens of different indexes.
When presented with that many choices, many new investors get overwhelmed and either do nothing or pick one at random to get the whole exercise over with.
Neither of those strategies are ideal for building wealth over the long term.
What a lot of investors need is for someone to narrow down the investing world for them and highlight the kinds of stocks they can hold for a decade — or even longer — without having to worry. This will make the process much easier.
Here are three of Canada’s top long-term dividend stocks.
Bank of Nova Scotia
Canada’s five largest banks have been fantastic investments over the years. There have been few better ways to make money.
Now that the Canadian banking market is mature, our banks are looking to other markets for growth. I personally like Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS)(NYSE:BNS) and its Latin and South American exposure. Those economies are growing faster than the United States — which is where the bank’s competitors have headed — with the additional bonus of millions of unbanked citizens who will need to use a bank as they get richer.
Bank of Nova Scotia trades at just 13.2 times trailing earnings and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Both of those metrics are a little more attractive than its peers, meaning investors are getting the superior growth story at a bargain price.
Brookfield Renewable Partners
It doesn’t take a genius to realize there’s going to be substantial investment opportunity in renewable energy sources over the next decade. Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (TSX:BEP.UN)(NYSE:BEP) might be the perfect way to play this trend.
Brookfield Renewable is a subsidiary of the massive Brookfield empire, ensuring it will always get access to both capital and investment opportunities. Its asset base includes 10,700 MW of electricity-generating capacity, worth some US$25 billion. Nearly 90% of assets are in hydroelectric generation.
The company has focused on regulated markets, which helps smooth out earnings. Brookfield Renewable pays a 6.4% dividend and has raised the payout each year since 2012. The current payout ratio is 70% of funds from operations, which means the dividend should be safe.
BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE) is Canada’s largest telecom with millions of wireless, television, internet, and home phone subscribers. It also owns some of Canada’s most interesting media assets, including dozens of TV stations, more than 100 radio stations, and a portion of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The company is currently trading hands at $58.20, which is close to its 52-week low. It has tended to work out pretty well for investors over the years who buy BCE shares when they’re temporarily beaten up. The company also offers a 4.9% yield with a dividend that grew 5.1% in 2017.
Perhaps the best thing to like about BCE is the company’s willingness to make acquisitions. In the last few years, it acquired the 54% of Bell Aliant it didn’t already own, and it’s just waiting for regulators to approve its proposed purchase of Manitoba Telecom Services.
The bottom line
Investing doesn’t have to be hard. Just buy great companies like BCE, Brookfield Renewable Partners, and Bank of Nova Scotia. The hardest part will be having the patience to stick with such great companies through thick and thin. It really can be that simple.
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Fool contributor Nelson Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned.