Canadians are searching for reliable stocks to hold inside their self-directed RRSP accounts.
Fortis might not be very exciting, but RRSP investors are looking for solid returns, not entertainment.
The company owns electric transmission, power generation, and natural gas distribution assets in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.
Most of the revenue comes from regulated businesses, which means cash flow should be both predictable and reliable. That’s good news for RRSP investors, especially those who rely on steady dividends to buy new shares.
Fortis continues to grow through organic projects and strategic acquisitions. The latest deal saw Fortis acquire a two-thirds interest in the Waneta dam in British Columbia.
Investors like the company for its dividend-growth track record. Fortis has increased its distribution every year for more than four decades.
The stock provides a yield of 3.6%.
Bank of Nova Scotia
Canada’s third-largest bank has significant exposure to international markets with a specific focus on Latin America.
The company has invested billions to build a strong presence in Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chile. The four markets represent the core of the Pacific Alliance, which is a trade bloc set up to enable the free movement of capital and goods among the member states.
Bank of Nova Scotia’s big bet on the region is paying off, as the international operations delivered $600 million of the company’s fiscal Q2 2017 net income of $2 billion.
Growth in the Latin American operations outpaces Canada, and the diversification provides a nice hedge against any potential economic troubles that might be on the way in the home country.
Bank of Nova Scotia’s dividend provides a yield of 4%.
Is one more attractive?
Both companies are proven long-term holdings and should deliver strong results for buy-and-hold RRSP investors.
Fortis probably offers less volatility in the medium term, but the stock is also trading at an all-time high.
At this point, I would call it a draw between the two names.
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Fool contributor Andrew Walker has no position in any stocks mentioned.