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Getting Into Position Before Christmas

With close to two months before Christmas Day, many investors will soon turn their attention to the holidays and away from the markets, as the norm is to enjoy social events with friends and family.

On an annual basis, however, it is important to stop and consider how things have shifted in the retail market, as consumers will be purchasing gifts for those closest to them. Many years ago, it was normal to visit stores such as Sears Canada, which has now gone bankrupt, and avoid other retailers such as Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL), which had sold things for no more than a dollar or two.

Fast forward to 2017, and we discover that a lot has changed. In today’s market, it is very normal to visit discount stores such as Dollarama, as the company has many low-priced gift items. Although not every person will be purchasing every gift at this retailer, it is important to realize that with many items between $2 and $4, even jolly, old Saint Nick may want to stop in and stock up on stocking stuffers for the kids.

For those wanting to spend a little more than a token amount for gifts, Canadian Tire Corporation Limited (TSX:CTC.A) now offers substantially more than just tools and home improvement items. With an entire food section and kitchen items, the store has done a fantastic job at providing shoppers with the things needed to have a very merry Christmas. The company now offers a wide array of decorations and gift ideas for him and her.

Another place consumers can visit to purchase items for the home is Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY), which has a number of Canadian locations and will be a destination for many shoppers this holiday season. Although the footprint in Canada is very small, the company remains one of the best brick-and-mortar stores for consumers owning a house or a condo. In addition to having a number of household items such as sheets, pillows, and appliances, the company has added storage solutions for those living in smaller spaces. Essentially, the store offers something for everyone.

For investors seeking well-established dividend-paying companies to purchase, as the Christmas season is not that far off, there are clearly a number of excellent names to consider, each of which has either recently introduced or increased the dividend. Clearly, there is value to be had in these names.

For those still not believing what is in plain sight and looking for something much more exciting, shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) continue to be a fan favourite, as the company approaches US$1,000 per share and the market capitalization is now within reach of US$500 billion. Investors seeking growth instead of value are free to take a good look.

One stock to buy before the iPhone-Android war escalates any further...

It's not Apple. Or Google. Verizon or AT&T. In fact, you've probably never even heard this company's name. Yet it's so vital to the "smartphone" revolution that its shares have doubled time and time again since they first hit the shelves. And if industry insiders are right, the rapidly escalating war between iPhone and Android is about to push this stock even higher.

For the full behind-the-scenes story straight from Motley Fool Canada, just click here now.

Fool contributor Ryan Goldsman has no position in the companies mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.

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