The past two weeks marked the biggest percentage decline in the market in over half a decade, leaving investors in a state of confusion as to whether the decline will continue or not.
While this may bring about memories of the early days of the financial crisis and the Great Recession for some investors, more seasoned investors will recognize this for what it really is — a long overdue correction and an amazing opportunity.
The correction is here
The market has been on fire for years now. Unemployment is at the lowest level since the dot-com era, wages are rising, and investors have come to expect the incredible returns of the past few years as the norm.
When that expectation comes to a screeching halt with the scale of losses we’ve seen over the past two weeks, some investors may come to fear the potential for further longer-term losses. And as Warrant Buffett has so eloquently put it, “…be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”
Whether this correction will advance into a bear market or not, the fact remains that corrections are a normal part of the market cycle, and they offer a unique opportunity for investors to buy into great stocks at discount prices.
Canadian National Railway Company (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) is one such example. Canada’s largest railway enjoys what is likely the largest and most secure moat on the market, coming in the form of the railway’s massive network, which connects three separate coastlines on the continent.
Rail freight still makes up a sizable part of all freight movement across North America, and Canadian National runs one of the most, if not the most, efficient railroad on the continent. If that weren’t enough, the company offers a respectable dividend that can mean the difference between being merely another investment in your portfolio and being that investment.
Canadian National is a great investment, which, thanks to the recent market pullback, is trading at under $95 and now offers investors a solid 1.92% yield.
Fortis has expanded over the past few years to become one of the largest utilities on the continent, with a mix of customers that now spans well into the U.S. as well as into several Caribbean islands.
Fortis is often branded as the stereotypical boring investment that lacks growth. That couldn’t be further from the truth, as Fortis has grown significantly over the years thanks to several great acquisitions. Those acquisitions have and continue to provide annual growth to Fortis, which is currently forecasted at 6% over the next few years.
In terms of a dividend, Fortis offers an impressive 4.08% yield and a superior record of dividend growth that boasts consecutive annual increases that span over four decades, which is one of several reasons this is a great buy-and-forget holding.
One area that Bank of Nova Scotia differs and excels from its peers is where the company has expanded heavily — Latin America. Rather than pushing into the U.S. market heavily, Bank of Nova Scotia realized the opportunity to invest in Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Columbia — the members of the Pacific Alliance.
The investment into the trade bloc has been incredibly successful, with Bank of Nova Scotia realizing double-digit gains on more than one occasion from its international segment during earnings season, and the diversification into the growing Latin American markets is an interesting hedge against the Canadian and American markets, which continue to sputter in 2018.
If that isn’t reason enough to consider Bank of Nova Scotia, then consider the over 5% year-to-date drop in the stock price and very appetizing 4.12% yield.
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Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Canadian National Railway. Canadian National Railway is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.