While it may not be the most popular investing strategy for those looking to earn a quick return, a buy and hold strategy is what’s helped Warren Buffett become one of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Over the long term, stocks generally appreciate in value, and you’re more often to lose over the short term than if you were to hold for years. However, given the rapid changes in technology we’ve witnessed in recent years, finding stocks that will be safe buys to hold for a long time can be challenging.
For example, a company like BlackBerry may have looked extremely promising in its heyday, but now is trying to rebuild its business. Big retail chains that were once thought to have had stable, long-term futures have also shut down, as online competition has proven to be too much.
It’s easy to see how just about any industry could be in jeopardy, and buying for the long term is not as simple as it once was. However, there are still stocks that I’d consider to be safe buys, and below are three that I wouldn’t have any issue with holding for decades.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) is as stable as it gets on the TSX, and with a strong presence in the U.S., it’s an even safer option than the index, as it has effectively limited its exposure to the Canadian market.
The banking industry will be as safe an option as possible for the foreseeable future, as it hasn’t been averse to change. With mobile and online banking options available, the industry has been keeping up with the latest trends.
Even if we do see digital currencies gain popularity, when it comes to holding your money, people want to stay with a company they trust, and that’s where I don’t see TD losing its clientele over to a new online service.
Waste Connections Inc (TSX:WCN)(NYSE:WCN) is another great stock to hold for years, and it’s one that I’d rank about as stable as TD. Garbage is something that I can’t imagine will ever disappear, and as long as that’s the case, demand for waste management companies will always be there, even in a bear market.
Waste Connections has also done a terrific job of growing via acquisition, and there could be more of that come in a very fragmented industry.
Although its business might quite literally stink, the stock definitely doesn’t.
Canadian National Railway Company (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) continues to be a safe investment, as regardless of the innovations we’ve seen in travel, the railroad continues to be a popular way to transport goods.
While it’s possible that we’ll see a more efficient way to transport goods across the country, it seems unlikely we’ll see that happen anytime soon. Much of travel innovations revolve around consumer-related travel, rather than industrial.
The weight that is transported on railways makes the options for innovation very limited, and any improvements will likely be related to railways anyway.
For that reason, I don’t see CN Rail being in any jeopardy over the long term and it could be a terrific stock to buy and forget.
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Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fohhol owns shares of BlackBerry and Canadian National Railway. BlackBerry and CN are recommendations of Stock Advisor Canada.