2 Stocks I’m Holding for 20 years — Plus 1 ETF

I plan on holding stocks like the Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) for 20 years or more.

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They say time in the markets beats timing the markets. But let’s be honest: it’s easier said than done. When you’ve achieved a big gain on a stock, it can be tempting to sell and enjoy the cash. Sometimes, it’s even the right thing to do.

When you’ve got a major purchase coming up, or are holding an asset that has seen better days, selling is the right call. Nevertheless, in an ideal world, you’d hold your stocks long-term. With that in mind, here are two stocks–and one ETF–that I plan on holding for 20 years or more.

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) is a Canadian bank stock that I’ve owned for a few years now. It has a lot of things going for it, including:

  • A vast and growing U.S. retail business
  • A 10% stake in the brokerage giant Charles Schwab
  • A decent dividend yield and a long-term track record of dividend increases (9.3% annualized over five years).

TD Bank has out-performed the average Canadian bank over the last decade. Its expansion into the U.S. was a huge success, driving much of the bank’s earnings growth over the last 10 years. It could easily continue, as TD has yet to tap large West Coast U.S. markets like California and Nevada.

Canadian National Railway

The Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI) is another Canadian stock I plan on holding for 20 years or more. What makes this stock a long-term holder is pretty simple: it’s vital to the Canadian economy. The stock already has a huge shipping network that touches on three coasts. That alone makes it a valuable railroad.

On top of that, it’s currently in the process of buying out Kansas City Southern, one of the largest railroads in the United States.

The synergies between the two railroads will create significant profit opportunities in the form of a larger service map for CN. As long as the number of goods being shipped across North America grows, CN will grow with it. Its stock will probably rise too.

Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund

The Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (TSX:VFV)(NYSE:VOO) is a staple of many investors’ portfolios. It’s one of the world’s most popular exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and with good reason. Tracking the S&P 500 Composite Index at an ultra-low fee (0.04%) gives you diversified exposure to the world’s most-followed stock index.

With VOO, you get exposure to the big tech names that have given U.S. equities such stunning performance over the last decade. You also get exposure to more traditional industries like banking, retail, energy, and more. It’s a diversified basket of stocks of the exact type that finance textbooks will tell you to invest in. No, you’ll never get rich by investing in VOO, but it’s a very sensible, responsible type of investment.

By the way, you can avoid currency conversion costs by buying this fund as VFVon the TSX. It’s the exact same portfolio but trading on a Canadian exchange. VFV does have slightly higher fees than VOO, though, so make sure you weigh the pros and cons of each.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Charles Schwab is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Fool contributor Andrew Button owns shares of Canadian National Railway, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway and Charles Schwab.

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