When building a portfolio, it’s important to hold anywhere from 15 to 20 stocks. A portfolio of that size could help investors maintain a portfolio that is less volatile than one that focuses on a smaller number of companies. However, holding that many companies can make it difficult to track and keep tabs on each one. A solution to that issue would be to find companies that are consistent and reliable enough, such that investors can essentially buy shares and not have to worry about them.
In this article, I’ll discuss three stocks that lazier investors can buy and hold for a decade or more. All three of these companies are blue chip in nature, which should help ease the minds of investors.
Buy one of the Canadian banks
In my opinion, the Canadian banks are among the easiest companies to buy for lazy investors. This is because the Canadian banking industry features some of the largest and most important companies in the country. Looking at the nine largest Canadian companies (by market cap), we can see that four of them are banks. Of that group, Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) is my top pick.
What interests me about Bank of Nova Scotia is its strong geographic diversification. This could help the company keep its business running smoothly should its North American operations encounter a prolonged period of economic uncertainty. In addition, Bank of Nova Scotia is a very strong dividend stock. It has paid investors a portion of its earnings in each of the past 189 years.
Utility companies can be a reliable pick
Investors should also consider turning to utility companies. These sorts of companies can be interesting from a “set-it-and-forget-it” point of view, because their revenues tend to be very consistent. This is because utility companies rely on recurring payment business models. This gives utility companies a very predictable source of revenue, which could help with business planning in the future.
Fortis (TSX:FTS) is an example of a company that takes good advantage of this recurring payment model. This company uses that steady source of revenue to provide shareholders with a reliable dividend. In fact, Fortis is known for holding the second-longest active dividend-growth streak in Canada (49 years). The company projects that it’ll be able to continue raising its dividend at a compound annual growth rate of 6% through to at least 2025.
Here’s an international stock to diversify your portfolio
Although there are a lot of strong companies listed on the TSX, it would be a good idea for Canadians to diversify their portfolios outside the country. Like I stated in Bank of Nova Scotia’s section, geographic diversification could help maintain a business (or your portfolio) should a certain region be hit by unfortunate economic conditions. One strong international company that Canadians should consider is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Founded nearly 50 years ago, Microsoft still holds the top spot when it comes to desktop operating systems. It’s estimated that 76% of desktops around the world rely on its Windows platform. This dominance, in addition to its suite of additional products and services (e.g., Xbox, Office, Azure), should allow Microsoft to continue operating very smoothly over the next decade and beyond.