Ready to Invest With $5,000? 3 Stocks for December 2023

These top stocks are some of the most obvious choices out there for a reason. Pick them up if you’re looking for a quick recovery, not quick cash.

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There has been a wave of earnings reports flooding in just as we enter the holiday season. And this comes after a strong month! November saw a strong rally, and more and more data is coming out that shows there might be sustained growth for investors to look forward to.

Therefore, if you’ve been sitting on $5,000 and wondering when to invest, now could be a great time. It’s never a good idea to time the market. If you can get a deal (and right now, you can), then get it while you can. To start, consider these three stocks to invest with $5,000.

BMO stock

Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) recently reported earnings, which saw profit down from the year before. However, BMO stock was still able to increase its dividend, sending shares higher in response. The dividend was boosted to $1.51 per share quarterly, up from $1.47 — even as net income came up to $1.62 billion, down from $4.48 billion the year before.

Revenue was also down to $8.36 billion from $10.57 billion during the same quarter in 2022. Provisions for credit losses also rose to $446 million, almost double the $226 million the year before. The bank wishes to put itself in the position for future growth, with personal and commercial banking earnings being more this quarter. The fourth quarter saw $962 million compared to $917 million in 2022.

Overall, there were improvements that provided positivity for investors. But, of course, perhaps the most exciting part was the dividend increase. So, if you’re looking for growth, now is the time. You can latch onto a dividend yield of 5.28% while it trades at just 11.23 times earnings.

Canadian Utilities

Another top stock to consider would be Canadian Utilities (TSX:CU) if you have extra cash lying around. Canadian Utilities is an excellent choice as it continues to have stable cash flow through long-term contracts. The issue it’s faced over the last while is foreign currency exchange as well as fair-value losses.

Yet, as the market and economies recover, so too will Canadian Utilities stock. These are short-term issues for a stock that is still the top Dividend King on the market. This means it’s increased its dividend each year for the last 50 years.

Right now, investors can grab a dividend yield of 5.9%, far higher than normal, while it’s trading at just 14 times earnings. That’s while shares are still down 16% in the last year, though the payout ratio remains safe. While a bit high, the company also looks to have a solid payout ratio of 82% as of writing.

Manulife Financial

Another strong option for investors to consider as the markets recover is Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC). Finance stocks tend to get hit hard during economic downturns, and Manulife stock wasn’t an exception. However, it’s made a huge turnaround as the company continues to be on the path of expansion.

Manulife stock has been focusing on expanding its reach not just through North America and Europe but also into Asia. This growth in Asia has proven quite lucrative, and it looks like there will be quite a bit of focus here for investors in the years to come.

Meanwhile, shares are an absolute steal. Manulife stock trades at just 3.8 times earnings with a 5.49% dividend yield as of writing. And shares are now up 9% in the last year, providing you with some protection as the market recovers.

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.

Fool contributor Amy Legate-Wolfe has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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