It’s been a somewhat underwhelming year for Canadian investors. The S&P/TSX Composite Index has shown signs of life in 2023, which has included three separate 5% runs. Still, the index is barely positive for the year. In comparison, the U.S.-based S&P 500 index is up close to 20% on the year, not even including dividends.
Canadian investors may not have a ton to cheer about this year, but that’s no reason to be on the sidelines right now. As long as you’re investing for the long term, the stock market’s performance this year shouldn’t be a major concern for you. Instead, I’d urge long-term investors to focus on businesses that they’d be willing to hold for decades to come.
With that in mind, I’ve reviewed three top Canadian stocks to add to your watch list today.
Of the three companies in this basket, this pick is by far the one that carries the most volatility and risk with it. However, the stock also comes with loads of multi-bagger growth potential.
Lightspeed Commerce (TSX:LSPD) shareholders are surely used to volatility by now. Shares are up about 20% on the year but are down a staggering 80% from all-time highs set in late 2021. The tech stock is now back to trading at just about pre-pandemic levels, presenting long-term investors with a very interesting buying opportunity.
The growth potential remains ever-present for Lightspeed. Already an international brand, the company has done an excellent job growing its product offering in recent years.
If you’re looking to add some market-crushing growth potential and can handle the risk, Lightspeed Commerce is a solid choice.
Growth investors who are turned off by Lightspeed’s recent volatility may be more interested in Descartes Systems (TSX:DSG).
Unlike many of its tech peers, Descartes Systems is trading just shy of all-time highs right now. Shares are up more than 200% over the past five years. In comparison, the broader Canadian stock market has returned less than 40%, excluding dividends.
Owning shares of Descartes Systems likely won’t be as exciting a ride as investing in Lightspeed. But if you’re looking for a dependable market beater, you can’t go wrong with Descartes Systems.
Bank of Nova Scotia
Growth investors would be wise to own a few slow-growing dependable companies to balance out the risk and volatility in their portfolios. And the Canadian banks are a perfect option for doing exactly that.
Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) stands out for me for two reasons. First, it has a strong Latin American presence, which provides investors with geographic diversification that not all of the Big Five can offer.
Second, it’s the highest-yielding among the major Canadian banks. To be fair, the Big Five all own impressive dividends. But at a yield that’s currently above 6.5%, the dividend alone is enough of a reason to have Bank of Nova Scotia on your watch list.
Not all of your investments need to be exciting. Some can certainly be boring and slow-growing. And in times of volatility, which we’ve had no shortage of in recent years, a dependable dividend-paying company like Bank of Nova Scotia is a company you’ll be glad to own.