With the new year upon us, many Canadians are hoping to find new ways to generate wealth in hopes of giving themselves a comfortable retirement. In my opinion, the most accessible way to do that is by investing in the stock market. Save for a few very expensive stocks, the stock market offers investors a very low barrier of entry. That means nearly everyone could get started with stock investing today. By leveraging the utility of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you could even get started with very little risk.
However, for those looking to generate life-changing amounts of wealth, you’ll have to turn to individual stocks. In this article, I’ll discuss two top stocks you should consider investing in today.
A stock for the future
The first stock that I think new investors should take note of is Brookfield Renewable (TSX:BEP.UN). As its name suggests, this company operates a portfolio of assets that generate renewable utilities. As of the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, Brookfield’s portfolio had a generation capacity of 32 gigawatts (GW). That already makes it one of the larger players in that industry. However, Brookfield Renewable looks like it’ll be even more massive over the coming years. Its development pipeline currently boasts an additional 132 GW of potential generation capacity.
Brookfield Renewable is an intriguing stock for its growth potential as well as its outstanding dividend history. Altogether, Brookfield Renewable stock has generated an annual return of 16% since its inception. That surpasses Brookfield Renewable’s target of generating 12-15% returns on an annual basis over the long run. The company has also increased its dividend at a rate of 6% over the past 11 years. That helps investors stay ahead of inflation, allowing them to maintain buying power.
With the world continuing to find ways to slow down climate change, renewable utilities will continue to increase in demand. Brookfield Renewable is poised to lead the way with its large portfolio of assets and great management backing it. If you’re looking for a stock to hold for the next decade or longer, look no further than Brookfield Renewable.
If you’re looking for a more conservative pick to get started
While utility stocks aren’t the riskiest, in my opinion, some investors may want to look at even more conservative stocks to help them get started in the stock market. That’s fair, since it’s exactly how I was when I started. In that case, I think investors should consider buying shares of Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR).
Although very few Canadians should have experience working in the railway industry, Canadian National’s unique leadership position within its industry has made it one of the most recognizable companies in the country. It operates a railway network of about 33,000 km, which spans from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. Canadian National also operates in the United States as far south as Louisiana.
Since its initial public offering in late 1996, Canadian National stock has generated a gain of more than 7,700%! Those are very impressive returns for a relatively unexciting business. Over the past five years, this stock has gained nearly 60%, suggesting that its best days may not be behind it quite yet. If you’re looking for a solid stock to help you get going this year, Canadian National should be up for consideration. It’s an outstanding company with a great track record.