3 growth shares you won’t need to babysit

It’s hard keeping an eye on a stock portfolio. Even if you’ve got the time, as I do, all too often you’ll still be blindsided by a surprise announcement or share price movement. When a significant chunk of your assets is tied up in shares, this is a big deal.

Here are three rock-solid businesses you won’t have to babysit as a busy investor.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL) is a diversified investment company with a super-long investing timeframe and highly capable management, traits that have seen it outperform the ALL ORDINARIES (INDEXASX: XAO) (ASX: ^AXAO) index by 6.8% per annum over the past 15 years. Holding a combination of Australian shares, property, mining assets, loans, and cash, Soul Patts is fairly well diversified and has a reputation for maximising shareholder value.

With 81% of its portfolio in Australian shares the company is vulnerable to a market crash, but its biggest holdings include TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM), Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API), which are quite resistant to earnings downturns.

Soul Patts has been around for over 100 years and is a company you can count on – it also pays a 2.7% dividend.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) is best known for its Coles supermarkets and competition with Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) – which it appears to be winning. However, Wesfarmers also owns powerhouse Bunnings, as well as Officeworks, Target, and Kmart in addition to a portfolio of industrial/ safety equipment providers plus chemical, energy and fertiliser companies.

Although somewhat sensitive to consumer spending, the chains are among the best in their respective segments and have developed a reputation for low price, which will help during a downturn.  With a strong balance sheet, loads of free cash generated by its activities, and a 4.8% dividend, Wesfarmers is one business you won’t have to babysit.

CSL Limited’s (ASX: CSL) 1.4% dividend turns many investors away, not realising the quality of the business behind it. CSL is a world leading manufacturer of blood products and vaccines, key medical needs that are less vulnerable to economic conditions. Additionally, its Research & Development budget is enough to keep any 10 other ASX biotechs going for a year. This makes it one of the most likely businesses to develop new profitable treatments, several of which are in the works already.

Management has a proactive approach to capital management and CSL’s very low cost of debt has allowed management to gear up the company to increase rewards to shareholders. Debt is well covered by the company’s earnings however, and as the best biotech on the ASX, CSL is also a business you can count on.

Before buying any of the above businesses however, it might be prudent to cut the junk from your portfolio first. Discover The Motley Fool's latest special report on 3 Rotten Shares you should sell, and 1 to Buy TodayIt's completely free - no credit card details or payment required!

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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