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3 stocks to buy before the New Year

The year 2013 is drawing to a close and 2014 quickly approaching, while the last 12 months have delivered investors with enormous gains, nobody quite knows what to expect of the year to come.

However, there are positive signs. For instance the US economy is clearly in recovery mode after the Federal Reserve announced that it would begin tapering its stimulus measures by US$10 billion a month as of January. While in Australia a number of economists have tipped interest rates to fall below their current 2.5% level.

On the other hand, analysts are also warning investors not to expect double-digit returns again, as was the case in 2013, indicating that caution should be taken when making investment decisions. Here are three companies that investors can buy today and confidently hold throughout 2014.

It’s been a year that shareholders in Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX: CCL) would rather forget with their shares down 12.3%, compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gain of 13.3%. The company’s shares have taken a beating after having issued profit warnings due to pricing pressures from the supermarket giants as well as key rival and bottler of Pepsi, Schweppes.

However, the company has recently re-entered the beer market and expects strong growth in heavily populated Indonesia. Given the strength of the business and its various brands, expect this company to recover strongly.

Unlike Coca-Cola, shares in Telstra (ASX: TLS) have dominated over the last 12 months, with shares now trading at $5.20. The company continues to strengthen its position over the market and as the use of smartphones and mobile broadband expands, shares in Telstra should continue to outperform in the long-term.

While Coca-Cola and Telstra would contribute towards a strong foundation for your portfolio, Collection House (ASX: CLH) could be an excellent growth stock for you to buy today. The receivables management company is led by a strong management team and has substantial growth opportunities. Having announced a 27% increase in net profit in its first-half results, as well as a 23% increase in full-year NPAT, there is plenty of room for its shares to run.

Should you buy, sell or hold your Telstra shares?

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares in Collection House.

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