While it is easy to get caught up in the potential for massive gains from growth or speculative stocks, investors must also remember the necessity to maintain a strong foundation for your portfolio, made up of strong, well-established companies that are less likely to crack under the pressure of market volatility.
While it was the big four banks; namely Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), as well as CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) that led the local market to its 15% gain in 2013, here are 3 blue chips that you should consider adding to your portfolio this year:
Westfield Group (ASX: WDC): Regardless of whether or not the group’s proposal to split its domestic and international operations is approved, Westfield is trading at an attractive price just above its 52-week low of $9.67. There are obviously clouds over the bricks-and-mortar retail sector which has restricted the group’s share performance of late, but it has focused on increasing shareholder returns and strengthening its balance sheet by divesting from non-core assets.
What’s more, it currently only operates in Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK, leaving it plenty of opportunities for global expansion. Its trailing 5.1% dividend yield is also an attractive prospect.
BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP): The diversified miner also heavily underperformed the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) in 2013, as investors showed their concerns regarding the future of the mining industry and demand for key commodities. However, prices of key commodities such as iron ore proved resilient, which saw optimism re-emerge in the second half. While the sector still faces volatility, BHP could be the growth story of 2014 as it continues to increase production, cut costs and divest from less profitable operations.
Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS): The telecommunications giant also rose strongly in 2013, in part due to its very generous 5.6% fully franked dividend yield. Despite its gains however, the company boasts fantastic growth prospects as individuals and businesses become more and more reliant on smart phones and the internet. Its superior customer service will continue to see customer numbers grow.
Where to invest $1,000 right now
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Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.
*Returns as of June 30th
Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.
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