3 top shares to stuff in your Christmas stocking now

Credit: Rosana Prada

Now that the holiday season is coming up investors looking to create some seasonal cheer throughout the whole of 2016 should look to add some top-quality stocks to their portfolio.

Looking ahead all signs point to a soft 2016 for the Australian economy with low inflation, diminishing terms of trade, low real wage growth and low GDP growth. Investors then should look to stocks with a fair amount of overseas exposure for the best returns in the year ahead, with the three below offering particular potential.

Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) operates exclusively overseas and offers an excellent blend of growth, income and value at its current price of $9.41 a share. The group just posted a strong quarter of retail sales growth up 7.1% to the year ending September 2015. It also has a giant $11.4 billion development pipeline and this family run business has the crucial management expertise and focus on long-term returns to mean it looks a good bet for 2016.

Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT) is the sports analytics business that is growing its overseas sales and a potentially market-leading reputation within the huge professional sports markets it services. The company’s GPS tracking technology lets sports coaches track athletes to scientifically assess performance and potentially improve it on an individual or team basis.

The equipment has been fast selling from Millwall Football club to Miami Dolphins and Melbourne Rebels, with a huge addressable market of global professional sports teams and leagues. Shares sell for $1.80 today and may deliver some exceptional performance in 2016.

XERO FPO NZ (ASX: XRO) This cloud accounting business has been growing fast and winning market share in its core Australia and New Zealand markets, while progress in the UK has also been strong. The software’s usability and innovative features are its competitive strengths that it will hope to use to take the fight for market share versus Intuit in the huge US market it is now attempting to grow into. Xero may only need to achieve moderate success in the US market to more than justify today’s valuation at $16.60 per share.

Conservative investors should consider Westfield Corp as the best defensive investment, although those looking to move higher up the risk curve with the chance of strong returns could consider either Xero or Catapult.

NEW: The Motley Fool's Top Fully Franked Dividend Share For 2016

Forget BHP and Woolworths. This "dirt cheap" company. is growing like gangbusters, and trading on a 5.6% dividend yield, FULLY FRANKED (8% gross). With interest rates set to stay at these low levels for years to come, for income-hungry investors, including SMSFs, this ASX company could be the "Holy Grail" of dividend plays for 2016. Click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report, including the name of this fast growing ASX dividend share.

Motley Fool contributor Tom Richardson owns shares of Westfield and Xero.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. 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.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.