2 shares to help you retire early: Telstra Corporation Ltd and Ramsay Health Care Limited

When stock markets are experiencing exceptionally turbulent times, as they have done in 2016, it is difficult to look beyond the next few months. That’s because there is a real danger that losses could add up during that period and leave investors in a much poorer position than at the start. As such, investors become far more concerned about the return of capital, rather than the return on capital.

However, being able to think further ahead and focus on the latter can be an excellent strategy to pursue during volatile times. Clearly, buying now or during any period where share prices fall can lead to paper losses in the short run, but it can also lock-in attractive prices in high quality stocks which, years down the line, may equate to an earlier-than-expected retirement date.

One stock which has the potential to help you retire early is Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS). It is currently in a transitional period which will see it become a more diversified communications company as opposed to a pure play telecoms business. This involves expanding into the e-health care business, which has the potential to offer a more resilient and less correlated source of returns in the long run.

Furthermore, Telstra is diversifying geographically and, with China itself transitioning towards a more consumer-led economy, demand for communications services is set to rise rapidly in the coming years. As such, Telstra’s decision to aim to generate a third of its sales from Asia by 2020 seems to be a sound move which is likely to boost profitability.

With Telstra having a reputation as a defensive stock, it is likely to become increasingly in-demand as markets continue to be volatile. This could help the company’s shares to outperform the wider index and, with Telstra having a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 15.4, there appears to be substantial upward rerating potential.

Similarly, private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) is also diversifying geographically, with it entering into a joint venture in China as well as expanding its presence in Europe via M&A activity. This is set to provide the company with continued earnings growth over the medium to long term and, with Ramsay’s cash flow per share rising by 19.4% per annum during the last 10 years, its financial performance has proven to be relatively resilient.

With an uncertain future for the global economy, this could prove to be appealing and improve investor sentiment towards Ramsay. Allied to this is a revenue stream which is less positively correlated with the macroeconomic outlook than for most stocks, with Ramsay being expected to post a rise in its earnings of over 30% in the current year.

While Ramsay trades on a relatively high P/E ratio of 29.5, which is almost double the ASX’s P/E ratio of 15.4, its strong growth outlook indicates that its shares are set to continue their rise of 246% over the last five years. Certainly, Ramsay may not be a strong income play, with its yield standing 310 basis points lower than that of the ASX at 1.8%. However, with dividends due to rise by 36% over the next two financial years, in the long run Ramsay could become a resilient dividend play.

Despite this, there are 3 other ASX stocks that could outperform Ramsay and Telstra.

In fact, they have recently been named as The Motley Fool's 3 Top Blue-Chips For 2016 and could make a real impact on your bottom line as we move through the year. As a result, it's well worth finding out more about them.

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Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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 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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