Wesfarmers Ltd shares or Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd shares?

For a lifelong investment on the ASX, it’s hard to go past Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) shares and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL) shares.

Who is Wesfarmers?

Wesfarmers is the owner of many of Australia’s most popular retail brands, such as Coles, Bunnings Warehouse, Officeworks, Kmart and Target. It also owns some other businesses in mining and industrials.

Wesfarmers has made a name for itself by making savvy investments and fostering growth despite operating as a conglomerate style business. Meaning, the individual businesses retain their identity.

Looking towards the future, Wesfarmers’ decision to expand Bunnings Warehouse into the UK appears to be its key growth asset.

Who is Soul Patts?

WHSP, as it is often abbreviated, also owns stakes in great businesses but unlike Wesfarmers, it does not own its biggest businesses outright. For example, it owns large positions in TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM), Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW), Ruralco Holdings Ltd (ASX: RHL), Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API) and New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC).  

With its shares being priced at a decent premium to the market, WHSP is mandatorily a long term investment. Fortunately, it has not disappointed with its shares up 80% in 10 years, not including dividends.

Which is better?

Although Wesfarmers and Soul Patts have many common features they are different, so it may not necessarily be fair to compare one to the other.

Nonetheless, personally, I think Soul Patts might be a better long-term investment because it is similarly diversified to Wesfarmers, just as well managed but slightly more impressive from a growth perspective.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes and encourages your feedback. You can follow him on Twitter @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of TPG Telecom Limited, Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited, and Wesfarmers Limited. 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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