3 ASX shares for a stress-free life

For many thousands of years our brains have been wired to try to avoid danger and find a stress-free life.

That mindset has been great to help us avoid getting eaten by lions or bitten by snakes, but it’s not so good when investing in ASX shares.

If we try to run from trouble the moment it arises we’d be selling shares every month. That wouldn’t be good!

Shares are naturally going to be volatile. People aren’t going to buy and sell shares for exactly the same price every single day forever.

But, volatility is still scary. So it might be an idea to simply invest in shares that aren’t that volatile like these three:

Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF)

Farms are not financial instruments that change in value by huge percentages every week. Farmland has been useful to humanity for hundreds of years and I expect will continue to be useful for the rest of our lifetimes.

Rural Funds is Australia’s largest listed agricultural landlord, it owns a variety of farm types including almonds, macadamias, cattle, poultry, cotton and vineyards.

The locked-in rental increases with its high-quality tenants can provide assurances to investors that its underlying value will steadily increase over time.

Its share price hasn’t been volatile during the recent rocky market times, but it does keep steadily going up.

It currently has a FY19 distribution yield of 4.6%.

Duxton Water Ltd (ASX: D2O)

Duxton Water owns water entitlements and leases them out to agricultural operators. The value of water doesn’t have much to do with economic cycles. It is much more to do with demand for food and how much rain there has been that year.

The company publishes its underlying value every month, so we get very good transparency about what it’s worth.

There is only so much fresh water out there, so as global demand for Australian food increases the price of water entitlements should steadily grow too.

Duxton Water currently has a partially franked dividend yield of 3.8%.

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)

Soul Patts is an investment conglomerate that has been operating for more than a century. When you think of ‘defensive’ on the ASX, Soul Patts should be one of the first names you think of. Indeed, on days where the ASX is down Soul Patts tends to go up.

It has a diverse list of holdings including TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM), Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) and New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC).

Soul Patts has steadily increased its dividend every year since 2000, which should provide comfort even if markets look like a rollercoaster.

It’s currently trading with a grossed-up dividend yield of 2.9%.

Foolish takeaway

I really like all three shares and I’m glad that I own each of them after the recent volatility. At the current prices I think I’d go for Duxton Water, it’s trading slightly below its underlying value and offers a good alternative asset to get exposure to.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of DUXTON FPO, RURALFUNDS STAPLED, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended RURALFUNDS STAPLED and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Brickworks and TPG Telecom 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 Scott Phillips.

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