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3 ASX shares to buy before the end of 2018

The end of the 2018 calendar year is nearly here, but there are still a few opportunities we can buy before this year is over.

Some shares on my watchlist may already be starting to experience the catalyst which ends their share prices up again.

Here are three shares on my watchlist I think could be good buys before the end of 2018:

InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC)

InvoCare is Australia’s largest funeral operator. Its share price has been hammered during 2018 because of price competition worries, a death rate that was lower than expected and its renovation plans.

With the first point, there is currently no price competition like there is in the UK which caused the concern – yet the share price has been punished as though there is. With its renovation plans, that will hopefully lead to long-term growth – short-term pain for long-term gain.

The lower death rate had an effect on funeral volumes, particularly with a benign flu season, but Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) (formerly Primary Health Care) recently said that after a soft quarter it was “starting to see volumes moving back up towards more normal volumes”. This could indicate an uptick in the death rate.

The trailing 5.8% dividend yield is a useful bonus.

Paragon Care Ltd (ASX: PGC)

Paragon Care is a leading distributor of medical products like devices and beds to its clients, which is largely hospitals.

I like the Paragon model of acquiring additional healthcare businesses that expands its offering to clients. The online purchasing platform could mean growing efficiencies and bigger profit margins if more and more of the purchasing & distribution process can be automated.

The reason why I’m particularly attracted to Paragon is that it’s trading at only 9x FY19’s estimated earnings. I believe it is worth investing in very cheap businesses when they can point to good long-term organic growth, such as the ageing tailwinds.

BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF (ASX: ASIA)

The Asian share market has been hit hard thanks to the China and US trade war, as well as rising interest rates. Not all of the shares in this index are Chinese and even less are significantly & directly affected by the trade war.

President Trump and the Chinese administration have shown they may be on a course to warming relations again. Another positive catalyst for this ETF could be when the Chinese approve new games again, the lack of new games has decimated the Tencent share price this year, which makes up nearly 11% of this ETF.

The growing Asian middle class could be a major boost for Asian technology businesses over the next decade, just like the Western middle class has been great for the US tech shares.

Foolish takeaway

All three of these shares have very good potential to be market-beaters over the next five to ten years. I’d be happy to buy shares of all three at the current prices, but if I had to pick one for a long-term investment it would be Paragon for how cheap it is.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF, InvoCare Limited, and Paragon Care Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare Limited and Paragon Care 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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