This ASX growth share could be a winner for the absolute beginner investor

Your first steps toward managing your own share market investments can be daunting. Here's one ASX stock worth considering.

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You've put yourself in charge of managing your own share market investments and your first steps can be daunting. Armed with a ton of research, cash to get you started and dreams of a golden retirement (okay, early retirement) you're ready to set sail and build your first portfolio.

Your instincts might tell you to first invest large in the banking and resources sectors. There's a lot of good reasons to do that and you'll find plenty of my fellow Fools with some top shelf suggestions, but why not leave a little room and diversify straight out of the gate?

Let's talk about Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Cochlear, the great success story built on Aussie brain power that has become the world leader in bionic hearing implants. Spend a few minutes on YouTube watching kids hearing for the first time after receiving an implant and I'll guarantee there's not a dry eye in the house.  Growing from strength to strength since 1981, Cochlear is much more than a great story, it's a great investment.

Prior to its December 2018 statement, annual growth was rocking along at double-digit rates, 20% on average for the past 5 years, with a lower forecast of 6% for this coming year. Well, may you raise an eyebrow but honestly, with many betting on the Reserve Bank lowering interest rates again this year, I challenge you to find me a term deposit at 6%. The consensus among analysts leans towards that rate being closer to 8% by 2022. Remember, this is one is for the long haul.

I draw my optimism from the demographic tsunami on the near horizon. The World Health Organisation estimates that as populations age, 900 million people will suffer from disabling hearing loss by 2050. That's potentially a lot of implants. In addition, advanced competitors haven't been able to make much of a dent in Cochlear's lion's share of the market.

There's also a modest but growing fully franked dividend of $3 per share, representing a 1.72% yield, based on 2018 full year data that I'd reinvest in more shares in the short to medium term. Finally, there's plenty of cash flow to invest in some serious R&D ($168 million dollars in FY18). It's genuinely exciting to imagine where these rock stars of research will take this technology over the next ten or twenty years.

I'm also a big fan of the holistic way Cochlear goes about things. There's an impressive suite of ongoing community programs, several which serve a growing "Cochlear community" of device recipients and their families. With this comes an invaluable knowledge network to discuss, recommend, compare the user's everyday day lived experiences, which in many instances has been profoundly life-changing. This is a fantastic strategy to build sincere lifelong customer relationships and can go a long way in building brand trust and company value through upgrades and transitions to other products in the range.

Foolish Takeaway

It must be said that those who got on board with Cochlear in the early days have done very, very well for themselves. If you'd purchased $5,000 worth of shares back in January 1999 you could have cashed out late last month with a cool $111,725. Companies in their entrepreneurial phase can go on a wild ride and Cochlear's has been overwhelmingly upward in trajectory.

Companies mature, markets change and technology marches on, but I believe Cochlear is a company for whom the upside going forward should provide you with some solid reliable growth in not just the years, but decades, to come.

JWoodward has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. 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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