Discussing an ASX 200 share that every Aussie investor should own today is no easy task, let alone two. After all, many ASX 200 shares that are out there might suit certain investors, but be inappropriate for others.
For example, I think an ASX bank share like Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) is great to own for investors that prioritise fully-franked dividend income, but not so much for those who want to see meaningful capital growth in their portfolios.
But even so, I think there are some ASX 200 investments out there that can arguably suit everyone, thanks to their high calibre. Let's talk about two that I can vouch for (being a shareholder myself).
A pair of ASX 200 shares everyone should own
Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)
Wesfarmers may not be a household name. But I can guarantee that almost every Australian would be familiar with at least a couple of this sprawling industrial and retail conglomerate's underlying businesses. Wesfarmers is a bit of a phenomenon on the ASX 200. For one, it owns a stable of some of the best retailers in the country. These include Kmart, Target, OfficeWorks, as well as the crown jewel — Bunnings.
However, Wesfarmers also has fingers in many other pies, including gas distribution, lithium, chemicals, work wear and fertilizers. In the past, this company owned Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) in its entirety. Its most recent acquisition is the Priceline chain of pharmacies.
Wesfarmers has proven itself to be an astute manager of capital over many decades now. This is reflected in the company's share price, as well as its healthy dividends.
As such, I would be more than happy to recommend Wesfarmers for a place in any Australian investor's ASX 200 portfolio.
Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co Ltd (ASX: SOL)
Next up, let's talk about Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co, or Soul Patts for short. This ASX 200 share and investing house is another company that brings everything you'd want in a quality investment to the table. This company manages a huge portfolio of different assets on behalf of its investors. These include a portfolio of ASX 200 blue chips, as well as various unlisted and private credit assets.
This makes Soul Patts one of the most diversified ASX 200 shares money can buy on the stock market.
That's all well and good, but does the rubber hit the road when it comes to performance? Well, yes. Back in September, Soul Patts told the markets that investors have enjoyed a total shareholder return (capital growth plus dividends) of 12.5% per annum over the 20 years (yes, 20) to 31 July this year. That crushes the returns of the ASX 200 over the same period.
What's more, Soul Patts is the only share on the ASX 200 (or the entire stock market for that matter) that can tell its investors that they have enjoyed an annual dividend pay rise every single year since 2000. That's 23 years and counting.
As such, I argue that this company is one of the best places to invest if you want both healthy capital growth and a rising stream of dividend income. That's why I think every ASX 200 investor today should at least consider this company for their portfolio.