5 ASX shares to buy and hold forever in your investment portfolio

Here are my five picks for a future-proof ASX share portfolio.

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Putting forward an ASX share that someone could rely on forever in an investment portfolio is no small potatoes. The investing world is littered with the graves of companies that once seemed unassailable, and whose fortunes many could never see fading – until they did. Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders, Ansett… the list is endless.

But today, I'm going to attempt this hard task, and discuss five ASX shares that I think are worthy candidates for a buy-and-hold-forever investment.

5 ASX shares you can buy and hold forever

Lottery Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLC)

For as long as humans have been around, we've loved a flutter. And that's the basic tenet that underpins my faith in this gaming company. Lottery Corp is the name that has exclusive rights to run lotteries and Keno services in almost all Australian states and territories. Many of these licenses only expire in many decades' time.

I love lotteries from an investment perspective. The allure of buying a relatively cheap ticket in the hopes of winning it big is something that fundamentally attracts us all, and is also immune from normal economic maladies like inflation and recessions.

Safe in this knowledge, I'd be happy to name Lottery Corp as a buy-and-hold-forever investment.

Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS)

Telstra has been a constant national companion throughout modern Australia's history. First as the Postmaster General's Department, then as the state-owned Telecom and now Telstra, this company has always underpinned our national communication services.

With the paramount importance of high-quality mobile connections and fast home internet in our modern economy, Telstra's role as the go-to telecommunications services provider has arguably never looked more important.

Given this importance, I can't envision a future where Telstra is not a major facilitator of this important facet of our economy and daily life. The company's dominance in mobile and home internet connections gives it a highly defensive earnings base, as well as significant pricing power.

That's why it's my belief that Telstra will continue to be a quality investment for decades to come.

Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)

This one is a little easier to tout. No matter the advances in technology that we might see over all of our lifetimes, the fact remains that we'll need to eat, drink and stock our households. And Woolworths is probably going to remain the first choice of more Australians than any other to provide these services.

The company's investments in automation, click-and-collect services, and home delivery have impressed me in recent years. No matter what happens with new technologies in the grocery space, I expect Woolworths to be leading the charge. As such, I'd be happy to label this company as a top buy-and-hold stock for ASX investors today.

Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS)

Changing tack a little now, let's discuss an exchange-traded fund (ETF). The Vanguard Australian Shares ETF is an index fund that faithfully holds a sliver of the 2300 largest shares on the ASX, weighted by market capitalisation. Whatever the largest 300 companies on the ASX are at any given moment, VAS will hold their shares within its portfolio.

This index fund structure inherently future-proofs this investment.

Let's say, for argument's sake, that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) end up being usurped as the largest bank and miner on the ASX by the year 2060 by Bank of Queensland Ltd (ASX: BOQ) and Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA). Well, instead of holding CBA and BHP shares as some of its largest investments (as is currently the case), VAS will instead be holding BoQ and Champion Iron.

This ETF is an easy and hassle-free way of investing in ASX shares in a passive manner. As such, I would happily recommend it to any investor looking for a future-proof investment.

iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV)

Last but not least, let's talk about another ETF. The iShares S&P 500 ETF is another index fund. It works in a similar fashion as VAS, holding a huge range of different companies, weighted by size. But instead of the largest 300 Australian shares, this ETF tracks the largest 500 shares listed on the US markets.

That's everything from Apple, Microsoft and Amazon to Exxon Mobil, Walmart and Coca-Cola.

The United States of America has, for more than a century, been the home to the lion's share of the world's greatest and most successful companies. Despite challenges from other countries like China, I don't see this changing anytime soon. As the legendary Warren Buffett likes to say, "never bet against America". So why not bet on America with this simple, hands-off index fund?

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Amazon, Apple, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Telstra and Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Amazon, Apple, Lottery, Microsoft, Walmart, and iShares S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Amazon, Apple, Telstra and iShares S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in Telstra Group. 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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