2 of my top ASX 200 shares to consider buying before April

I would happily exchange dollars for these two shares right now.

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Time is certainly running out to buy ASX 200 shares before the start of April, thanks to the joys of the Easter long weekend. But that doesn't mean the topic isn't worth discussing of course.

So today, in celebration of the holiday, let's talk about the two ASX 200 shares that I would happily buy today if I had the spare cash to do so.

A pair of ASX 200 shares I would buy before April

Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS)

Telstra is an ASX 200 share that's looking particularly attractive to me right now. This is a company we'd probably all know, and perhaps even be a customer of. Telstra has the largest market share, by far, of both mobile network connections and fixed-line internet services in Australia.

In my view, the company has a wide moat in the form of its indisputable network and coverage superiority. This does a good job of both attracting and keeping customers over time.

I already own shares of this AX 200 telco. But Telstra has popped up on my radar again thanks to a meaningful share price slump. Since reaching a new 52-week high of $4.46 last year, the company has drifted lower and is now going for $3.82 at present, just a touch above its most recent 52-week low of $3.75.

But this has had the effect of boosting Telstra's fully-franked dividend yield to a compelling 4.58%. I wouldn't be surprised if Telstra makes its way back to the mid-$4 range over the next year or two. Especially if some ASX brokers are correct and the telco continues to boost its dividends over the next two years.

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

Washington H. Soul Pattinson, or Soul Patts for short, is one of my favourite ASX 200 shares. In fact, it's one of my favourite companies in my entire portfolio, period.

This investing house is a rather unique company. It owns and runs a portfolio of other assets on behalf of its shareholders, functioning more like a managed fund than a traditional ASX share.

The lion's share of Soul Patts' portfolio is made up of several large stakes in other ASX shares, including Brickworks Ltd (ASX: BKW), New Hope Corporation Ltd (ASX: NHC) and TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG).

But in addition to these massive investments, it also owns a more diversified large-cap ASX share portfolio, venture capital investments, private credit and other unlisted assets of varying natures.

All in all, this is a highly diversified investment.

But Soul Patts' real appeal (at least in my view) is its enviable investing track record. Shareholders have enjoyed market-beating returns from Soul Patts shares for decades.

In a recent update, the company confirmed that shareholders have enjoyed a total return (share price growth plus dividends) of 12.4% per annum over the 20 years to 31 January 2024. That beats out an All Ords Accumulation Index investment by 3.5% per annum.

Oh, and Soul Patts has also just increased its annual dividend for the 24th year in a row – a feat unrivalled on the ASX.

What else can I say? This is a top-tier company and one I would happily buy right now. That's especially so, given the company's shares have just taken a 5.6% haircut over the past four weeks or so.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Telstra Group and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Brickworks and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Brickworks, Telstra Group, and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. 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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