While investors in their 70s need to take a more conservative approach to managing their money, they shouldn't avoid the stock market entirely. Instead, they should look to own stocks that offer safe business models, a steady stream of income, and the chance for reliable growth.
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With those criteria in mind, here's why I think Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL), Realty Income (NYSE: O), ConstellationBrands(NYSE: STZ) are a perfect fit.
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Hygiene and cleanliness never got out of style
As a leading provider of consumer staples, Colgate-Palmolive probably has some of its products in your house. Thiscompany is the proud owner of a number of famous personal-care and cleaning products, such as Irish Spring, Speed Stick, Ajax, Toms of Maine, Colgate, and more.
What's wonderful about these products is that demand for them remains steady no matter what's going on in the global economy. Better yet, it's hard to imagine how any of its product categories could bedisrupted at any point in the future. That should provide investors with lots of confidence that demand for its products isn't likely to diminish anytime soon.
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A look at the company's history shows just how profitable it can be to sell boring products. The company has paid a dividend every year since1895 and has raised its payout for 54 straight years. Meanwhile, Colgate-Palmolive's focus on international markets gives it a great chance of posting ever more top- and bottom-line growth. Mix in a dividend yield of2.1%, and this stock has a lot of attributes that older investors should find appealing.
A paycheck-replacement stock
Realty Income likes to refer to itself as "the monthly dividend company," and for good reason. The company has paid out a monthly dividend for 560 consecutive months, which adds up to more than 46 years of payments. The company has also increased its dividend for 78 quarters in a row, showing off its commitment to creating value for shareholders. You can't put up those numbers without a strong business model.
So what does Realty Income do? The company is a real estate investment trust that focuses on freestanding retail properties. Realty Income's strategy is to buy high-quality buildings and then lease them out to strong tenants on long-term, net-lease contracts. That means tenants are responsible for all of the properties' variable expenses -- think insurance, taxes, and maintenance -- while Realty Income just sits back and collects rent checks. With more than 4,900 properties in its portfolio, those checks add up to more $1.1 billion in annual revenue.
While investing in retail properties might sound risky, you should know that Realty Income likes to focus on tenants that are either Amazon.com-proof (think movie theaters or fitness centers) or recession-resistant (think gas stations or dollar stores). This fact helps to make the company's business more immune to the changing retail landscape than you might otherwise assume. Add in adividend yield of 4.2%, and it's easy to see why I think this is a great stock for any investors after low-risk income.
A crafty way to play the upscale-alcohol trend
American consumers have been increasingly willing to pay a premium to get their hands on high-end alcoholic beverages. One big beneficiary of this trend is ConstellationBrands, a leading manufacturer and distributor of upscale alcoholic beverages.
Constellation's products can be found in nearly every part of your local liquor store. On the beer side, the company offers Corona, Modelo, and Ballast Point Pacifico. Turning to wines, the company sells Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, and Mark West. As for spirits, Constellation's brands include Svedka vodka, Paul Masson brandy, Casa Noble tequila, Black Velvet whiskey, and more.
What most of its brands have in common is that they're aimed at high-end consumers. This strategy is working well, since premium products continue to grow faster than their overall market segments.
Image source: Constellation Brands presentation.
Constellation expects this trend to continue. When combining the trend with modest price increases, management is targeting high single-digit-sales growth and double-digit profit growth over the next few years. That's an attractive growth rate for a consistent performer that's only trading at 25 times trailing earnings. Throw in a small but growing dividend yield of 1%, and I think this company stands a good chance of continuing to deliver for investors.
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