My favorite stocks to build retirement wealth are those with a great combination of income and growth potential. The idea is to produce excellent total returns that can compound into a big nest egg before I retire, and then have income to cover living expenses after retirement.
With that in mind, here are three of my favorite retirement-investing stocks, all of which I own in my own retirement account.
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A leader in a rapidly growing market
REITs can be excellent investments both before and after retirement thanks to their high dividends and growth potential. And thanks to rising interest rates and oversupply worries, healthcare REITs are trading at their lowest valuations in years.
Welltower is one name to put on your radar. The largest healthcare REIT, Welltower specializes in senior-focused properties. The company has 1,279 properties in its portfolio, 72% of which are senior housing, with the rest made of outpatient medical facilities (17%) and long-term/post-acute care properties (11%). 95% of the portfolio tenants' income comes from private-pay revenue sources, which are generally more stable than revenue dependent on government reimbursements.
This is arguably the most senior-focused portfolio of the big healthcare REITs, and it can be a great way to capitalize on the aging population of the U.S. In a nutshell, the ongoing retirement of the baby-boomer generation is going to cause massive growth in the older segments of the population. For example, the 85-and-older age group is expected to double over the next 20 years, and this group is senior housings' target demographic.
The best all-around dividend stock in banking?
Don't get me wrong -- I'm a big fan of U.S. banks, especially in a rising-rate environment and after tax reform passed. In fact, I own shares of Bank of America and New York Community Bancorp in my portfolio. However, U.S. banks don't exactly have the most stable track record, nor do they pay the highest dividends.
On the other hand, Canadian banks can be far more stable, and because the Federal Reserve doesn't have to approve their dividend policies, they often pay dividend yields in the 4% neighborhood.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (aka TD Bank) is perhaps the best of both worlds. With rock-solid asset quality, a record of steady dividends dating back to the 1850s, and a large and growing U.S. presence, TD can be a great way to build retirement income over the coming decades.
The bank has grown rapidly thanks to its financial strength as well as its customer-focused business model. And its not slowing down yet -- U.S. deposits grew by 8% last year, and the bank is yet to expand much beyond the East Coast.
In short, it's tough to find a bank stock with a better combination of a high dividend, rock-solid assets, and growth potential. This is why I've called TD Bank the "best dividend stock in banking."
Stable income and growth potential
Admittedly, AT&T was not the most fun stock to own in 2017. Despite the S&P's strong gains, AT&T dropped by double-digits. However, the future could be rather bright for this 5%-yielding telecom giant.
There are several growth catalysts going forward that could propel the stock higher. For starters, the pending acquisition of Time Warner would create tremendous bundling opportunities and give the company more ammunition with which to compete with Netflix and other streaming services.
In addition, AT&T's scale and resources give it an edge in 5G network capabilities, in which the company is investing substantial sums of money. Another potential catalyst is the surge in "connected devices" such as autonomous cars, wearables, and more, which could be added to AT&T's network over the coming years.
AT&T plans to launch a new, next-generation video streaming platform in 2018, as well as a new platform for targeted advertising. AT&T expects adjusted EPS growth of 15% this year, and with the company's growth catalysts, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few years of double-digit growth ahead.
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