In the theme of Christmas and the spirit of giving, I plan to use the next week leading up to Christmas to continue counting down the 12 Days of Christmas in all its Foolish glory. In my rendition of this Christmas tale, you won't be hearing about turtledoves or French hens, but you'll probably hear about great ways to save money in 2013 or about CEOs who laid rotten eggs in 2012.
In the previous "Foolish Days of Christmas" we've looked at:
As always, I ask you to sing along with me: "On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me..."
Seven great stocks that are perfect for your IRA!
It's never too early or too late to consider investing for your retirement by opening either a traditional IRA, which is tax-deductible, or a Roth IRA, which allows your investments to grow completely tax-free. Regardless of which type of IRA best fits your needs, these seven companies are bound to be great choices to consider adding to your retirement account.
1. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO )
I thought it only befitting that I begin this list with my top IRA pick from last year, Coca-Cola. Operating in all but two countries worldwide, Coke's portfolio of beverages includes 15 of 33 nonalcoholic beverages that bring in $1 billion or more annually. According to Interbrand, Coke also boasts the No. 1 brand value in the world, which speaks to the company's ability to command premium prices for its products, and its ability to throw its advertising weight around. With 50 consecutive years of annual dividend increases under its belt and a 2.7% yield, Coca-Cola offers the perfect blend of portfolio diversity and income growth for retirement accounts.
2. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC )
You may be thinking that being susceptible to cyclical moves would negate Intel's effectiveness in an IRA, but it actually has all the tools to be an effective investment in the present and the future. As the clear leader in microprocessors, Intel offers investors a dominant position in the PC market. Intel is also beginning to establish its presence in the popular and rapidly growing mobile device market. But supplying the hardware for the cloud-computing revolution is where Intel is going to make the majority of its profits over the next decade. Paying out a yield of 4.4% on a dividend that's grown by an average of 34% over the past eight years, Intel appears to be a company you can trust to deliver for you over the long run.
3. Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK )
Duke Energy shareholders may have endured some hiccups in its purchase of Progress Energy, but with a combined 7.1 million customers, Duke is truly America's largest energy powerhouse. With its size comes strong (but not unlimited) pricing power, but also a rapidly growing portfolio of renewable energy products. With big investments in wind and solar energy generation, as well as a push toward natural-gas-powered facilities, Duke is finding new ways to reduce its carbon footprint and boost its margins, all at the same time. With the exception of its Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE ) spinoff in 2007, Duke's quarterly dividend has remained constant or headed higher since 1983. With a yield of 4.8%, Duke has the all the power your IRA will ever need.
4. Waste Management (NYSE: WM )
One of the most logical choices you can add to an IRA is companies that deal with life's necessities. Waste Management is a perfect example of this, as trash maintenance services are a natural part of life. In addition to profiting from waste collection and landfill services, Waste Management is also the nation's largest recycler and is utilizing methane gas produced from its landfills to power 440,000 homes. Being able to benefit from multiple sources of revenue places Waste Management in a favorable position over the long term. With a yield of 4.2% and a dividend that's grown from just $0.01 in 2003 to $1.42 annually in 2012, Waste Management could put food on your table as it's also taking away the scraps!
5. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ )
J&J might be the turtle of this bunch when it comes to growth, but that also means it probably offers the most earnings and share price stability. J&J's stability is derived from its three diverse business segments: consumer products, medical devices/diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals. With J&J you get a portfolio of products that are often immune to economic downturns and allow for predictable cash flow, yet are still on the cutting edge of drug and medical device development. With immeasurable numbers of partnerships and worldwide influence, J&J's 50 consecutive years of annual dividend increases and 3.4% yield are simply unparalleled in the health care sector.
6. Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC )
Although "bank" might be a dirty word on Wall Street, Wells Fargo is simply the best-positioned money-center bank to succeed over the long term. Unlike many of its banking peers, it boasts a healthy capital cushion, has successfully and prudently managed its loan portfolio to reduce its exposure to poor-quality loans, and has announced an effort to return even more capital to shareholders. Not to mention that Wells Fargo is a personal favorite holding of stock-picker extraordinaire Warren Buffett. With a yield of 2.6% and the ability to boost its payout much higher, Wells Fargo has the right tools needed to deliver for your retirement account.
7. Annaly Capital Management (NYSE: NLY )
Rounding out this list is a slightly riskier play in the mortgage-REIT sector. Annaly's double-digit yield is likely to fall as more mortgage-REIT competitors have bid up what few mortgage-backed securities are left on the marketplace. However, a very accommodative policy from the Federal Reserve that will target lending rates effectively near 0% until unemployment dips below 6.5% will give Annaly plenty of visibility and allow it to prudently maintain its portfolio leverage to maximize returns. Historically, Annaly's yield hasn't dipped below 4% in the past decade, so it makes for a very attractive investment for income seekers.
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