A good way to diversify your portfolio is to invest in companies in different industries. And if you want to minimize your risk, a good option is to consider investing in industry leaders. Their strong positions in their respective industries can ensure that you're investing in safe businesses with proven track records.

And now may be a great time to do so as there are some excellent stocks trading near their 52-week lows. If you've got $5,000 you can afford to invest, three stocks to consider right now are UnitedHealth Group (UNH -1.68%), Bank of America (BAC 1.35%), and Verizon Communications (VZ 0.79%).

1. UnitedHealth Group

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group is an excellent investment, whether your focus is on dividend income or long-term growth. The stock's dividend yield of 1.4% may appear underwhelming (the S&P 500 average is 1.7%), but the company has raised its payouts by a whopping 676% over the past decade. That means while a $5,000 investment today may only net you $70 in dividend income over a full year, it could bring in much more the longer you hold on to the healthcare stock

The more promising payoff from a $5,000 investment could be in UnitedHealth's growth potential. The company has been busy with acquisitions as it has gotten bigger over the years, including purchases of home health company LHC Group and health tech company Change Healthcare, which it closed on within the past year. And with the estimated number of seniors rising in the future -- by 2056, the Census Bureau estimates that U.S. seniors could outnumber the number of people who are 18 and younger -- the need for healthcare insurance and coverage will only increase.

UnitedHealth is a top healthcare company to invest in for the long haul, and it's trading less than 10% away from its 52-week low of $449.70.

2. Bank of America

At $2.4 trillion in total assets, Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the U.S. While investors have gotten concerned about bank stocks this year in light of Silicon Valley Bank's (part of SVB Financial) and First Republic Bank's failures, a stalwart such as Bank of America is still a solid investment.

When Bank of America reported earnings last month, it beat Wall Street estimates for both earnings and revenue, helped by higher interest rates. CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement that "every business segment performed well as we grew client relationships and accounts organically and at a strong pace."

Bank of America stock is within a few dollars of its 52-week low, and it's yielding 3.1%. On a $5,000 investment, it would net you approximately $155 in annual dividend income. Even if you're worried about a recession this year, now can be a great time to load up on this stock for the long term as this is a bank that is in solid shape and likely to recover from any downturn -- just as it has in the past.

3. Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications' stock has been struggling as the company hasn't been doing well with respect to growth. Operating revenue of $32.9 billion for the first three months of the year was down 1.9% from the same period in 2022.

But a big reason for the decline was lower equipment revenue as consumers and businesses scaled back on spending amid inflation. That's a short-term problem and not one that should worry long-term investors.

What's noteworthy is that even as it faces headwinds, Verizon still reported 437,000 net additions to its broadband business -- the most it has recorded in over a decade. And on the wireless side, the company's bread and butter, service revenue of $18.9 billion rose 3% year over year. Free cash flow of $2.3 billion for the quarter was also strong and $1 billion higher than what the telecom giant reported last year.

Slowing revenue growth may be what makes headlines, but investors who take a closer look at the business can see that the company's fundamentals remain strong, and problems that are keeping the business down right now (e.g., a slowdown in equipment purchases) shouldn't persist long term.

Buying shares of Verizon now while its dividend is yielding 7.2% may seem like a much riskier proposition than it is. The yield alone can generate $360 in annual dividends from a $5,000 investment. And in the long run, this can prove to be an excellent investment at the current price point, which is also less than a few dollars from its 52-week low now.