Aside from mini-corrections here and there, the market continues to climb, and much of that climb is in S&P 500 stocks.
Because the fact is, there are few places in the world where investors feel safer than in the U.S. marketplace.
What’s more, the U.S. dollar is the strongest currency on the planet. Plus, the U.S. economy is arguably in better shape than its peers, which may not be saying much, but it’s a key reason U.S. equities are where investors around the globe are putting safe, long-term money.
That’s precisely why we’ve built the Blue-Chip Portfolio, where long-term investors looking for solid footing for their retirement nests. The following three stocks each offer solid, inflation-beating yields with some of the best growth prospects available for long-term investors.
Here are the blue chip total return kings:
Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO)
Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) is the U.S. tobacco arm of the former Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM), and it would seem odd to look for long-term growth out of a company that is in a market where one of its key products (cigarettes) shrinks about 3% a year.
But MO is actually trading at a slight premium at this point and deserves to. Altria increased its cigarette market share from 50% – 51% in the past year and its acquisition of UST, Inc. means it is gaining a major foothold in the smokeless tobacco space.
Operating margins have jumped from 14% to 20% in the past year as well, and MO stock is up 34% over that period. Add to those impressive growth numbers that fact Altria stock averages a long-term yield of 5.5%.
MO is currently yielding about 4.1%, but that’s still great for blue chip of this stature.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and its followers have set it up to be a classic underachiever in 2015. However, there are a number developments brewing that may boost INTC before the end of the year.
First, the concern that its traditional desktop PC and laptop business will slow because of the strong dollar (foreign sales are ‘worth’ less in U.S. dollars) and Asia’s slowing economies.
But Intel’s newest chip plant in Vietnam may help lower margins and distribution costs in Asia and offset some of these projected lower numbers.
Also, INTC is very involved in a lot of the smart watches and smart clothing that is launching this year and is already taking the apparel markets by storm. Intel’s major move into the ‘Internet of Things’ space (sensors for everything from your toaster over and washing machine to your car) could start to see some returns as well.
And until then, INTC stock is paying out a 3% dividend at current prices.
HCP, Inc. (NYSE:HCP)
There are some key segments in this dynamic sector: pharmaceuticals and biotech, insurers, digitizing records and facilities.
HCP occupies the latter category — facilities. HCP is a healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT). Built on its five-by-five investment model, HCP has five categories of properties — senior housing, post-acute/skilled nursing, life science, medical office and hospital — and five different investment strategies — real estate, joint ventures, development, debt investment, senior housing REIT.
HCP is the only REIT included in the S&P 500’s Dividend Aristocrats Index, and it has increased its dividend every year for more than 25 years. That’s a pretty good record.
As a REIT, HCP has to pay out 90% of its profits to share holders as dividends. So, investors get rewarded for HCP stock’s growth by its dividends. HCP stock won’t go parabolic, but you can rest assured that you have a solid company in a solid sector.