Most of the time, the top retirement stocks to buy are pretty clear … familiar names like AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) aren’t going anywhere. Although they may never drive heroic growth, you don’t have to worry about them losing ground either.
Not every retirement stock you own has to be a household name, though. Not every position in your IRA has to be the company that makes the goods and services you use on a regular basis.
Indeed, there are some select cases where a company that’s a little obscure and off the radar makes for a better long-term holding than a more typical name might.
To that end, here’s a closer look at nine retirement stocks that don’t get a ton of media, nor are as big as more popular picks, but that every investor should consider as long-term holdings.
In no certain order …
Dividend Yield: 2%
MiX Telematics Ltd – ADR (NYSE:MIXT) is “a global provider of fleet management, driver safety and vehicle tracking services and solutions.” In other words, any company that manages a fleet of cars or trucks can do so better by tapping into MiX Telematics’ technology.
Boring? You bet. But it’s also profitable. MiX Telematics now has several years of revenue growth and consistent earnings under its belt.
As it turns out, there’s a market for this kind of stuff … a big one, in fact. Now that the advent of Internet of Things is a reality and the things fleet managers have always wanted to achieve are possible, the fleet management market is projected to grow from less than $10 billion last year to almost $28 billion by 2021.
Dividend Yield: 1.8%
Do you ever wonder how the signal from your cell phone connects to another cell phone across town, or across the country? Most people don’t, which is exactly the point.
American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT), which manages roughly 40,000 cellular towers, is one of those names most investors have never heard of, but certainly would notice if American Tower were to shut them all down.
It’s a business model perfect for dishing out reliable dividends regardless of the economic environment. Better yet, American Tower is set up as a real estate investment trust (REIT), making it a very tax-efficient means of passing along that income to investors.
Dividend Yield: N/A
While it has been generally true that economic ebbs and flows have made things hot and cold for some temporary (and not-so-temporary) staffing agencies, On Assignment, Inc. (NYSE:ASGN) is largely shielded from those swings.
How so? Its area of focus is on professional personnel such as technology gurus and healthcare workers. Those employees are in demand all the time.
Indeed, with an increasing reluctance from companies to make direct, permanent hires and a growing preference for a flexible staff, On Assignment is out in front of a rising tide that could swell for years, making it one of the better unsung retirement stocks to buy.
Dividend Yield: N/A
It’s likely you’ve used a service provided by Tucows Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:TCX) without even realizing it. The strangely named company offers a wide array of services to organizations that operate on the web, including domain name management, digital file management and outsourced customer service.
And business has been good. Revenue has grown at a strong double-digit rate since 2011, as has income. More of the same is expected going forward, including forecasts for 72% in top-line growth this year.
Granted, much of that growth hasn’t been organic growth, but rather driven by acquisition. It works, though. No other company has been able to stop this quiet freight train. And none of those things are going away as long as the world wide web exists.
Dividend Yield: 2.5%
Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) isn’t exactly an unknown name, but it’s usually an overlooked name.
Sysco is a foodservice distributor that caters to just about any kind of business you can think of — yes, restaurants, but also hospitals, hotels and schools. There’s nothing terribly interesting about the business however … unless you like money.
Sysco may never be a high-growth kind of company, but it still is a reliable grower, year in and year out. Revenue and income has grown every year for the past four, and the same is mostly true looking further back.
As long as people continue eating food, Sysco will have a market to sell to.
Dividend Yield: 4.1%
Presumably most investors reviewing this list are located in the United States. To that end, not every stock you own in your retirement portfolio has to be a U.S.-based company. In fact, some of the retirement stocks you own should explicitly NOT be U.S.-based company.
Canadian telecom outfit Shaw Communications Inc (USA) (NYSE:SJR) would be a wise way of adding some geographical diversity to your positions.
In simplest terms, Shaw provides TV, internet and phone services to the better part of Canada. It’s a reliable earner, but more important, it’s a reliable payer. SJR currently yields a dividend of more than 4%, and perhaps more pertinent to retirees, it pays its dividend on a monthly basis rather than once per quarter. That helps make it a great bill-payer.
Dividend Yield: N/A
HMS Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:HMSY) is difficult company to explain.
In simplest terms, HMS Holdings is a consultant to all sorts of organizations involved in the delivery of healthcare, including caregivers, insurers and even regulators. Its ultimate goal is to keep healthcare costs contained for everyone, including (maybe most of all) patients.
Given the myriad of uncertainties the health insurance market faces due to the slow implosion of Obamacare with nothing ready to fill the gap left behind — not to mention political pushback against high drug prices — the knee-jerk assumption is to steer clear of anything remotely related to healthcare management.
It’s that looming disruption, however, that makes a company like HMS Holdings all the more marketable. There will never not be demand for cost savings and accountability.
Dividend Yield: 3.9%
When most people think of investment banks, a name like Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) comes to mind. And well it should. Goldman is one of the biggest, and arguably the most prolific.
Not every worthy investment bank has to be a familiar name, though. Take Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) for instance.
With a market cap of only $5.5 billion, Lazard doesn’t turn a lot of heads, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t enjoy the kind of growth its bigger brother enjoys. In fact, Lazard’s small size arguably makes it more nimble than behemoth Goldman Sachs.
The crux of the bullish case: LAZ trades at an attractive forward price-to-earnings ratio of less than 12, and its dividend yield of 3.9% is almost triple what GS offers.
Dividend Yield: 3.2%
Finally, not only should a retirement portfolio have some sector and market cap exposure, it should have geographic diversity as well. Canadian telecom giant Shaw Communications has already been mentioned, but there’s another interesting name across the other U.S. border: Mexico’s Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste SAB CV (ADR) (NYSE:ASR).
Grupo Aeroportuario, for those that don’t speak Spanish, operates nine airports in Mexico. ASR can be a cyclical name, though surprisingly, its revenue and earnings are not only stable, but grow consistently even if not dramatically.
To that end, the company has had — and will continue to have for the foreseeable future — plenty of chest-pounding fodder. It recently upgraded its interest in Puerto Rico’s San Juan Airport to 60%, and added exposure to Colombia by purchasing controlling stakes in airport operators Airplan and Aeropuertos de Oriente. And Grupo Aeroportuario has plans to add more Latin American exposure.
ASR is an off-the-radar name, but that’s the point.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can follow him on Twitter.