We’re firm believers in the benefit of owning a diversified portfolio of stocks. However, we all have our favorite stocks.
We asked some of our Fool.com contributors to whittle their favorites down to their top choice to buy in 2022 if they could only pick one. Here’s why 3M (NYSE:MMM), Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM), and Brookfield Renewable (NYSE:BEP)(NYSE:BEPC) topped their lists as the one stock they’d buy this year.
A diversified giant that’s still on sale
Reuben Gregg Brewer (3M): Benjamin Graham, renowned value investor and mentor to Warren Buffet, explains that investors are partnered with “Mr. Market,” a mercurial fellow prone to fits of despair and jubilation. When he’s overly excited, you should consider selling to him; when he’s pessimistic, you should think about buying. Right now, Mr. Market is very downbeat on diversified international industrial giant 3M. One way to see this is that the company’s dividend yield, at around 3.3%, is near the top end of its historical range.
Graham had some other advice when it came to actually selecting stocks. Specifically, he argued that most investors would be wise sticking to large, financially strong companies, with strong dividend histories. 3M stacks up well on these measures. It has a market cap of $100 billion, which makes it a mega-cap stock. Its balance sheet is investment-grade rated by the major credit agencies, so it’s financially strong. And it has increased its dividend annually for over 60 years, making it a very elite Dividend King.
So why is Mr. Market pessimistic? The answer is a mixture of slowing growth and some product and environmental lawsuits. These are notable problems, but they’re not insurmountable. On the business front, the industrial giant’s operations wax and wane over time just like any other company. Given its history and focus on innovation, it should eventually get back on a better track. As for the lawsuits, they could be costly, but it’s likely that 3M will be able to handle the hit. In the end, this is an attractively priced name with a great history that is dealing with issues that seem transitory.
A proven value creator
Matt DiLallo (Brookfield Asset Management): I like to invest. Because of that, I routinely purchase a variety of stocks. However, if I could only buy one in the coming year, Brookfield Asset Management would be my top choice.
For starters, I love the company’s management. CEO Bruce Flatt is a personal favorite of mine. He’s right up there with Warren Buffett in my book as one of the best value investors around. I enjoy reading his quarterly letter to shareholders, which Flatt fills with investing and economic insight. He’s also a proven value creator. Since becoming CEO in 2002, he’s helped Brookfield deliver a 15.7% total annualized return, pulverizing the S&P 500‘s 10.6% total return during that time frame.
I also like the company’s business model. Brookfield is a leading global alternative asset manager focused on real estate, infrastructure, and renewable energy — three of my favorite investing themes. An investment in Brookfield provides broad exposure to those three asset classes and many more. Brookfield invests directly across those themes and manages private equity funds focused on those sectors.
Finally, Brookfield has enormous upside potential. It expects to double its fee-bearing assets under management over the next five years. Combine that with performance-based earnings on its funds and the compounding value of its balance sheet investments, and it has the potential of generating up to 25% annualized total returns over the next five years. That upside, along with all the other positives, is why I’d buy Brookfield if it were the only stock I could purchase this year.
Investors are overlooking the growth potential here
Neha Chamaria (Brookfield Renewable): 2021 is turning out to be a record-setting year for global renewable electricity addition, but this could just be the beginning. Yet shares of one of the largest pure-play renewables companies that’s growing at a steady pace have languished this year, which is why Brookfield Renewable would be at the top of my shopping list of stocks to buy in 2022.
Brookfield Renewable, in fact, generated record funds from operations (FFO) in its third quarter and believes it could grow FFO by nearly 20% per year through 2026 through a combination of organic and inorganic growth. 2021 was also a solid year in terms of growth initiatives, with Brookfield Renewable expanding its U.S. distributed-generation business by nearly five times, signing agreements to acquire multiple late-stage solar development projects in the U.S. and even making meaningful headway in the high-potential green hydrogen space.
Brookfield Renewable’s current development pipeline is larger than ever, and the company is committed to growing dividends annually by 5% to 9%. That shouldn’t be tough given the solid pace of growth in its FFO. That dividend growth, its dividend yield of 3.4%, and the humongous growth potential in renewable energy are the biggest reasons why I consider Brookfield Renewable a top stock for 2022.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.