These are the most popular stocks to buy in Canada

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If you are just starting to invest in Canadian stocks, we have put together this guide of some of the biggest and most popular stocks listed on the TSX. We have broken the stocks down by sector, including financial services, energy/natural resources, tech, utilities and consumer goods as it’s always important when investing to build a diverse portfolio so all your eggs are not in one basket.

Where can you invest in stocks in Canada?

There are two stock exchanges in Canada, the TSX and the TSXV.

The TSX is the largest and most well-known stock exchange in Canada. It is the flagship exchange of TMX Group and has a long history dating back to 1861. The TSX is home to many of Canada’s largest and most prominent publicly traded companies across various sectors, including finance, energy, mining, technology, and consumer goods. If you are looking to take on more risk you can also invest in smaller companies on the TSX Venture Exchange.

The TSXV is a subsidiary of the Toronto Stock Exchange and is focused on providing a platform for early-stage and emerging companies. It is often referred to as a junior stock exchange, as it caters to smaller companies with lower market capitalization and higher risk profiles. The TSXV serves as a platform for these companies to raise capital and grow their businesses.

Both the TSX and TSXV operate as auction markets, where buyers and sellers place orders to trade securities. They provide a regulated and transparent marketplace for investors to buy and sell stocks, with rules and regulations overseen by the relevant securities commissions.

Financial Services Stocks

Canada has a strong financial sector, and companies like the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), and insurance companies such as Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial are often of interest to investors.

Historically, the financial services sector has represented a substantial portion of Canada’s GDP. In 2020, the finance and insurance sector accounted for approximately 7.1% of Canada’s total GDP, according to Statistics Canada. This includes activities such as banking, insurance, asset management, investment banking, and other financial services.

The sector has a prominent presence in Canada, with major financial institutions like the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), and others contributing significantly to the overall value of the industry.

  • Royal Bank of Canada (RY): Royal Bank of Canada, often referred to as RBC, is one of the largest banks in Canada. It offers a range of financial services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, investment banking, and insurance. RBC has a strong presence domestically and internationally.
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD): Toronto-Dominion Bank, commonly known as TD Bank, is one of the largest banks in Canada and a major player in the North American banking sector. It provides a wide array of banking products and services, including retail banking, commercial banking, and wealth management.
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS): Bank of Nova Scotia, or Scotiabank, is one of the largest banks in Canada and has a significant international presence. It offers a range of financial services, including retail and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. Scotiabank operates in numerous countries, particularly in the Americas.
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO): Bank of Montreal, commonly known as BMO, is one of the oldest banks in Canada. It provides a variety of financial services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. BMO has a strong presence in Canada and the United States.
  • Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC): Manulife Financial is one of Canada’s largest insurance and financial services companies. It offers a range of insurance products, investment solutions, and wealth management services. Manulife operates in Canada, the United States, and several other countries.

Energy and Natural Resources Stocks

The energy and natural resources sector in Canada encompasses various industries, including oil and gas extraction, mining, forestry, and renewable energy. It plays a crucial role in the country’s economic growth and job creation.

In 2020, the natural resources sector, which includes energy, mining, and forestry, accounted for approximately 9.3% of Canada’s GDP, according to Statistics Canada. This figure reflects the combined contribution of these industries to the overall economy.

Given Canada’s abundance of natural resources, energy and mining companies are significant players in the stock market. This includes companies involved in oil and gas production (e.g., Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited) and mining (e.g., Barrick Gold, Teck Resources).

  • Enbridge Inc. (ENB): Enbridge is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. It operates a vast network of pipelines that transport crude oil, natural gas, and other liquids across Canada and the United States. Enbridge plays a critical role in the energy sector, providing essential transportation and storage services.
  • Suncor Energy Inc. (SU): Suncor Energy is one of Canada’s largest integrated energy companies. It is involved in oil sands development, oil refining, and marketing of petroleum products. Suncor has significant operations in Alberta’s oil sands and also has offshore oil production assets.
  • Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ): Canadian Natural Resources is one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers in Canada. The company has diverse assets, including oil sands, shale gas, and offshore oil production. Canadian Natural Resources is known for its large-scale production capabilities.
  • Imperial Oil Limited (IMO): Imperial Oil is a major integrated oil and gas company in Canada. It is involved in the exploration, production, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petrochemical products. Imperial Oil has a strong presence in Alberta’s oil sands and operates a significant downstream network.
  • TC Energy Corporation (TRP): TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada Corporation, is a leading energy infrastructure company. It operates a vast network of natural gas pipelines, storage facilities, and power generation assets. TC Energy plays a crucial role in delivering natural gas to customers in Canada and the United States.

Technology Stocks

The technology sector in Canada has been growing rapidly in recent years, with companies like Shopify, Constellation Software, and OpenText gaining popularity among investors. Some of the most popular tech stocks listed on the Candian stock exchange are:

  • Shopify Inc. (SHOP): Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that enables businesses to create and manage their online stores. It has experienced significant growth in recent years and has become one of Canada’s most valuable and prominent tech companies.
  • Constellation Software Inc. (CSU): Constellation Software is a multinational software company that acquires, manages, and builds vertical market software businesses. It operates across various industries and has a diverse portfolio of software products.
  • Lightspeed POS Inc. (LSPD): Lightspeed POS provides cloud-based point-of-sale software and e-commerce solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Its platform helps businesses manage sales, inventory, and customer relationships.
  • OpenText Corporation (OTEX): OpenText is a software company specializing in enterprise information management. It offers products and services for managing digital content, records, and business processes.
  • CGI Inc. (GIB.A): CGI is a global IT consulting and outsourcing services company. It provides a range of services, including IT and business consulting, systems integration, application development, and managed services.

Utility Stocks

Utility companies, which provide essential services like electricity and water, tend to be more stable investments. Examples of popular Canadian utility companies include Fortis, Emera, and Enbridge.

  • Fortis Inc. (FTS): Fortis is one of the largest investor-owned utilities in Canada. It operates electric and gas utilities in various provinces and territories, including Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Alberta, and others. Fortis has a strong track record of delivering stable dividends and has been expanding its operations internationally.
  • Emera Inc. (EMA): Emera is an energy and utility company that operates in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. It owns and operates electric utilities, natural gas utilities, and renewable energy facilities. Emera’s operations include Nova Scotia Power, Tampa Electric, and other utility subsidiaries.
  • Enbridge Inc. (ENB): Enbridge is a leading energy infrastructure company in North America. While primarily known for its pipeline network, it also operates natural gas utilities and provides renewable energy solutions. Enbridge plays a critical role in transporting and delivering energy products across Canada and the United States.
  • TransAlta Renewables Inc. (RNW): TransAlta Renewables is a renewable power generation company. It focuses on developing, owning, and operating renewable energy assets, including wind, hydro, and solar power facilities. TransAlta Renewables generates electricity from renewable sources and has a diversified portfolio across several Canadian provinces.
  • Hydro One Limited (H): Hydro One is one of the largest electricity transmission and distribution companies in Ontario. It operates a vast network of transmission lines and delivers electricity to homes, businesses, and industries across the province. Hydro One plays a crucial role in the reliable supply of electricity in Ontario.

Consumer Goods Stocks

Companies in the consumer goods sector, such as Loblaw Companies (grocery retailer), Canadian Tire Corporation (retail), and Restaurant Brands International (owner of Tim Hortons and Burger King), are often sought after by investors.

  1. Loblaw Companies Limited (L): Loblaw is one of the largest grocery and pharmacy retailers in Canada. It operates a wide network of stores under various banners, including Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, and more. Loblaw is known for its strong market presence and diverse product offerings.
  2. Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR): Restaurant Brands International is a global quick-service restaurant company. It owns and operates well-known brands like Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes. The company has a significant presence in Canada and internationally, making it one of the largest players in the consumer foodservice industry.
  3. Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC.A): Canadian Tire is a retail company that operates a diverse range of stores offering automotive, hardware, sports, and leisure products. Its retail banners include Canadian Tire, Mark’s, SportChek, and more. Canadian Tire is a prominent name in the Canadian retail sector.
  4. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ATD.B): Alimentation Couche-Tard is a convenience store and fuel retailer. It operates a global network of convenience stores under brands such as Circle K, Couche-Tard, and Mac’s. While the company is based in Canada, it has an extensive international presence.
  5. Empire Company Limited (EMP.A): Empire Company is a Canadian food retailer and parent company of Sobeys Inc. Sobeys operates a chain of grocery stores across Canada, including Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, and others. Empire Company is involved in both retail operations and food distribution.
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