11 Best Stocks To Buy Right Now In Canada for February 2023

Are you looking to put your money to work in one or more stocks but have no idea where to begin?

While the S&P 500 is frequently used as a benchmark for investment excellence, there are periods of time during which even this famous index has performed terribly.

Riskless 1-month treasuries outperformed the S&P 500 index over 3 periods of at least 13 years. A portfolio of carefully selected stocks may have outperformed the S&P 500 during these tough market conditions

We will cover the best stocks to buy right now in Canada and go over why they are excellent ideas to consider below.

Why Pick Stocks?

A very large percentage of investment professionals will admit that the broad market (usually referring to the S&P 500 or S&P/TSX Composite indices) is very difficult to outperform. While there is some truth to this, there are some advantages to picking stocks as opposed to investing in a broad market index ETF.

Advantages of Stock Picking

Stock picking, as opposed to investing in a broad market index ETF, allows you to:

  1. Have complete control over the investments in your account
  2. Select investments that may be more aggressive or more conservative than the broad market
  3. Create portfolios of stocks that are geared towards income (high dividend payers)
  4. Select which risks to take on based on the stocks that you have chosen
  5. Eliminate investment product MERs that usually come with funds

Disadvantages of Stock Picking

As with all things, stock picking does also have its disadvantages. Some of these can include:

  1. Potentially being under diversified
  2. Picking hot stocks that have gains already priced in
  3. Not understanding the risks involved with the companies that you are investing in
  4. Having too much information available to process

11 Best Stocks to Buy Right Now in Canada

1. Dollarama Inc.

Dollarama Logo
  • Ticker: DOL.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Growth
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 0.27%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 8.45%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 0.27%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 03, 2023
  • Market Cap: $22.76 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 25.08
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.3 - Buy

Dollarama is a consumer discretionary company headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The company operates 1,444 stores across Canada as of July 31, 2022, and focuses on the retail sales of low-cost products to consumers.

The company was founded in 1992 by Larry Rossy and underwent an initial public offering in 2009. The company’s stock trades on the TSX under the ticker DOL. Dollarama employs over 8,000 individuals as of 2022.

Until several years ago, the company had sold goods at a price of $1 or less, but it has started selling products at substantially higher prices in order to maintain margins and combat increasing costs of inputs.

Dollarama Inc. Image 1

Since the company’s stock has growth features, it pays a low dividend yield and trades at fairly steep multiples. Despite this, the stock has rewarded investors with an excellent total return since its public inception in 2009.

Given Dollarama’s business model, past performance, and future growth opportunities, it is an excellent stock to consider buying now.

2. Fortis Inc.

Fortis Stock logo
  • Ticker: FTS.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.39%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 79.92%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 3.85%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 01, 2023
  • Market Cap: $26.45 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 18.6
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.8 - Hold

Fortis is a very large Canadian utility that is headquartered in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The main focus of the company is the distribution and generation of power to customers. Over 90% of Fortis’ assets are infrastructure designed to supply natural gas and electricity.

Fortis operates ten independent operations across Canada, the US, and the Caribbean. As of 2022, the company has roughly $60 billion in assets on its balance sheet and provides employment to over 9,000 individuals globally.

Fortis has 1.3 million gas clients and 2.1 million electricity clients – for a total of roughly 3.4 million clients.

Fortis Image 1

Fortis is listed under the ticker FTS on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, making it easy for Canadian investors to purchase it in Canadian or US dollars.

The company offers investors a great forward dividend yield and has an incredible track record of raising dividend payments for 48 years in a row.

Fortis has stated that it aims to be net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Out of a $20 billion capital budget for the next four years, Fortis has put aside $3.8 billion towards clean energy investments.

A top utility stock choice in Canada, Fortis is a staple across many blue-chip and dividend aristocrat portfolios for Canadians.

3. Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Scotiabank logo
  • Ticker: BNS.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Value
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.29%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 47.01%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 5.53%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 27, 2023
  • Market Cap: $87.40 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 8.53
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.7 - Hold

As one of the largest banks in Canada (currently the 3rd largest by market capitalization), Scotiabank is currently trading at attractive valuation multiples. The bank’s main differentiating feature is its widespread operations across North and South America.

Scotiabank currently has over 90,000 employees and approximately $1.3 trillion in assets as of April 2022.

The bank splits its business into four main operating lines:

Bank of Nova Scotia Image 1

In Canada, Chile, and Peru, The Bank of Nova Scotia is a top three bank. It is in the top five in Mexico and in the top six in Colombia.

The bank has placed a large emphasis on digital adoption and has won numerous awards for its digital offering. Its stock is listed both on the TSX and on the NYSE under the ticker BNS, meaning it can be purchased in either Canadian or US dollars.

Although currently much smaller than both TD and RBC in terms of market capitalization, the bank is still one of the largest publicly-traded companies in Canada.

Scotiabank’s stock is currently trading at very attractive multiples and comes with a very high dividend yield relative to the other Canadian banks.

Overall, the bank’s stock trades in value territory, meaning that you are paying relatively less for the stock’s earnings and cash flows.

The Bank of Nova Scotia is a great stock to consider purchasing at current levels.

4. Brookfield Renewable Partners

Brookfield Renewable Partners Stock
  • Ticker: BEP-UN.TO
  • Size: Mid Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.52%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: N/A
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 0%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 30, 2022
  • Market Cap: $24.11 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 73.63
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.1 - Buy

The largest renewable energy company in Canada is Brookfield Renewable Partner (by market capitalization). BEP is a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, a large and well-known Canadian investment manager.

Brookfield Renewable focuses on hydroelectric, solar, and wind power generation. It also operates energy storage facilities.

Brookfield Renewable Partners Image 1

The company targets an annual dividend increase of between 5% and 9%, which is attractive for investors that are looking for a growing income stream.

Brookfield Renewable currently generates 21 gigawatts of electrical capacity, which is much more than most of its peers here in Canada. Projects under development should increase the capacity by another 69 gigawatts to a total of 90 gigawatts.

The company’s stock is currently offering a great forward dividend yield to investors, with a strong income stream likely to continue into the future. The positive tailwinds from renewable energy demand should also help with the demand for renewable energy in the future.

Brookfield Renewable’s strong lead in the clean energy space in Canada makes it an excellent stock to currently consider.

5. Metro Inc.

metro Stock logo
  • Ticker: MRU.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 1.58%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 22.22%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 1.62%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Mar 06, 2023
  • Market Cap: $16.46 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 15.59
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.9 - Hold

Metro is a large grocery store chain here in Canada, offering good quality goods to customers. Although the company currently only operates in Quebec and Ontario, the potential for expansion across multiple other provinces is massive. Metro is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, and its current CEO is Eric La Flèche.

The company currently operates 950 different grocery stores under several different brands:

  • Metro
  • Metro Plus
  • Super C
  • Food Basics

A large number of Metro grocery stores have a built-in pharmacy for customers to use. The pharmacies operated by Metro also come under several different brands:

  • Metro Pharmacy
  • Brunet
  • Jean Coutu
  • Food Basics Pharmacy

Metro places a strong emphasis on ESG through its corporate responsibility plan. Metro addresses 12 out of the 17 UN sustainable development goals through its current corporate responsibility plan.

Metro Inc. Image1

Metro does not pay a high dividend to investors but has placed a focus on constantly increasing its dividend on an annual basis (27 years consecutively). As a goal, Metro pays 30-40% of its previous year’s net earnings in dividends to investors.

Through multiple difficult market environments, Metro stock has managed to be extremely resilient with regard to share price stability.

Given its status as a grocer and its share price stability, Metro is a great stock to consider buying now.

6. Telus Corporation

Telus Stock
  • Ticker: T.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.91%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 97.73%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 4.64%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 03, 2023
  • Market Cap: $40.94 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 20.44
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.1 - Buy

Telus is a large telecommunications provider and one of the major carriers in Canada. Currently headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, the company’s current CEO is Darren Entwistle.

With recent revenue being reported at $17 billion, the company currently has around 17 million customers using one or more of its services.

The company reported great results for the previous year (2021), meeting management’s guidance around quite a few key targets:

Telus Corporation Image 1

As of last year, the company operates across two main segments – Telus technology solutions and Telus international.

Telus technology solutions encompasses mobile services, cloud-based services, as well as data and network revenues.

The Telus international segment operates in US dollars and focuses on digital customer experiences, artificial intelligence, and digital transformations.

The company’s stock currently offers an excellent dividend yield to investors, which has grown for 18 consecutive years.

Telus stock has done very well throughout the difficult market environments recently. Its defensive characteristics may be attractive to some investors.

The many excellent features of Telus stock make it a great choice to consider purchasing now.

7. Brookfield Asset Management

Brookfield Renewable Partners Stock
  • Ticker: BAM.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Growth

Brookfield Asset Management is a top alternative investment manager worldwide, with headquarters in Toronto, Canada. The company operates in over 30 countries with over 150,000 employees around the world.

The company aims to invest in high-quality assets and businesses for the long term. Sectors of focus that Brookfield looks at include real estate, infrastructure, renewable power, and private equity.

Brookfield Asset Management currently has approximately $750 billion in assets under management. The company aims for exceptional long-term returns for its clients.

Brookfield also has a considerable portion of its revenues contracted for varying periods of time, leading to more stable cash flows.

Within Canada, Brookfield Asset Management is one of the largest publicly-traded companies by market capitalization.

Brookfield Asset Management is a great Canadian stock to consider purchasing given current market conditions.

8. Nutrien Limited

Nutrien
  • Ticker: NTR.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Value
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 2.47%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 15.22%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 1.69%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Jan 13, 2023
  • Market Cap: $57.83 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 7.09
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.3 - Buy

Nutrien, a fertilizer company headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the world’s largest producer of potash and the third-largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer.

In particular, the company produces fertilizers that are potash-based, nitrogen-based, and phosphate-based.

The company produces over 27 million tonnes of fertilizer and currently employs over 23,000 individuals.

Nutrien Limited Image 1

The company has a carbon program that it is adhering to, as well as an overall commitment to ESG principles.

Nutrien is listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker NTR. Investors can purchase shares in both Canadian and US dollars.

Although Nutrien pays a relatively low dividend yield, the company trades in deep value territory, trading at very low valuation multiples. During inflationary periods, in particular, a stock like Nutrien should perform fairly well.

The fertilizer industry as a whole has a positive long-term tailwind from an increasing world population that demands an increasing amount of food.

Nutrien may be a great addition to your portfolio if you are looking for an inexpensive stock in a critical industry.

9. Whitecap Resources Inc

Whitecap Resources Inc
  • Ticker: WCP.TO
  • Size: Mid Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 4.54%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 6.21%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 3.3%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Feb 15, 2023
  • Market Cap: $6.47 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 6.24
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.0 - Buy

Whitecap Resources is a Canadian oil company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. The company focuses on exploration and production.

Whitecap Resources Inc Image 1

Whitecap places a strong emphasis on ESG and stores more carbon dioxide than it emits corporately. The company has released sustainability reports for most of the past several years – these can be accessed by investors on their website.

Western Canada is currently the focus of the company’s entire operations. One key reason to consider the company as a great investment is that it pays dividends to investors on a monthly basis. This is due to the stability of the company’s oil and gas production.

Whitecap ships and sells oil all over Canada.

Whitecap Resources Inc Image 2

Whitecap Resources pays a great forward dividend which will be attractive to income-oriented investors.

As a key oil and gas name to consider, Whitecap Resources could be a great addition to a portfolio given current market conditions.

10. Barrick Gold Corporation

Barrick gold logo
  • Ticker: ABX.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 5.25%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 33.63%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 1.55%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 15, 2022
  • Market Cap: $43.28 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 21.93
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.1 - Buy

A well-known name in the Canadian gold industry, Barrick Gold Corporation is another stock to consider buying now. Not a lot of people know that Barrick is also involved in copper mining as well as gold. It is a very large company relative to gold peers in Canada, based on market capitalization.

The key theme of investing in Barrick gold is that it’s one of the lowest-cost gold producers. The company’s cost of producing a kilogram of gold is substantially lower than its peers. Barrick can continue to be profitable even when gold prices are under pressure, while its peers may not.

The company has been focused on streamlining its operations and has been involved in several mergers and acquisitions throughout recent years.

In Canada, Barrick Gold trades under the ticker ABX on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Investors that are looking to purchase shares in US dollars can do so by buying GOLD shares on the NYSE.

The company has globally diversified mining operations, mining gold or copper across several continents. Barrick stock has a long track record of paying dividends to its investors and will likely continue to do so, especially if gold prices rise going forward.

Barrick Gold Corporation Image 1

Although Barrick Gold has lower ESG scoring than some of its peers, the company has released a yearly sustainability report since 2008.

Gold has historically been seen as a safe-haven asset, and buying shares in the lowest-cost Canadian gold producer may make sense given current market trends.

11. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Stock
  • Ticker: ATD.TO
  • Size: Large Cap
  • Valuation: Core
  • Forward Dividend Yield: 0.76%
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 12.35%
  • Dividend Yield (12-Month Trailing): 0.46%
  • Upcoming Dividend Date: Dec 15, 2022
  • Market Cap: $60.16 Billion
  • Forward P/E Ratio: 15.75
  • Average Analyst Rating: 2.0 - Buy

Alimentation Couche-Tard is a Canadian-based global leader in fuel and convenience retail. Headquartered in Laval, Quebec, the company focuses on retail proximity to customers. 80% of the merchandise sold in-store is consumed within one hour of purchase.

The company has a coast-to-coast presence in Canada and can be found in 47 out of the 50 US states. Alimentation Couche-Tard also has a leading market share across some markets in Europe and has been profitable since its initial public offering in 1986.

With over 14,000 stores and 120,000 employees globally, Alimentation Couche-Tard boasts some impressive numbers:

11.	Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Alimentation Couche-Tard has two main brands outside of Quebec – Mac’s Convenience Stores and Circle K. The Mac’s brand is currently being phased out and transitioned into Circle K.

The company also has an impressive track record of growing its dividend. Since 2012, its dividend has grown at a compounded annualized rate of 24.7%. Despite the impressive dividend growth rate, the stock is currently paying a low forward dividend yield.

Given Alimentation Couche-Tard’s impressive company metrics and historical performance, it is a good stock to consider purchasing now.

Should You Be Investing in Stocks Right Now?

Since stock picking comes with its advantages and disadvantages, it may not be the right course of action for all investors.

Before picking stocks or even investing in a broad market equity ETF, you must be sure that equities match your risk tolerance. Stocks can become volatile during rough market conditions and can face substantial double-digit drops in value.

At most Canadian brokerages, direct stocks or equity ETFs are labelled as carrying at least a medium level of risk.

If you feel that your risk tolerance is not high enough to invest in stocks, consider safer alternatives. Some examples include:

  • Preferred Shares
  • Certain covered call strategies
  • Bonds
  • GICs

Make sure to look at our guide on how to start investing, which can help you to determine your personal risk tolerance.

How to Buy Stocks in Canada

There are three main ways to purchase stocks in Canada:

  1. Purchasing them yourself through a self-directed brokerage
  2. Using a Robo-advisor
  3. Working with a financial or investment advisor

Investors that want to be in control of their accounts and want to do their own stock picking will have to purchase stocks through a discount brokerage. My top choices in Canada are:

Readers Choice
Qtrade
  • 105 commission-free ETFs to buy and sell
  • Excellent customer service
  • Top-notch market research tools
  • Easy-to-use and stable platform 
Low Fees
Wealthsimple Trade
  • Stock and ETF buys and sells have $0 trading fees
  • Desktop and mobile trading
  • Reputable fintech company
  • Fractional shares available
Well-Rounded
Questrade
  • ETF buys have $0 trading fees
  • Excellent market research tools
  • Most types of registered accounts available

For a full overview of how to buy stocks in Canada, be sure to take a look at our comprehensive guide.

Conclusion

Best Stocks To Buy Right Now In Canada

Stock picking (as opposed to buying a broad market index) allows you to control which investments are in your account and fine-tune your risk exposures.

While broad market indices are generally in the red during a bear market, investors can sometimes find stocks that have managed to outperform their benchmarks (or even stay in the green).

If you haven’t committed entirely to building a stock portfolio for yourself, make sure to check out our list of the best ETFs in Canada.

Photo of author
Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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