The best way to accrue wealth in the stock market is to build a portfolio of stocks that you can buy and hold for the long term without the need to babysit the investments. Only certain stocks will qualify for such a portfolio. Indeed, the companies in question have to have a proven business model, a record of returning cash to investors, a defensive business, cash-generative business model and competitive advantage.

BT (LSE: BT.A) and ITV (LSE: ITV) are two such businesses.

Dominates the market

BT is the largest telecoms company in the UK and virtually controls the entire country’s telecommunications network. This gives BT a huge advantage over any peers, and it’s unlikely the group will lose a significant amount of market share to a new competitor overnight. For this reason, BT is a highly defensive business with a wide economic moat, and the company would make a great addition to any long-term portfolio.

Certainly, over the past five and 10 years, investors have done very well by owning shares in BT. Shares in the company have produced an annual return of 8.7% over the past decade, compared to a return of 4.5% per annum for the FTSE 100, and these figures exclude dividends. Over past five years, shares in BT have returned 19.5% per annum, eclipsing the FTSE 100’s performance over the period of 4.9% per annum. Once again these figures exclude dividends.

Past performance is no guide to future performance, but it does show how BT’s market-leading position has helped the company beat the market over the last 10 years.

City analysts expect the group’s profits to continue to rise going forward with pre-tax profit growth of around 25% pencilled-in for the next two years. The company currently trades at a forward P/E of 15.4 and supports a dividend yield of 3.4%.

A leading position

Like BT, ITV has a market-leading position in the UK’s TV market. However, concerns about the state of the advertising market have weighed on ITV’s shares this year. Year-to-date, shares in ITV have lost 23% of their value due to these concerns.

Nonetheless, the company’s management remains upbeat about ITV’s prospects. The group posted a double-digit rise in sales for the first quarter of 2016 due to an impressive performance across the business. Broadcast & Online revenue grew by 2% and Online, Pay & Interactive sales increased by 17%. ITV Studios’ revenue jumped 44% year-on-year.

Continues to deliver

So, despite the City’s growth concerns, ITV continues to deliver, and recent declines in the company’s share price mean that the group now trades at a relatively attractive valuation of only 12.8 times forward earnings. City analysts expect the company to report earnings per share growth of 5% this year. ITV’s shares currently support a dividend yield of 3.3%.

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Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.