Three FTSE 100 shares I’d buy to sleep soundly

Our writer reckons this trio of FTSE 100 blue-chip shares could make attractive long-term holdings in his portfolio.

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Owning shares can be exciting – but not always in a good way! No share is without risk. However, I do think some companies with mature, well-balanced businesses can sit in my portfolio without causing me sleepless nights. Here are three FTSE 100 blue-chips I would consider buying today for that reason.


Consumer goods business Unilever (LSE: ULVR) (and before it Lever Brothers) has been in business in one form or another for well over a century. Today the business spans the globe and owns brands such as Marmite and Magnum.

I like the way that the company’s products are part of the everyday lives of several billion people. Its portfolio of premium brands gives it pricing power. That can help offset rising costs, a risk to profits.

Currently, this blue-chip share has a dividend yield of 4.1%. From a long-term perspective, I expect the company to maintain sizeable sales and profits.           

National Grid

Utilities like National Grid (LSE: NG) are often associated with stability. But in fact, the distribution network operator’s performance last year was pretty dynamic. Excluding its stake in a gas business it is selling, post-tax profits rose 67%. That helped the company raise its annual dividend by 3.7%.

The shape of the business continues to evolve. It is reducing its gas operations and acquired electricity distributor Western Power Distribution. But what attracts me to this stock is the continuity of customer demand I expect for the long term. Energy will need to be moved around, from production sites to customers. National Grid provides the backbone of that system. It would be very costly for a competitor to try build an alternative network. That will hopefully help the company keep revenues and profits strong for years to come.

Power networks are expensive to build and maintain, so annual profits are always at risk from a jump in costs. Over the long run, however, I regard National Grid as an attractive blue-chip share to own in my portfolio.

Smith & Nephew

Medical care is always in demand. That is positive for a medical supplies business such as Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN). At the moment, Smith & Nephew has a growth plan it reckons can help it achieve 4%-6% underlying revenue growth in the next several years.

But what I like about this FTSE 100 share is not the growth potential. It is the resilience of its underlying business. Although a downturn in elective procedures can hurt sales and profits, as we saw during the pandemic, the long-term demand outlook should be fairly robust. Smith & Nephew has a solid product portfolio and its sales come from a variety of markets. I think that will help it perform well in the long term and would consider tucking it into my portfolio.

Three FTSE 100 blue-chips

I do not see any of these three shares as exciting. But I do not think that is a bad thing when it comes to investments. All three should benefit from long-term customer demand. I think each has an attractive business model built on that. All three also currently pay dividends.

Whatever is going on in the markets, I would happily hold this trio of FTSE 100 shares in my portfolio.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

Christopher Ruane owns shares in Unilever. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Smith & Nephew and Unilever. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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