Great companies build wealth year after year, and it’s these types of businesses that make the best long-term investments. With that in mind, today, I’m going to highlight three UK shares that I currently own and plan to keep on holding for the next two decades as they continue to build wealth for shareholders.
UK shares for the long term
The first company I’m going to highlight is one of my favourite blue-chip stocks, insurance group Admiral (LSE: ADM). Over the past few decades, this organisation has created one of the UK’s most trusted and well-known insurance brands. The firm’s relentless focus on innovation and customer service has helped it pull ahead of competitors.
The firm’s next target is international growth. Admiral already has a handful of international operations, in France, Italy, Spain, and the US. These operations are still small compared to the rest of the group, but they’re growing rapidly.
As these international businesses continue to expand, I think we could see tremendous returns from the Admiral share price. What’s more, the company is already a dividend champion. The stock currently supports a dividend yield of 5%, which is high among UK shares today. I think the payout will continue to expand as the group grows overseas.
Focus on emerging markets
Consumer goods group Unilever (LSE: ULVR) also exhibits the qualities I look for in a good buy-and-forget investment. The company is one of the world’s largest consumer goods operations. It owns several billion-dollar brands, and it’s always buying or inventing new products.
More importantly, the group generates 50% of its sales in emerging markets. These fast-growing regions are projected to expand much faster than the developing world over the next few decades. A young population and rising incomes are two of the reasons why emerging markets look set to power forward in the years ahead.
Unilever is, in my view, one of the best UK shares to buy to benefit from this trend. The group’s blue-chip qualities and international diversification provide access to fast-growing markets as well as a dividend yield of 3%.
My final pick of UK shares is Great Portland Estates (LSE: GPOR). Commercial property owners are having a rough year. Rent collection rates are falling, and office occupancy levels are falling. However, Great Portland’s management is optimistic about the outlook for central London property. And I’m inclined to trust their views. The management team has decades of experience in this market, and the CEO has been managing property companies for over 30 years.
To capitalise on opportunities in the market, Great Portland recently raised several hundred million pounds. While the London property market might continue to struggle in the near term, in the long run, over the next few decades, property prices should push higher. That should be positive for Great Portland. If the company can buy buildings at knock-down prices in the current crisis, it may be able to benefit from the rebound.
Rupert Hargreaves owns shares in Great Portland Estates, Admiral Group and Unilever. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Admiral Group 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.