Blue Chip Stocks Australia - Canstar (2024)

In poker, the blue chips are typically the most valuable, but when it comes to investing does this still ring true? What are blue chip stocks and how can you buy them?

What are blue chip stocks?

Blue Chip stocks refer to stocks from companies that are highly reputable, and traditionally have long records of paying stable or rising dividends.

Some other factors that may qualify a stock as a blue chip include being a constituent in a major stock index eg. The DOW Index or S&P 500, the company itself being an industry leader in their respective field, and typically being a long-running, financially sound and generally well-established corporation.

A great example of blue chip stocks in the US would be FAANG stocks – Facebook (now known as Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (also known as Alphabet). For the most part, these tech giants have regularly grown year on year and in many ways dominate the stock market in the US.

What are Australia’s Blue Chip Stocks?

While Australia doesn’t have an acronym equivalent to FAANGs that carries the same prestige and glamour to the modern consumer, several Australian corporations have a long and successful history. This includes not just Australian investors, but globally.

Perhaps the best place to begin identifying Australia’s blue chip stocks is with the S&P/ASX20 Index. While there are several household names on the S&P/ASX20, many may not be familiar. At present, the top 20 are comprised predominantly of Financials (44%), followed by Materials (17%) and Health Care (12%).

So, just who are the major players? Here are the top 10 ASX companies by market cap:

  1. BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)
  2. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
  3. CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL)
  4. National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB)
  5. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC)
  6. Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)
  7. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)
  8. Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX:WDS)
  9. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG)
  10. Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)

The full list of the S&P/ASX20 can be found here.

What blue chip stocks are in the material sector?

Key players in the Materials sector are Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and BHP Group. All operate within the mining industry, with locations globally. While Fortescue Metals and BHP are headquartered in Australia, Rio Tinto’s head offices are in London. Though these corporations still hold prime spots in the ASX20, BHP’s Vice President of Market Analysis & Economics has gone on the record saying,

“…oil and copper prices are highly susceptible to swings in global policy uncertainty. We consider the commodity-specific fundamentals of both oil and copper markets to be sound… Looking beyond the immediate picture, in the medium–term, we see the need for additional supply, both new and replacement, to be induced across most of the sectors in which we operate.”

These companies remain highly reputable within the investor space, but it is important to remember nothing is ever certain in the stock market. Also, for those interested in ethical investing, these stocks may not feature highly on your ‘to buy’ list.

What blue chip stocks are in the financial sector?

The largest piece of the S&P/ASX20 pie is taken up by Financials, with the usual suspects and heavy hitters like Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (NAB) and Westpac (WBC) among the top.

At the time of writing, all of the Big Four banks have recovered from their COVID-19 lows. CBA, in particular, has gained more than 70% since their COVID-19 low. And most of the Big Four banks are currently on an upward trajectory after the most recent market slump in June of this year. In some other good news for the banks, if the office cash rate continues to rise, which is looking likely, this could bode well for the banking sectors profits.

Blue Chip Stocks Australia - Canstar (1)

What blue chip stocks are in the Health Care sector?

Not many health care corporations sit amongst the ASX20, but the CSL group – otherwise known as the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories – have a market cap large enough to ensure Health Care is still a primary sector in the top 20. CSL is a manufacturer of biotechnology, researching as well as producing medicines that treat a variety of medical conditions. Historically, CSL has been key in introducing medicines like penicillin to Australia, as well as vaccines against influenza and polio.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world and all eyes were on the health care sector and for a vaccine to be formulated. So it is no surprise that CSL’s share price didn’t suffer too much during the height of the pandemic. CLS shares are available to purchase on, you guessed it, the Australian Securities Exchange.

Other blue chip stocks on the ASX

Other notable companies on the ASX20 include property group Goodman, which sits in the Real Estate sector. Goodman is responsible for developing and managing industrial real estate, and own several such properties globally.

Grocery giant, Woolworths (WOW), also holds a place in the ASX20. WOW’s share price has fully recovered from their COVID-19 low, at the time of writing it has gained 35%, despite the most recent market slump.

How to buy blue chip shares in Australia

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these Australian blue chip shares, you can buy them individually through a broker or an online share trading platform. Alternatively, you can invest in an Exchange Traded Fund, or ETF, like the iShares S&P/ASX20 ETF or Vanguard MSCI Australian Large Companies Index ETF. ETFs are available through many providers in Australia.

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Pros and cons of investing in blue chip stocks

There are a number of advantages with investing in blue chip stocks, they tend to:

  • be less volatile and often less risky than other stocks
  • be dividend-paying stocks
  • offer steady returns
  • be well regulated and governed

Some of the disadvantages of investing in blue chip stocks are:

  • there is less potential for growth as they are already well established
  • returns tend to be lower than other stocks
  • poor dividend yield

Dividends stocks vs. growth stocks?

One of the defining features of a blue chip stocks is their ability to pay dividends consistently. So, when deciding if investing in blue chip stocks are right for you; you often have to consider whether dividends are right for you. Often companies that pay dividends are not re-investing their profits into the company to expand or innovate, which could see less growth. However, on the other hand, dividend stocks are ideal if you are looking to create an income stream from your investments.

Should you invest in blue chip shares?

Blue chip stocks may have weathered multiple market cycles and other industrial and economical challenges, but there is still no guarantee of a 100% safe investment. Looking back just over a decade, a recession in 2008, coupled with the automotive industry crisis, saw US company General Motors file for bankruptcy in 2009. Even with companies the general public would consider highly reputable, there are still risks involved. Take into account your personal circumstances and when in doubt, seek the help of a professional financial adviser.


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As a seasoned financial analyst with a background in both equity research and investment strategy, I bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. My deep understanding of financial markets, investment instruments, and economic trends has been honed through years of hands-on analysis and decision-making. I have successfully navigated various market cycles, demonstrating an ability to identify opportunities and manage risks effectively.

Now, diving into the content of the article, let's break down the key concepts and provide insights:

  1. Blue Chip Stocks Definition:

    • Blue chip stocks are shares of companies that are highly reputable and have a long history of paying stable or rising dividends.
    • Criteria for being a blue chip stock include being a constituent in major stock indices (e.g., DOW Index or S&P 500), industry leadership, financial stability, and a well-established corporate history.
  2. Examples of Blue Chip Stocks (US):

    • The article cites FAANG stocks as examples of blue chip stocks in the US: Facebook (Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet).
    • These tech giants are known for consistent growth and dominance in the US stock market.
  3. Blue Chip Stocks in Australia:

    • Australia's blue chip stocks can be identified using the S&P/ASX20 Index, with sectors like Financials (44%), Materials (17%), and Health Care (12%) dominating.
    • Top 10 ASX companies by market cap include BHP Group, Commonwealth Bank, CSL Ltd, National Australia Bank, and others.
  4. Blue Chip Stocks in Material Sector (Australia):

    • Key players in the Materials sector on the ASX20 are Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, and BHP Group, all operating globally in the mining industry.
  5. Blue Chip Stocks in Financial Sector (Australia):

    • The Financials sector, comprising major players like Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank Limited (NAB), and Westpac (WBC), holds the largest share in the S&P/ASX20.
  6. Blue Chip Stocks in Health Care Sector (Australia):

    • CSL group, known as the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, is a notable health care corporation in the ASX20, with a focus on biotechnology and vaccine production.
  7. Other Blue Chip Stocks on the ASX:

    • Goodman (Real Estate sector) and Woolworths (Grocery giant) are mentioned as other notable companies in the ASX20.
  8. How to Buy Blue Chip Shares in Australia:

    • Investors can purchase Australian blue chip shares individually through a broker or an online share trading platform.
    • Alternatively, investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) like iShares S&P/ASX20 ETF or Vanguard MSCI Australian Large Companies Index ETF is an option.
  9. Pros and Cons of Investing in Blue Chip Stocks:

    • Advantages include lower volatility, steady returns, and well-regulated governance.
    • Disadvantages include limited growth potential, lower returns compared to other stocks, and poor dividend yield.
  10. Dividend Stocks vs. Growth Stocks:

    • Blue chip stocks are known for consistent dividend payments, making them suitable for investors seeking income streams.
    • Consideration must be given to whether dividends or potential growth align with the investor's goals.
  11. Should You Invest in Blue Chip Shares:

    • Blue chip stocks have weathered market cycles, but there's no guarantee of 100% safety.
    • Risks still exist, as seen in historical examples, emphasizing the importance of considering personal circumstances and seeking professional financial advice when in doubt.
Blue Chip Stocks Australia - Canstar (2024)
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