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During bear markets some investors try to analyze their portfolio holdings to determine which stocks to hold for the long-term and which stocks to trim down or sell even if they are at a loss. Large cap companies that pay solid dividends and have consistent long-term performance are the favorites for such investors.

While it's true large cap stocks like AIG and WB have collapsed recently, it's highly unlikely that the majority of the stocks that meet the above two criteria will go under.

Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS) is one company that may make for a solid long-term holding in a well-diversified portfolio. The following are some reasons why you may want to hold BNS for the long-term (many years):

  • Has paid dividend every year since 1832.
  • Increased dividends in recent years (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008).
  • Consistent dividend increases among major Canadian companies.
  • International presence in countries like Mexico, Peru, Chile, Jamaica, etc.
  • One of the top five large Canadian banks.
  • High Payout Ratio (>33%).
  • Well diversified in three business areas: Domestic Banking, International Banking and Capital Markets.
  • Makes higher profits from revenues than most of its peers.
  • Constituent of the main Canadian Market Index (S&P/TSX Composite Index).

Disclosure: Long BNS

Source: Long-Term Dividend Pick: Bank of Nova Scotia