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Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (VOD), Aviva plc (AV) Among Those Stocks In The Beginners’ Portfolio

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LONDON — This article is the latest in a series that aims to help novice investors with the stock market. To enjoy past articles in the series, please visit our full archive.

Since our last portfolio update, a few more of our holdings have been making the news — and its always good to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (VOD)

Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)
One of the main reasons I like Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) is its international nature.

And it looks like that market reach is paying off again, with Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) entering into a consortium with China Mobile to bid for a mobile telecommunications license in Myanmar (Burma). It’s a great opportunity — a country of 60 million people finally entering the world’s open markets, and where mobile phone usage is still very low and horribly expensive.

Although it has been a bit erratic over the past year, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) share price is up 13% since we bought it, to 191 pence today — and we’re getting a dividend yield of 5%-6%, too, which is terrific. With a P/E of 12.5, I reckon Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) is still a strong “buy.”

Aviva plc (LSE:AV)
Last week, Aviva plc (LSE:AV) announced the completion of the sale of its 49% stake in CIMB in Malaysia for 152 million pounds. It’s not massive news, but it does represent a step in the strategy of focusing on markets where Aviva plc (LSE:AV) enjoys competitive advantages and divesting itself of non-core businesses.

Aviva plc (LSE:AV) shares are down since we bought them, from our purchase price of 321.4 pence to today’s 297.5 pence. But we’ve only had them a month and the fallout from the firm’s slashed final dividend is barely subsiding.

With the rebased dividend looking likely to be close to 5% for the coming year, and the shares on forward P/E of only 7, Aviva plc (LSE:AV) still screams “buy” to me.

Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (LSE:RIO)
Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (LSE:RIO) suffered a setback at its Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah, after a slide of more than 150 million tons of material halted production and will adversely affect copper production for the year. But in positive news, we also heard of record first-quarter iron ore production.

The share price? Well, mining shares have all been in a slide of late due to fears of falling commodities prices. Rio Tinto is down just 1% since we bought, to 3,015 pence. But short-term prices in this sector don’t matter much. This still looks like a long-term bargain to me.

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