No stock investment is absolutely riskless. But buying some stocks is certainly much lower-risk than others for long-term investors. A handful of these companies may even merit a “surefire” status, vulnerable only to the most unthinkable of economic circumstances.
Here’s a closer look at three of these “surefire” investments that would be at home in almost anyone’s portfolio.
1. Hormel Foods
It scores no points for style or excitement. What Hormel Foods ( HRL 1.00% ) lacks in pizzazz, however, it makes up for in perpetual marketability.
Think about it. Consumers may opt for a stay-cation rather than a vacation if money gets tight. They might cancel cable TV, or postpone the purchase of a new car. People are always going to want to eat, though, and they’ll pay nearly any price to do so.
That’s not to suggest Hormel is completely immune to an ever-changing environment. While it’s remained profitable in every quarter for several decades now (and those profits have generally grown), not every quarter has always been more profitable than the comparable quarter from a year earlier.
Along with most of its peers, Hormel was bumping into a cost and pricing headwind in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic rattled the world. The fallout from the coronavirus contagion and subsequent inflation surge is actually proving fiscally beneficial to the company — at least so far. As was suggested, like most other food companies, Hormel can pass along many of its costs to its customers.
That’s not even the key point, though. The bigger point is that, by leveraging its established and well-loved brands like Dinty Moore, Planters, Skippy, and of course, Hormel (along with several others), this food company has proven it’s here to stay.
2. American Express
On the surface, it seems like a stretch to call a credit card company like American Express ( AXP -0.85% ) a surefire investment. Wouldn’t a soured economy or the advent of alternatives like “buy now, pay later” lending pose threats to this aspect of consumerism?
Actually, no, it wouldn’t.
Reality: The world is addicted to living on credit card debt.
While the average U.S. consumer made small progress toward paying down credit card debt in the early days of the pandemic (when they had little opportunity to spend), most have rekindled their pre-pandemic spending habits. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that total credit card debt within the United States peaked …….