) -- We all know you shouldn't drink and operate heavy machinery -- but drink and trade in your portfolio? Investing like a drunk might actually make you some money.
Mr. Market deserves a toast in 2013. The venerable
index has managed to climb close to 11% on the year as of this writing. But one pocket of stocks has managed to do one better: consumer staples. Food, beverage and tobacco stocks in the S&P have climbed more than 17.7% since the calendar flipped over to January, and that number hops a full point when dividends are counted in the equation.
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Put simply, this group of stocks is wildly outperforming the broad market's already impressive pace.
And alcohol stocks offer some of the most exciting growth of the group right now. In recent years there's been a renaissance of "craft" beverage consumption. Consumers are paying premiums for niche beverage offerings, a trend that's long existed in the wine world, but has only recently crossed over into beer and spirits. That crossover presents a big opportunity for beverage manufacturers, especially as the amount of alcohol consumer per capita in the U.S. (and elsewhere) continues to rise.
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Growth isn't the only story here. Acoholic beverage makers fall under the loose category of "sin stocks," which are known for their defensive posture when times get tough. In other words, people drink when times are good and they drink when times are bad too. With the rally that the S&P has already put underneath it this year, it's important to have a defensive allocation to your holdings, particularly one that's paying out dividends in this near-zero rate environment.
Alcohol stocks fit that bill.
Even if you're only interested in the "market research," it's worth taking a closer look at alcoholic beverage stocks right now. That's why, today, we're taking a look at
that are well-positioned to round out your booze portfolio in 2013.
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