NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Life can be a humdrum affair.
If you are lucky enough to live in an industrialized economy, you eat three times a day, which is fun, but then there's that stuff we all have to do that seems like an endless drag: washing dishes, folding laundry, shaving, cleaning, cooking, errands, and on and on until I want to...
Anyway, what keeps me from doing what I want to do when everyday life gets me down is remember this "everydayness" drives a vast segment of our economy that is, for the most part, impervious to the spasms that shake it in seven-year cycles that appear almost Biblical in their regularity.
I'm referring, of course, to companies that make up the S&P Consumer Staples Index. The ETFs that mimic the index, such as the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV), have turned in a rather spectacular 14.6% year to date performance. Over the past year it's returned 20.3%. This compares very favorably to the broad SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) ETF performance of 10.6% year to date and 13.8% over the past year.You might be tempted to think you missed the boat on the run in consumer staples stocks, but I don't. In fact, in our Dividend Buster's portfolio, for which I select the investments along with others at my firm, fully 25% of the names are in the consumer staples sector.
Here's the four consumer staples companies from this portfolio you might want to look at more closely. They've all been growing their sales, earnings and dividends: McDonald's (MCD), TJX Companies (TJX), Darden Restaurants (DRI) and General Mills (GIS). There's another tailwind at work as well in this portfolio: All of these companies have share buybacks in place as well. No matter which set of mathematics you look at -- demand, growth in dividends, growth in earnings, the supply of shares -- the numbers for these companies are compelling, even if the things they help us do everyday are not. This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV