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Ordinary Events, Extraordinary Returns

Stocks in this article: XLVMCDTJXDRIGISSPY

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.

Oliver Pursche is the president of GGFS, a boutique money management firm headquartered in Suffern, NY. Pursche is in charge of all business operations and serves on the firms' Investment Committee, Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Pursche is also a co-portfolio manager of the GMG Defensive Beta Fund (MPDAX).

Over the course of his career, Pursche has had the pleasure of working for venerable firms, such as PaineWebber and Neuberger Berman, as well as taking graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. Most recently, Pursche published his first book, Immigrants: Unleashing the Economic Force at our Door.

Pursche is a trilingual financial services executive with more than 20 years of industry experience. His professional focus is on improving organizational structures and efficiencies, particularly in sales and the sales & marketing area. In the case of GGFS, Pursche helped four-fold AUM and five-fold revenues, as well as double profit margins from 2005 to 2013. Pursche accomplished this mainly through sales coaching, re-engineering the marketing processes and having an absolute focus on ROI.

Pursche is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business News and Bloomberg Television. He also writes weekly columns for The Wall Street Journal Trading Deck, Forbes.com, Minyanville and The Street.

Pursche serves on the Advisory Board of the Cherie Blair Foundation www.cherieblairfoundation.org, which focuses on helping women entrepreneurs around the world. He is a member of the New York City Ballet Serenade Society and a member of the Advisory Board at Gemini Fund Services.

Pursche lives in Fairfield, CT with his wife Virginia and their two dogs. For a more complete biography, visit http://about.me/oliverpursche. Follow him on twitter @opursche

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