Now, I know it took down a ton of debt. But the cash flow is there, and the interest rate is so low that I don't doubt for one minute that Verizon will change its policy of boosting its dividend. If I can get this one at a 5% yield, which is not far from the current level, I think it'll be a steal.
Finally, I want some exposure to healthcare real estate investment trusts, especially ones for which people believe there is a ton of exposure to Medicare, but where there really isn't. I want Ventas ( VTR), which is run by the redoubtable Debra Cafaro. With a tremendous wind at its back, the aging of baby boomers and a remarkable performance record and dividend history, I think that this 4.3%-yielder can be had right at these levels, as it is already down 3%.
Of course, leave some room, as with all of these, because the market will break down for certain as we get closer to the deadline or go over it. But dividends will give these stocks a real floor.
Dominion, ConEd, Southern, Pfizer, Campbell's Soup, Altria, Verizon and Ventas: companies that have both terrific records on boosting payouts and terrific recession-proof growth. It's just what you might need as we approach -- and, yes, go over -- the deadline and the government scrambles to raise cash in an attempt to avoid defaulting on bonds, but will most likely have to cut out so much spending that the economy slips rather rapidly into a recession.At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, had no positions in the securities mentioned.