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Has Safety Investing Met Its Maker?

Are death and taxes even certain in this market?
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That's it! I'm getting short H&R Block (HRB) - Get Free Report right now. Why? Well, check out Service Corp. (SRV) - Get Free Report, the big funeral company, cut almost in half today because of a shortfall. The culprit? "Lower-than-expected cemetery revenue."

If death is that uncertain, who is to say that taxes are etched in stone?

Actually, this Service Corp. decline is another nail in the -- hoo-hah -- coffin for safety investing. From the day I got in this business, I always heard that if you wanted a safe, solid growth play, you had to be in Service Corp, the leading death play. Sure enough, this stock, along with



, a death play from north of the border, had traditionally been two of the greatest stocks around. People will pay nothing for stocks that used to have growth that have blown it, even if it has to do with something as basic as funerals.

My friend

David Owen

, a paid-up reader of

, has been openly speculating that the drug stocks are the ultimate boomer stocks because they keep coming up with things we want that will want to make us live longer. Darn it, instead of playing


(MRK) - Get Free Report

, I should have been taking the other side of the trade: shorting Service Corp. To those short it, nice trading.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At the time of publication, his fund was long Merck, though positions may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column by sending an email to