Lastly, for the speculative investor out there, take a look at Steve Madden ( SHOO). This company has been battered lately and has likely fallen as low as it will go. The big upside potential here is that this company is a likely buyout target.

Even if the debt markets make a buyout less likely, look for a stock buyback announcement from SHOO sometime soon. I like the big upside if someone moves in, especially with little risk of the stock falling much farther than it already has. Shares closed Friday at $16.69. For those true risk-takers out there, buy some longer-term, out-of-the-money call options to cash in on a nice buyout offer.

All three of these companies have good track records and reason to have faith in them even in tough markets. My advice in a market like this is to pick your spots. Find companies with growth opportunities whether recession strikes or not. I'll be throwing out a few of my best ideas here weekly on TheStreet.com, and sharing insight on how I'm managing my broader portfolio, so make sure to tune back in for some investing advice.
At the time of publication, Hillenmeyer was long GEO and NYX, although positions may change at any time.

If you liked this article you might like

Hillenmeyer's Retirement Playbook: Work With What You've Got

Hillenmeyer's Retirement Playbook: Work With What You've Got

Chicago Bear Hillenmeyer's Three Disciplined Buys

Chicago Bear Hillenmeyer's Three Disciplined Buys