5 Sin Stocks to Play Defense

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- We've all heard that the best defense is a good offense. That Sun Tzu-esque strategy may be sage wisdom for some fields, but certainly not for investing.

As an investor, the best defense is a good defense. And the best offense is a good defense too.

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That's not one of those platitudes that flows all-to-freely in the investing world. It's backed up by stock market research. According to data collected by Cambria Investment Management CIO Mebane Faber, missing the best and worst days of the year with a defensive market posture actually outperforms a buy-and-hold approach.

So today, we're going defensive with five "sin stocks."

Don't let the name fool you; sin stock companies aren't in the business of burning down old folks' homes. Instead, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and weapons firms are all classical examples of sin stocks. So, what makes sin stocks so attractive when anxiety ratchets higher?

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For starters, sin stocks tend to be businesses that provide a stress outlet for consumers. As a result, recession resistant revenues and sticky customer bases are the norm. The devil's in the details with sin stocks; because these firms generally sport wide economic moats and deeper margins than traditional consumer plays, sin stocks benefit from an extra qualitative boost that you can't find in any other group right now. That's not to say that sin stocks are recession-proof -- they're not. But they are certainly recession-resistant, which is more than an offense-centered investment strategy can offer.

Here's a look at five sin stocks that could outperform in this market.

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