UPDATE: Stock charts have been updated as well as how much each company recommended here declined in the Brexit bloodbath today.
Those smacking sounds you hear are millions of investors slapping their foreheads, as they discover this morning that Britain has voted to leave the European Union. The "Brexit" is upon us. The "leave" camp pulled off an unexpected victory in the June 23 referendum, shocking most pollsters, pundits and politicians.
Now that Britain has committed this mind-boggling act of economic self-sabotage, global investors are confused and fearful. With markets everywhere already plunging on the news, today is likely to be remembered as a "Black Friday."
Investors are lining up right now to make wild bets, like rattled gamblers in a casino. That's a sure way to lose money. In the immediate wake of Brexit, it's more imperative than ever that you stick to time-tested growth opportunities. Below, we briefly examine seven "survival stocks" to get you through this crisis.
Predictably, the pound has plunged to its lowest level against the dollar in decades, and stock markets around the world are tanking. Thursday's vote in favor of Brexit is the most dramatic evidence to date that nationalist resentment against immigration is on the rise.
Make no mistake: Brexit was mostly fueled by xenophobia. This angry wave of right-wing populism is overturning conventional politics in democratic nations everywhere, as reflected by the improbable rise in the U.S. to political prominence of reality TV star Donald Trump, who called yesterday's Brexit vote "a great thing."
Perhaps Trump's positive assessment of Brexit was driven by his proven predilection for bankruptcy. To anyone who actually understands markets, Brexit is a terrible thing. Leaving the EU will dampen the U.K.'s productivity, incomes and gross domestic product for years to come.
However, as an investor, here's what you need to keep in mind: Brexit will not trigger a global economic collapse. Repeat that to yourself: "Brexit will not trigger a global economic collapse."
Nor will Brexit usher in a bear market. It will take up to two years for Britain to extricate itself from the EU. To be sure, financial markets will experience considerable turmoil over the short term. But the magnitude of Brexit pales in comparison to the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the great financial crisis of 2008,or the protracted mess left in the wake of the subprime mortgage scandal. In each case, markets rebounded to reach new highs.
The bloviating of opinion makers, most of whom have ideological axes to grind, is about to become deafening. Tune out the emotional yabber and stick to your long-term investment plan. When the dust settles (and one day soon it will), the investment fundamentals will reassert their importance. The worst course of action is to impulsively dump growth stocks from your portfolio.
Here are seven great blue-chips to buy on the dips that are sure to come.
1. Apple (AAPL)
Apple enjoys brand loyalty, engineering know-how, best-of-breed software and operating systems and consistent profitability.
Apple isn't standing still: In the works are driver-less cars, a new iteration of the Apple Watch, wearable tech and the iPhone 7. Demand for consumer gadgets may be slowing in China, but that's a temporary bump in the road. Apple is a solid long-term proposition.
Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.
2. Chevron (CVX)
The second-largest U.S.-based oil company, Chevron benefits from far-sighted management that has used the slump in energy as a chance to buttress the company's balance sheet and wait out the storm.
This vertically integrated energy behemoth has struggled like the rest of its peers, but it's positioned to greatly benefit when energy prices inevitably resume their upward trajectory -- as they appear to be doing so far this year. Unlike a class of toxic energy sector equities that are on track to collapse in the coming months, Chevron has remained lean and efficient to take advantage of better days.
3. Discover Financial Services (DFS)
Discover is a leading global direct bank and electronic payment services company, with 20.8 million total merchant locations.
Discover's direct bank operates the company's flagship credit card business, the Discover Card, and offers an array of banking products, such as private student loans, personal loans, certificates of deposit, savings accounts and prepaid cards. Discover is benefiting from economic growth and a freer-spending consumer, tailwinds that will only grow stronger as the recovery accelerates.
4. Home Depot (HD)
Home Depot is the largest home-improvement retailer in the world, with 2,274 locations, including 1,977 in the U.S., 182 in Canada and 115 in Mexico. The majority of the company's sales stem from kitchen equipment, paint, flooring and other hardware bought by homeowners who are remodeling.
The company also provides installation services for products such as windows, roofing and siding, furnaces and central air systems. The home remodeling market continues to improve, with strong gains expected for the rest of 2016 and well into 2017. Rising home prices are a strong tailwind for this sector stalwart.
5. Honeywell International (HON)
The once-beleaguered aerospace sector faced stellar growth prospects in 2016 and beyond, even before the price of oil collapsed. But now, cheaper energy costs combined with strengthening economic growth all but assure a banner year for aviation.
Honeywell is a blue-chip industrial company that rises on growth, which should hold it in good stead as the recovery continues. But it's also diversified, providing safety against the volatility and market correction that's likely ahead. That makes Honeywell a perfect "survivor stock."
6. IBM (IBM)
Many investors perceive IBM as a washed-up technological has-been that hasn't kept pace with technological trends. In comparison to the big-name tech giants that hog the headlines, it seems that IBM is a dinosaur on the verge of extinction.
They couldn't be more wrong. The real story is that "Big Blue" has adroitly executed a strategic repositioning that holds it in good stead for years to come. For confirmation, look no further than Warren Buffett, who seems to understand the real story behind IBM. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway recently boosted its stake in IBM. The company is now Berkshire Hathaway's fourth-biggest holding.
7. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Johnson & Johnson's consumer segment makes the products that are familiar to anyone who visits their local retail pharmacy, including over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, as well as nonmedicinal items such as Listerine mouthwash and Neutrogena skin care lotion.
The company's medical devices and diagnostics division produces a range of products that are mainly used by health care professionals in the fields of orthopedics, surgery, vision care, diabetes care, infection prevention, diagnostics and more.
Johnson & Johnson is benefiting from economic recovery and also enjoys substantial pricing power, allowing it to charge more for its products without undermining demand.
See full Brexit coverage here.
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