Worries about a potential market crash are running high after a run on several regional banks has led to contagion fears. While market crashes are rare, they can happen whenever enough investors panic and start selling stocks. With that in mind, today we’ll look at the best stocks to buy before the market crashes.
It’s important to remember that a market crash is not the same as a correction or a bear market. However, in addition to the turmoil in the banking sector, rising interest rates, an inverted yield curve and other key metrics don’t bode well for our chances of escaping a recession. Therefore, whether we see an abrupt fall in stock prices or a more prolonged downturn, it’s good to preemptively consider what stocks might offer a degree of safety in a tumultuous market.
Here are the best stocks to buy before the market crashes or enters another leg down.
One company that’s survived a market crash or two over the years is Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). Coca-Cola has been around for more than 135 years and is considered one of the world’s most valuable brands.
The blue-chip stock is a great buy-and-hold investment. Just ask Warren Buffett. He first purchased KO stock back in 1998 and currently owns 400 million shares worth $24.8 billion. It’s Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRK-B) fifth-largest equity holding.
Over the past 20 years, shares are up more than 200%. While this is below the S&P 500’s roughly 340% return during the same period, KO held up much better than the broader market during the past year. Shares are down just over 1%, while the S&P 500 is off nearly 11%.
In addition to providing steady capital gains for long-term investors, Coca-Cola is a dividend play. Shares currently yield close to 3%, and the company has earned dividend king status, raising its payout for 61 consecutive years.
Coca-Cola has continued to grow by expanding its beverage business and branching out into high-margin snack products. The company’s financial picture looks solid despite a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.51, which implies debt plays a big role in the company’s ability to produce growth. While this has contributed to strong return on equity (ROE) numbers in the past, given where interest rates are right now, this is one risk factor to consider.
Overall, I think investors looking for the best stocks to buy before the market crashes can’t go wrong with KO.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
Following the implosion of several regional banks, depositors have fled to the country’s largest and safest banks. According to Federal Reserve data, the 25 biggest banks saw $120 billion in deposits in the days immediately following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is one of the banks benefitting from the capital flight. It also helped lead the charge in rescuing First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) to restore confidence in the regional banking sector.
The more-than-200-year-old financial institution is the definition of “too big to fail.” Its size is a clear asset that should help it gain market share if we see more turmoil in the banking sector. On the flip side, it is also well-positioned to take advantage of the next growth-fueled bull market rally.
JPMorgan is among the most diversified of its large-cap peers, and it is my top pick in the financial sector overall.
Rounding out this list of the best stocks to buy before the market crashes is a name that does well in pretty much every environment: McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD).
Often touted as a recession-proof stock, MCD even did well during the Great Recession. That’s because McDonald’s core product, low-cost fast food, tends to see an uptick in demand during times of economic stress as people look to stretch their dollars further while still treating themselves.
Given the inflationary pressures consumers currently face, it’s not surprising that McDonald’s stock has significantly outperformed the broader market. Over the past year, MCD is up 12% compared to an 11% decline in the S&P 500.
The company’s recent financial performance has been robust. Over the past three years, McDonald’s has grown its revenue by an average of 3.8% per year, outperforming 73% of its peers. Additionally, its net margin of 26.7% is better than nearly 97% of its competitors.
Finally, the stock yields 2.2%, further adding to its appeal as a long-term defensive investment.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald has a position in KO. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.