The volatile, sideways market continues to plague investors. One day it looks like the bulls are in full stampede mode, and the next it seems as though you’re staring down the gullet of a very ornery bear.
While the tremendous volatility we’ve had to cope with over the past several months has been truly trying, what we have to remember is that, over the past year, stocks have been essentially flat. In fact, during the past 52 weeks, the S&P 500 Index is up about half a percent!
As traders, there are many rules you can follow to help you survive a sideways market. One additional rule to follow is to buy stocks that you think will prevail in both good times and bad. In other words, stocks that will hold up for the long haul, which means several years down the road.
Finding these types of stocks is no easy task. It requires a lot of speculation, and there are always a plethora of variables that can influence a stock, a sector and the economy at large. However, the past is often prologue, meaning we can start our search with companies that have proven track records of delivering big profits through various sideways market conditions.
Talk about an iconic company that’s been around for decades. AT&T (NYSE:T) is one of those stalwart entities with a storied corporate history that continues providing telecom services to each new generation of customers around the world. The latest high-profit area for AT&T is cellular phone service, but no one knows where the possible revenue streams will come from next. One thing for sure is that wherever there’s money to be made in telecom services, AT&T has the fiscal might and management acumen to adapt to and overcome virtually any challenge the future may pose.
No brand is more ubiquitous around the world than Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). The beverage giant can be found in even the far reaches of the third world, and as third-world nations become second-world nations, and as second-world nations grow their way into first-world status, we are liable to see the already-mammoth Coca-Cola brand become exponentially bigger. KO shares have been huge winners over the past decade. However, the fizz is by no means over. That means investors could continue tasting big returns over the next several years and beyond.
Oil is the lifeblood of the gargantuan global behemoth, and providing that oil to a thirsty world is Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). This is one of the most profitable companies in history, and that’s because Exxon has managed to keep the cost of finding, extracting and refining oil into usable petroleum products well below the price at which it can sell those products. Global demand from burgeoning emerging markets will be the key to Exxon Mobil’s growth over the next several years. As more and more cars come into existence, look for more and more profits for Exxon Mobil.
Once known for the typewriter, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) has transformed itself into one of the most sophisticated information technology companies in the world. Big Blue’s memory technologies, such as the latest phase-change memory (PCM) systems, are revolutionizing the data storage market. As the world generates more and more data at a breakneck pace, a company like IBM is essential to making sure that data is processed and stored. The migration to “the cloud” over the next decade will be one key to IBM’s success.
Johnson & Johnson
More of us are approaching our golden years, and this massive demographic shift by the baby boomers means more demand for health care products like those made by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). The company’s diverse product lines — everything from oral care to pain relievers to prescription arthritis medications — means that whatever ails the world, Johnson & Johnson is likely to provide a remedy. We suspect that there will be more health care products consumed by the growing global population over the next decade, and that means JNJ shares could be just what the doctor ordered for maintaining a healthy investment portfolio.
Big Mac, fries and a chocolate shake — is there anything more iconic than that combination in the world of fast food? This palatably profitable combo is the province of restaurant giant McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), a company that’s made a mission out of providing fast food to more countries than any other restaurant chain in history. McDonald’s global growth has really helped fuel the company’s profits for years, and as citizens across the globe continue to get a taste of McDonald’s, investors likely will see supersized gains in MCD shares.
This article first appeared on Traders Reserve. For more information, visit tradersreserve.com.