In what is increasingly and horrifyingly becoming a frequent event, Barcelona suffered a vehicular terrorist attack on Aug. 17. In broad daylight, a yet-to-be-apprehended terrorist mowed down innocent pedestrians in the city’s Las Ramblas region. At latest count, the murderous assault claimed 14 lives, making it the worst terror incident in Spain for over a decade.
The following day on Aug. 18, a Moroccan asylum seeker in Finland “deliberately targeted women in a stabbing spree that left two dead and is being investigated as the country’s first terror attack,” according to the AFP. At the time of the incident, officials initially investigated it as a murder. But now that jihadism is confirmed, it’s time to consider self-defense stocks to buy.
Undeniably, terrorism has a direct impact on the economy and business landscape. One of the biggest examples is airline tickets to European destinations. According to Time, traveling to Europe has “never been cheaper.” Reasons listed include a stronger U.S. dollar, more competition and lower fuel costs. However, these elements have been in place for at least the last two years.
Few wish to acknowledge the straightforward answer — people are scared to visit Europe. Even fewer have the political will to take extreme measures — such as President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban — to counteract extremism.
As political correctness is becoming more important than protecting civilians, discerning individuals will devise their own security measures. Thus, the environment for self-defense stocks to buy has never been more bullish.
Self-Defense Stocks to Buy: Allegion (ALLE)
As the San Bernardino terror attack highlighted, jihadis are not limited to highly trained killers living in far-off lands. In a growing number of cases, seemingly ordinary people become radicalized through extreme and violently interpreted Islamic doctrines. In the current geopolitical landscape, a person could be your neighbor or co-worker one day, and a cold-blooded terrorist the next day.
That’s why I believe Allegion PLC (NYSE:ALLE) belongs on a short list of self-defense stocks to buy. ALLE is a world-renowned security solutions firm. For businesses that are increasingly vulnerable to terror attacks, ALLE offers a broad range of products and services. These measures include access control systems, biometrics and exit devices. Furthermore, Allegion offers a workforce management service, which theoretically can pinpoint problematic behaviors for further investigation.
Better yet, ALLE shares have been a reliable source for market profitability. Year-to-date, the security firm is up 22%. Since late November 2013, ALLE gained around 80%.
Fundamentally, the company stands on solid ground, supported by strong profitability margins and consistently positive free cash flow. I’d like to see sales growth move higher; however, in light of the present security climate, I’m bullish on ALLE.
Self-Defense Stocks to Buy: Sturm Ruger & Company (RGR)
I love America, and Americans love guns. According to The Washington Post, 357 million guns are stored somewhere inside our borders, compared to 317 million people. Ironically, it was during President Barack Obama’s administration that the number of guns in our nation exceeded the population size. For this reason alone, I think it’s wise to consider Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE:RGR) one of the best self-defense stocks to buy.
Since President Trump took office, Wall Street largely abandoned firearms-related investments. The thinking goes that without the fear of gun-control laws incentivizing purchases, gun sales will decline. To some extent, that is true. RGR, along with rival American Outdoor Brands Corp (NASDAQ:AOBC) — which owns the Smith & Wesson brand — have largely stunk up the markets this year.
But those who are calling for the demise of RGR will be sorely disappointed. According to the FBI’s firearm-purchase related background checks, 14.3 million guns were sold between January through July of this year. Outside of 2016, where many gun buyers feared a Hillary Clinton presidency, this year is set to become the second-biggest year for firearm sales.
Now that global terrorism is seemingly becoming a weekly occurrence, prospects for RGR improve dramatically. Ruger offers a wide selection of concealed-carry weapons, an ideal platform for home and self defense. Also, with Americans awakening to the threat of jihadism, RGR naturally belongs on your stocks to buy list.
Self-Defense Stocks to Buy: Olin Corporation (OLN)
If firearms manufacturers make the ranks of self-defense stocks to buy, then so should ammunition suppliers. After all, what good is a firearm if it doesn’t have something with which to shoot? Under the Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN) banner is Winchester, the iconic brand that specializes in multi-caliber ammo for civilian and military purposes.
I’m bullish on OLN primarily because their Winchester brand carries several home-defense specific types of handgun ammo. These specialized loads feature heavy-grain, hollow-point bullets designed to devastate soft targets while fragmenting against common, household structures.
While the mainstream media focuses on the much-maligned and misunderstood AR-15 rifle, American consumers by and large favor handguns. Again, according to FBI background checks, Americans bought 4.3 million handguns against 2.6 million long guns so far this year. Gun shops local to me confirmed these sales trends.
From an investment perspective, OLN is one of the more underappreciated self-defense stocks to buy. Many Wall Street analysts assume that gun-related equities will wither under President Trump. The facts state otherwise. Your friends and neighbors aren’t interested in hunting or joining a far-right wing militia unit. If that were the case, long gun sales would represent the majority of all firearm sales.
Instead, it’s handguns that are ringing up the cash registers. That tells me that a record number of Americans are concerned about personal security. Not only that, they’re opening up their wallets in droves to achieve that end. That’s about as bullish of an environment as you can get for OLIN stock.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.