If the latest polls are to be believed, former Vice President Joe Biden will likely become the next President of the United States, no doubt to the delight of Democrats who are still reeling from the shock victory of current President Donald Trump in 2016. Of course, any transition in power in this country will have significant implications for companies to invest in. But these names are ones that you should consider before turning the page on the awful 2020.
Primarily, that’s because we just don’t know what’s going to happen over the next few weeks. Yes, the election will take place on Nov. 3, barring some unprecedented calamity. But this year has been contentious like no other. While trust in government has cratered over the past several decades, Americans have another entity with which they are concerned: each other.
According to a report from the Washington Post, this political race is unlike any other because it’s more than just ideological disagreements. Rather, each side genuinely views the other as deeply evil. Therefore, the cliché that this election is the most important in our lives rings true for many voters. After all, fringe conspiracy theories, such as elitist Democrats drinking children’s blood, have now come to the mainstream.
Basically, this is a year where anything goes. In this context, deciding which companies to invest in is a difficult proposition. However, market participants should focus not so much about election victories but rather, end results. For instance, national polls have demonstrated that Biden has had a commanding lead since July. However, Trump has wild support, even in extremely liberal Los Angeles.
Thus, neither side has an incentive to be cocky because both have a valid shot at winning. What is almost certain, though, is that due to the extreme binary sentiment, millions of Americans will not accept the election results. Therefore, expect some fireworks, all while we continue to work through the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With such variables, I like my chances with these companies to invest in before 2021.
- Kroger (NYSE:KR)
- Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
- Anheuser Busch (NYSE:BUD)
- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)
- Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX)
- NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)
- H&R Block (NYSE:HRB)
- Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR)
- Vista Outdoor (NYSE:VSTO)
Finally, because the election will likely be contentious (to say the least), the American economy will likely suffer. Therefore, it’s wise to consider companies to invest in that are recession resistant. And you’ll probably want to get in earlier, before everybody else gets the same idea.
Companies to Invest In Before 2021: Kroger (KR)
Recently, shares of Kroger hit a technical support line at $32 that has held up well this year. I believe that’s significant for KR stock because a familiar catalyst — panic shopping — may be on the way. According to some grocers, people are already stocking up ahead of a dark winter.
While that might place Kroger on the list of cynical companies to invest in, you might as well take what you can get. For full disclosure, I bought some toilet paper, just in case. After suffering through the uncertainties of the late-February doldrums, I’m not going through another crisis round without some preparation. I’m sure many others feel exactly the same way.
Besides KR stock, you may want to look into Albertsons Companies (NYSE:ACI), which has been flying in recent sessions. As well, you could consider Costco (NASDAQ:COST) due to its exposure to an affluent consumer base.
Procter & Gamble (PG)
If your mission was to find the most boring companies to invest in, Procter & Gamble would surely be one of your top picks. Honestly, PG stock is just one of those names that you buy to shore up your portfolio’s defenses against volatility. But that’s exactly what’s in style right now as we head toward a season of uncertainty.
Again, for full disclosure, that TP that I bought? I went with Charmin, which is one of many brands under the Procter & Gamble corporate umbrella. I find it to be of great value because you don’t have to keep folding several sheets on top of each other like you do the crappy no-name TP brands.
As well, PG stock is levered to other useful household items. One of them is ZzzQuil, which is an over-the-counter sleep aid. As the Washington Post noted, many Americans have suffered from insomnia due to the various stresses associated with the coronavirus. Thus, sleep aids could be in big demand, making the case for Procter & Gamble as one of the companies to invest in.
Anheuser Busch (BUD)
When the coronavirus first hit our shores, one of the top priorities for Americans (besides TP) was alcohol. Let’s face it — at the time, it seemed liked the world was about to end. Naturally, many folks were not going to face the zombie apocalypse sober.
I’ve seen those zombie movies and yeah, I can appreciate the sentiment. Not surprisingly, companies like Anheuser Busch recovered well from the March doldrums as grocery store sales of alcohol skyrocketed. But does that make BUD stock a buy?
Anheuser Busch is one of those complicated companies to invest in because the alcohol sales represented a double-edged sword. On one hand, grocery sales were encouraging. But on the other hand, the shuttering of restaurants hurt the industry, particularly the craft brewing segment.
However, I’m cynically confident that BUD stock has a shot to move higher on this second (or is that third?) wave. With multiple cheap brands under Anheuser’s belt, it could be the alcoholic beverage maker of choice due to the economy.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we saw nearly 84,000 new Covid-19 infections on Oct. 24. During the summer surge, cases peaked at just under 75,000. Additionally, the seven-day moving average at time of writing is just over 70,000 new cases. If that’s not confirmation that we’re about to see another surge of infections, I don’t know what is.
No matter who wins the presidential election, Abbott Laboratories will find itself as one of the most relevant companies to invest in. But because the coronavirus could ebb and flow, it might be better to get in on ABT stock before year’s end. As well, with the possibility that a vaccine could arrive at that time, you want to make sure to maximize your profitability.
But vaccine or not, testing will be crucial to help society return to some semblance of normal. Of course, that’s Abbott’s specialty, which should help lift ABT stock. And this is just one of those politically insular ideas, so it’s worthwhile to give it a look over.
While the movie Contagion turned out to be eerily accurate, there was one thing that it got wrong. As you may recall, the film portrayed people desperately wanting to get a vaccine. But because of supply and logistics constraints, the government had to implement a lottery system.
In reality, many Americans openly rejected the idea of a Covid-19 vaccine. So much so that there have been accusations that Joe Biden wants to mandate it. To fact check USA Today’s fact checking, Biden appears to at least be open to the idea of mandatory vaccines.
Listen, if the vaccine police breach my door and blast their way in with flash grenades, my only request will be Novavax, Novavax!
Here’s the deal — NVAX stock isn’t a standout candidate among Covid-19 plays. That’s because the vaccine race is an incredibly complicated one. But many other vaccines/therapeutic companies have suffered hiccups in their advanced-stage clinical trials. To my knowledge, Novavax has kept its nose clean.
Further, I appreciate that the subunit vaccine type that underlines NVAX stock appears to be the safest option. Though speculative, Novavax is one of the companies to invest in if you can handle the risk. It just might win the Covid wars.
NextEra Energy (NEE)
During the last presidential debate, when Biden claimed that Trump’s accusation that he was against fracking was false, Fox News had a field day. That’s because Biden was caught red-handed in a lie. It was so bad that CNN, lest it be legitimately called fake news, had to side with the real facts.
On paper, that’s bad news for organizations like Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) but great news for green, renewable energy specialists like NextEra Energy. Since the March doldrums, NEE stock has enjoyed robust upside. With the real possibility of Biden winning the election, enthusiasm for NextEra continues to be strong.
However, even under a Trump administration, NEE stock should still perform well. That’s because the relevant demographics — millennials and Generation Z — are more socially and environmentally aware than preceding generations. That’s something that no political movement can sway.
Further, with wildfires making the argument that climate change is real, NextEra easily qualifies as one of the companies to invest in before 2021.
H&R Block (HRB)
Among the criticisms facing team Biden is the lingering concern that he’ll raise taxes for everyone. As you know, Democrats love to tax people and make life miserable. Though Biden has consistently stated that no one making less than $400,000 a year will see their taxes raised, experts from TaxFoundation.org have a thing or two to say about that.
Now, I don’t want to get into the granularity of tax policies. And neither do most sane people for that matter. But if we do have a transition in power, we could see new tax implications that could make every April more complicated. That’s why I like H&R Block. Not to my surprise at least, HRB stock has been looking quite chipper since the second half of last month.
Even if we don’t have a transition in power, individual state laws can complicate the tax profile of gig economy workers. In recent years, we’ve seen states like California impose legislation that has crippled independent contractors. Navigating these new initiatives is what should breathe new life into HRB stock.
Sturm Ruger (RGR)
Although gun ownership is often associated with Republicans, firearms have become a bipartisan issue. With people getting out of control and the media and other elements inflaming already scorching tensions, it’s possible that no matter who wins the election, many will take to the streets in protest.
That leaves innocent bystanders in the crossfire. After all, law enforcement resources have been stretched. Now, police officers can’t respond to every distress calls. You’re on your own. And that means safe spaces are not safe at all.
It’s like I said: this is mutually assured destruction on an individual scale.
Therefore, I really like the idea of Sturm Ruger and RGR stock. You don’t really find out who people are until they’re faced with a crisis. In that respect, most Americans are arguably conservative. Even hardened Democrats don’t believe their own dogma about diversity and harmony and all that jazz. If they did, Sturm Ruger wouldn’t decisively be one of the best companies to invest in.
Moreover, the possibility of unrestrained chaos until the inauguration could spark upheaval all over the country. If you’re thinking about RGR stock, the sooner might be better.
Vista Outdoor (VSTO)
Not to belabor my cynicism, but I really have a dim view about the stability of the U.S. over the next few weeks. Over the years, we have completely lost the art of respectfully debating each other. Today, debating is all about “destroying” the other person. Even our description for what was once a rather mundane activity has turned violent.
In this context, we shouldn’t be surprised that we have more guns in the U.S. than people. But it’s not just enough to have firearms. In case of the worst-case scenario, you’ve got to be willing to use them. Of course, guns aren’t effective unless they’re loaded with ammunition. And that’s where Vista Outdoor comes into the picture.
You might be aware that Vista sold its firearms business, which turned out to be poor timing. Fortunately, the company also bought Remington’s ammunition and accessories business, which is just perfect. Because of rampant fears of unrest, people have been stockpiling ammo, skyrocketing prices. Yet even with the elevated costs, folks keep buying, which bodes well for VSTO stock.
Finally, it just doesn’t matter whether Biden or Trump wins this thing. Therefore, look for VSTO stock to continue marching upward.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.