News flash. Interest rates are soaring… and there seems to be no end in sight to the relentless rise in bond yields. But with the 10-year Treasury now hovering around 4.73%, its highest level since mid-2007, there are some opportunities for investors in stocks to profit. Here’s how.
“We feel investors are going to warm up to good and boring ‘old economy’ stocks in the not so distant future,” said John Norris, chief investment officer with Oakworth Capital Bank.
So, what are “old economy” stocks?
Think energy, manufacturing, banks, healthcare and consumer staples firms. These are companies that are tied to more enduring sectors as opposed to dynamic industries in tech like artificial intelligence and electric cars.
Profit From Stocks to Buy in the Old Economy
Companies in these “old economy” businesses also tend to have more attractive, i.e., lower, valuations than growth stocks. And many offer dependable dividends to help offset any volatility in the broader market when investors balk at paying higher prices for growth. So, these value stocks are less sensitive to big changes in interest rates.
Norris said banks and real estate investment trusts, which tend to pay dividends that sport attractive yields, are on his radar as yields continue to climb.
“Washington will continue to flood the markets with supply, and inflation remains higher than anyone would like,” he said, adding that yields on the 10-year could keep climbing as high as around 5.5%.
Norris is a fan of infrastructure and materials stocks too.
“We have purchased both MP Materials (NYSE:MP) and Livent (NYSE:LTHM) for some of our more aggressive clients,” Norris said, noting that they are leaders in rare earth elements and lithium respectively. “Simply put, we can’t envision the global economy consuming less of these things moving forward.” Norris also scooped up a sizable position in Encore Wire (NASDAQ:WIRE).
“This is about as old economy as it gets, copper and aluminum wire,” Norris said. He added that potential global supply shortages for these industrial metals will boost prices, especially if demand for wiring doesn’t cool off anytime soon.
Focus on Stability as Rates Rise
Insurers are another old economy sector that can benefit from higher rates. Bill Stone, chief investment officer with The Glenview Trust Company, points out that insurance companies often take the float, the extra money insurers hold onto between the time a customer pays a premium and when a claim must be paid out. They then park that money in safer investments like bonds and cash.
Stone’s firm is an investor in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A, NYSE:BRK-B), which owns Geico and several other insurers, as well as property and casualty insurance leader Chubb (NYSE:CB).
Food and beverage stocks could also hold up well even as rates climb. After all, people still will eat and drink…even though they may not be merry.
Stone said the Bud Light backlash may have reached a peak and that alcohol sales are likely to remain steady even as rates continue to climb.
And at the end of the day, stability is the name of the game in a rising rate environment. Specialty industrial metals, insurance, beer, and ketchup may not be as exciting or dynamic as the FAANGs and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). But that’s precisely the point.
If interest rates keep going up, investors will need more of those predictable, income-producing safe-haven stocks in their portfolio.
As of this writing, Paul R. La Monica did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.