Are you getting a little nervous with the spike in market volatility? Do the talking heads on TV chattering about the inverted yield curve and a possibility of a recession cause you to worry? If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, you're probably an investor with a relatively low tolerance for risk.
The good news is that there are stocks that you can buy that don't have nearly as much risk as many stocks on the market. I think that three fantastic stocks for low-risk investors are Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP), and Dollar General (NYSE:DG). Here's what you'll like about these three stocks.
1. Abbott Laboratories
Solid. That's perhaps the best one-word description of Abbott Labs. The company has been in business since 1888. It's paid a quarterly dividend for 95 consecutive years. Abbott has been on Fortune magazine's Most Admired Companies list for 35 years in a row and ranks No. 6 among the biggest healthcare stocks on the market.
Abbott Labs claims the leading market share in adult nutrition, blood and plasma screening, chronic pain devices, glucose monitoring, point-of-care testing, and more areas. Its businesses span the world, with Abbott operating in over 160 countries.
Most of the types of products that Abbott sells are needed regardless of what happens with the economy. For example, patients with mitral valve problems will still need the company's MitraClip even during a recession. Patients with diabetes will still want to monitor their glucose levels with Abbott's FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system in the midst of a major world crisis.
Probably the most important thing for low-risk investors to know about Abbott is that the company still exemplifies the characteristics that enabled it to survive and thrive for so long. It's still aligned with shareholder interests, and it continues to focus heavily on innovation. As a result, I suspect that Abbott will remain solid for a long time to come.
2. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
I think that Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is another must-have stock for low-risk investors. Although the company doesn't have the impeccable credentials that Abbott does, it could also be described as solid.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, as its name implies, focuses on infrastructure assets. These assets include cell towers, electricity transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, ports, railroads, and toll roads. We're talking about the kinds of properties that provide steady revenue month in and month out.
The company has what I think is a good business strategy of continued capital recycling. This means that Brookfield Infrastructure is pretty much always wheeling and dealing, selling off those that aren't performing as well to invest in other assets. As part of this strategy, the company has expanded into the high-growth data center market.
Low-risk investors should especially love Brookfield Infrastructure's dividend. The company's dividend yield currently stands at 4.5%. Brookfield Infrastructure has increased its payout by a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last decade and expects to continue boosting its dividend by at least 5% annually in the future.
3. Dollar General
There's a meme circulating on social media that states: "If you see a large dirt mound in a field don't disturb it. Wait for the Dollar General to hatch." The humor of this meme stems from the fact that Dollar General is aggressively expanding and should have 975 new stores by the end of this year.
The company is opening more new locations than any other retailer. At the same time, Dollar General continues to remodel existing stores. CEO Todd Vasos says that the company's remodeling efforts usually boost same-store sales by at least 4% and as much as 15%.
Dollar General focuses on offering basic items at low costs that consumers are likely to buy regardless of economic conditions. The company could even attract more customers during a recession as more people cut back on spending and shift their purchases to discount stores.
But Dollar General isn't just a fallback option for investors in case the economy sours. The company's growth initiatives and cost-cutting efforts should enable it to deliver strong earnings growth regardless of what happens.