When 2020 comes to a close, there's little question it'll go into the record books as one of the most volatile years on record. The unprecedented uncertainty caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic initially lopped more than a third off of the broad-based S&P 500 in a matter of 33 calendar days. This was followed by an almost unstoppable five-month rally that saw the S&P 500 recoup all of its losses and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite hit over three dozen all-time closing highs.
However, the past week has been a good reminder that volatility in the stock market hasn't quite been put to bed. It took just three trading sessions for the Nasdaq Composite to enter official correction territory (i.e., a decline of at least 10%), and the recent uptick in volatility has investors wondering whether we could be on the brink of stock market crash 2.0.
Should this prove to be the case, you should cheer. That's because each and every correction or crash in history has proven to be an excellent buying opportunity. Eventually, every notable move lower in the stock market is erased by a bull market rally.
Best of all, you don't need to be rich to participate in the wealth-building. If you have, say, $200 at your disposal that won't be needed to pay bills or cover emergencies, then you have more than enough to invest in the best stocks during a stock market crash.
Here are the top-tier stocks you'll want to consider investing in if the market plunges.
Innovative Industrial Properties
Should the winds firmly shift in the stock market, one of the smartest stocks for investors to buy is cannabis-focused real estate investment trust Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 1.81%), which is also known as IIP.
Chances are that you wouldn't think of marijuana stocks as a safe or smart investment opportunity while the stock market is crashing. However, cannabis products tend to act like consumer staples during periods of recession -- there's little, if any, drop off in demand. IIP takes this protection one step further, as the company's business model is built around acquiring and leasing cultivation and processing assets for extended periods of time. As of Sept. 1, it owned 62 properties in 16 states, with a weighted-average lease length on these assets of 16 years. IIP should have a complete payback on its invested capital in far less than 16 years.
Furthermore, Innovative Industrial Properties is a key player in sale-leaseback agreements. Since marijuana is illegal at the federal level, many pot businesses struggle with access to traditional forms of financing. IIP makes this easy by purchasing assets in cash from multistate operators (MSO) and then immediately leasing them back to the seller. The MSO nets much-needed cash, while IIP locks up a longtime tenant.
IIP offers a yield nearing 4%, so you'd struggle to find a more compelling cannabis buy during a stock market crash.
Another top stock that can help investors build wealth and should be bought aggressively during a stock market crash is cloud-native cybersecurity-solutions provider CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD 3.22%).
The beauty of cybersecurity is that it's a basic-need service. Hackers don't take a day off just because the U.S. economy hits the skids, which means security protections for cloud networks and in-office networks are growing more important than ever. This is why CrowdStrike is able to generate 93% of its revenue from high-margin, transparent subscriptions.
The best aspect of CrowdStrike is that its Falcon security platform is scalable and not simply a one-size-fits-all solution. That's important because CrowdStrike's juiciest margins come from existing clients that are scaling their operations and need add-on security solutions. Between the first quarter of fiscal 2018 and the second quarter of fiscal 2021 (a 13-quarter stretch), the number of subscription customers with four or more cloud module subscriptions has catapulted from 9% to 57%.
Pretty much everything you could want is going right. Gross margins are heading higher, existing clients are spending more, and the company's total subscription customer count has skyrocketed from 450 by the end of fiscal 2017 to 7,230 at the end of fiscal Q2 2021. CrowdStrike is a high-growth security play you'll want to own if the stock market plunges.
Keeping with the theme of high-growth stocks, investors would also be wise to take their $200 and invest it into companion pet insurance specialist Trupanion (TRUP 7.44%).
If you want to talk about paw-tential, look no further than the U.S. companion pet industry. Data from the American Pet Products Association, prior to reconfiguring its expenditure formula this year, showed no year-over-year declines in spending dating back 25 years. This year alone, Americans are likely to spend $99 billion on their "family members," with over $30 billion going to veterinary care and product sales. Pet healthcare is big business, and Trupanion aims to make that more affordable for the nearly 85 million U.S. households that have a pet.
The thing is, only between 1% and 2% of all pet owners throughout North America have health insurance on their companion pet. This suggests an exceptionally long runway for Trupanion to grow by a double-digit rate while securing new clients for the long run.
As you might imagine, companion pet health insurance is projected to be a competitive space. However, with two decades of providing health insurance for companion pets under its belt and ingrained partnerships with vet offices throughout North America, Trupanion has the tools to more than double its revenue between 2020 and 2024.
Wheaton Precious Metals
Finally, a stock market crash is the perfect time to consider buying into a traditional hedge, such as gold and silver streaming company Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM -2.50%).
Over the next couple of years, precious metals should have a field day. The Federal Reserve has been clear that it doesn't intend to raise its federal funds rate for years, suggesting that U.S. Treasury bonds will remain at nominally low yields. When coupled with rising debt levels and a ballooning money supply via quantitative easing measures, the stage is set for the U.S. dollar to be pressured and for gold to soar.
While all mining stocks benefit from higher gold and silver prices, streaming companies like Wheaton Precious Metals sees the most immediate uptick in operating cash flow. That's because Wheaton's sole purpose is to offer capital to other mining companies in exchange for a percentage of output at a below-market cost. Wheaton can then sell what it receives under its streaming agreements at market rates, thereby booking the difference as profit.
Even with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic disrupting the company's receipt of precious metals in the second quarter, Wheaton Precious Metals still recorded record revenue in the first half of the year. The company's average cash cost per gold equivalent ounce (GEO) was a mere $418 in Q2 2020. Based on the current price for the lustrous yellow metal, Wheaton looks to be on track for a cash operating margin of more than $1,400 per GEO moving forward.