Stock market crashes can rattle even the savviest of investors, but that's not how it should be. Investing is a long game and it's a given truth that stocks don't go up perpetually, so you must be prepared for corrections or crashes along the way. Even better, prepare your portfolio beforehand by adding some crash-proof stocks.
While no one can predict when the stock market will correct, it's inevitable and often sudden; so owning some stocks that could not just survive during a market crash but thrive thereafter is one of the smartest strategies you could adopt. If you have $2,000 to spare, here are two such market crash-ready stocks you'd want to buy now.
The best combination of resilience and growth
Utilities often top a list of defensive stocks for one simple reason: Electricity, gas and water are basic needs that must be fulfilled regardless of how the economy or the stock market are faring, which means you may cut back on discretionary spending during tough times, but you'll still continue to pay utilities to serve you these basic needs. That's why utility stocks can not only generate stable cash flows but also often can afford to pay you a dividend, even during a market crash.
Yet, the best kind of utility stocks aren't traditional utilities anymore but ones that are investing in the future of energy, as that's their key to survivability and growth. One such stock is NextEra Energy (NEE -0.52%).
NextEra Energy operates the largest regulated utility in the U.S., Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), and is also the world's largest producer of wind and solar energy. To put some numbers to that, FPL serves nearly 5.7 million customers and has multiple base rate hike approvals in the pipeline thanks to investments worth nearly $29 billion between 2019 and 2022.
NextEra Energy's clean energy arm, on the other hand, is growing its backlog at a torrid pace: It was worth 18.1 gigawatts (GW) as of the end of the third quarter. That's mind-boggling when you consider that in total the U.S. installed 29 GW of renewable capacity in 2020.
While renewables growth should fire up NextEra Energy shares in coming years, two reasons why the stock should be able to ride out market crashes in between are dividend growth and FPL's resilience. NextEra Energy has increased dividends every year since 2006, and at a solid compound annual rate of 9.6% over the period. With management targeting annual dividend growth of 10% through "at least" 2022 and the stock yielding 1.8%, this Dividend Aristocrat defensive utility stock is unlikely to fail you even during market crashes.
The market is underestimating this stock's potential, but you shouldn't
Healthcare stocks are often resilient during stock market crashes as medical needs require immediate attention and can't be deferred, no matter what. So whether it's drugstore chains or medical devices or healthcare-related consumer products, stocks of companies dealing in these areas can keep their heads above water even during challenging times. But if the stock market crashes even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, a leading virtual healthcare stock like Teladoc Health (TDOC 4.56%) could be a solid crash-proof contender.
Teladoc Health doesn't just provide online doctor consultations for primary care but also offers virtual chronic disease management after its acquisition of Livongo. The company is already a world leader in virtual care, and has grown exponentially since the pandemic hit.
Teladoc Health just reported its third-quarter numbers, and here's what they look like:
- Total visits on its platform up 37% year over year.
- Revenue up 81% year over year to $522 million.
Here's the best part: Teladoc Health raised its full-year revenue outlook yet again, now projecting revenue to be one notch above $2 billion. If Teladoc hits the higher end of its guidance range, it will have grown revenue by 84% this year.
Telehealth is here to stay and set to grow bigger as it catches up in other parts of the world. With Teladoc also tying up with large employers and health insurance giants like Aetna set to launch the company's services nationwide early next year, Teladoc Health is one of the best stocks to buy and own for the long term. In fact, you might want to take advantage of the recent weakness in Teladoc Health's stock price right away as you prepare for the next stock market crash.