Is the American economy in a recession right now? Some economists say yes, since there have been two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, a long-standing benchmark of a recession. Other economists say no and point to the low unemployment rate. As with many economic arguments, it can be hard to follow.
But here's one thing that isn't complicated: Most Americans think we're in a recession. According to one poll, 58% say so. So where should investors put their money right now? Here are three stocks I think will sail through the current economic turbulence.
1. Berkshire Hathaway
At 91 years of age (92 on Aug. 30), Warren Buffett has seen plenty of recessions. And through each of them, one thing has remained constant: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B 0.33%) came out the other side just fine.
Consider that if you had bought $10,000 worth of Berkshire's lower-priced Class B shares in August 2008, right before the bottom fell out of the stock market during the financial crisis, those shares would be worth more than $37,000 today.
Simply put, Berkshire's size and diversification give it built-in protection from any recession. The company owns or has stakes in many non-discretionary sectors, such as insurance, utilities, and pharmaceuticals. And it's flush with cash: over $105 billion as of its most recent quarter.
With stakes in iconic American companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Chevron, owning Berkshire is an easy way to diversify your risk and profit alongside one of the great financial minds of all time.
There are two ways to deal with a recession: Ride it out or power through it. And if owning shares of Berkshire Hathaway is the way to ride it out, owning shares of CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD 0.65%) is the way to power through it.
CrowdStrike is riding a rocket of growth fueled by the boom in cybercrime, which has resulted in heavy demand for its cybersecurity products. The company's revenue grew at 61% year over year in its most recent quarter.
CrowdStrike wages a virtual battle with hackers through its Falcon software and Threat Graph artificial intelligence (AI). This combination allows the company to scour trillions of events per week, sorting out which represent threats and which do not. Its customers are convinced: The company now has close to 18,000 of them.
For investors who want to play offense during a recession, CrowdStrike is a name to know.
Healthcare is an excellent sector to consider when thinking about where to invest during an economic downturn, since it is a nondiscretionary expense.
And UnitedHealth Group (UNH 2.32%) is one of the largest and most influential companies in healthcare. With over 26 million insured patients, the company generated a massive $306 billion in revenue over the last 12 months and more than $23 billion in operating income.
But despite its size, UnitedHealth is still growing at a steady clip. Revenue grew 12.6% in its most recent quarter, as the company beat on the top and bottom lines and raised full-year guidance.
It adds up to a stock that has risen about 7% year to date, which is nothing to sneeze at when the broader markets are all in the red for the year. What's more, it pays a 1.2% dividend yield. UnitedHealth could be a great name to consider for investors looking for a safe haven in this current tumultuous stock market.