The stock market is currently operating in rarely traveled territory. We recently entered the seventh year of what has been the third longest bull market in history. And given that we are doing so in what has continued to be a generally lackluster economic recovery with corporate earnings growth now slowing and the Federal Reserve threatening to raise rates, many investors are understandably concerned as to whether the good times for the market will soon come to an end. Of course, one could have easily made this same argument over the last several years only to be frustrated by the stock market’s persistent rise in spite of it all. This has left some investors feeling conflicted. For while they would like to continue to participate if indeed we see today’s bull market rise to become the second longest in history by this time next year, they also do not wish to get caught in the maelstrom of the next bear market that could arrive at any time. What is such an investor to do? Fortunately, the market has a select group of companies that have shown the ability to perform well during the good times while also weathering the storm during the bad times. In short, investors can realize a great deal of excitement over the long term by playing it safe.
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