10 Recession Proof Stocks to Buy for 2021

Here are 10 recession proof stocks & investments to strengthen your portfolio during tough times.

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1. Walmart (WMT) – Dividend Yield: 1.75%

When times are tough, consumers will be price conscious and spend more money at large discount stores like Walmart. During the 2008 great recession, Walmart grew its revenue by 7% and remained steady.

Walmart is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristrocrats index and has raised their dividend for 46 consecutive years.

WMT stock pays a 1.75% dividend yield, providing decent income along with consistent 10% CAGR over the last 10 years.

It’s one of the safest large cap stocks you can buy and should do fine during a US recession. WMT stock is currently up 3% YTD while many other stocks are still down 20%+.

2. Apple (AAPL) – Dividend Yield: 1.12%

Busy Apple Store
Source: Bloomberg.com

Known as the leading tech company in the world, Apple is one of the best recession stocks to own contrary to popular belief. During 2008, the company increased revenue 65% YOY compared to 2007 and continued to chug along while other tech companies suffered falling sales.

Apple is also a big innovator too. The company has a wonderful upcoming product line in the 2nd half of 2020 and posted flat revenue in the beginning of 2020. Services and streaming revenue grow while iPhone sales remained flat. However, the iPhone SE is Apple’s first discount smartphone and should help bolster the company’s service revenue.

Apple pays a 1.12% dividend yield and has grown the dividend over the last 7 years. While most companies halted share buybacks and dividend increases, Apple announced another $50 billion share buyback program and increased the dividend.

3. Coca Cola (KO) – Dividend Yield: 3.6%

Girl Drinking Coca Cola Drink
Source: Coca Cola Company

No matter what’s happening to the economy, people will consume beverages like water, juice, and soda. Coca Cola is one of the most stable companies in a recessionary period even though they are temporarily affected by the COVID-19 global lockdown.

Consumers began stockpiling drinks during the global pandemic which added a quick boost to Q1 sales. Coca posted a strong Q1 2020 but withdrew 2020 guidance because social distancing negatively affects its overall sales. Once the governments open up everything, I expect Coca Coca sales to surge as more people consume drinks at movie theaters, restaurants, and sporting events.

Coca Coca is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristrocrats index and has increased it for 56 straight years. Currently at a 3.6% yield, KO stock is a safe, recession proof stock that will pay dividends as America moves past the “Great Lockdown”.

4. Costco (COST) – Dividend Yield: 1%

Costco shoppers
Source: Yahoo.com

Costco is similar to Walmart as consumers will drift towards bigger discount chains to search for bargains when purchasing food & clothing. During the 2008 Great Recession, revenue increased 8% in 2008 and basically remained flat in 2009. Of course, Costco has grown since then and expanded to international markets like China.

No matter what’s going on in the economy, people will buy essential items at their local Costco and cut back on unneccesary discretionary purchases like luxury items (watches, shoes, etc).

Costco increased their quarterly dividend by 8% and has raised it for 16 straight years. At a 1% yield, you own a strong recession proof growth stock with decent dividend income.

5. Dollar General (DG) – Dividend Yield: 0.83%

Source: WSJ.com

Dollar General is known as the “Walmart of Middle America” and holds the title as America’s fastest growing retailer.

The company focuses on smaller towns that bigger chains like Walmart and Costco ignore. It’s also one of the few stocks that gained in price during the COVID-19 crisis. DG stock is up 12% YTD and should have another strong year to maintain their 15+ year record of increased revenue.

The company pays a dividend and has increased it for 4 straight years.

6. Ross Stores (ROST) – Dividend Yield: 1.25%

Source: Nasdaq.com

Let’s continue the trend of discount retailers with Ross Stores, one of America’s leading off-brand discount retailers. The bad news is Ross Stores will be devastated by the COVID-19 closures since almost all of their sales occur in their stores. However, people will flock to cheaper off-brand retailers to save money and stretch their dollar further.

Ross Stores increased their revenue during the 2008 Great Recession and should bounce back once stores open back up. The company pays a 1.25% dividend yield and has increased their dividend for 13 straight years.

7. AT&T (T) – Dividend Yield: 6.87%

Source: Nasdaq.com

AT&T is probably the most boring stock to own because most people hold it for the dividend. The company gew revenue in 2008 during the Great Recession and still pays a solid 6.83% dividend yield.

Consumers will keep their cell phones & internet during a recession since communication is one of the last things people will cut. AT&T is still a bargain even though the acqusition of DirectTV was a big mistake.

T stock is a slow and steady performer with an awesome dividend. AT&T is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristrocrats index and has increased their dividend for 35 straight years.

8. Netflix (NFLX) – Dividend Yield: N/A

Source: MakeUseOf.com

While many businesses lost revenue & customers, Netflix was the clear winner of the COVID-19 global “stay-at-home” orders. The company gained over 15 million subscribers in Q1 2020 as more consumers stayed home and binged watch on TV shows & movies.

Netflix posted increased revenue for 15 straight years and I don’t see a US recession slowly down their growth. With millions of Americans out of work, many will watch Netflix to pass the time.

Netflix stock doesn’t pay a dividend but it’s one of the best stocks to own with a crazy high 44% CAGR over the last 15 years.

9. Match Group (MTCH) – Dividend Yield: N/A

Source: TheSiliconReview.com

Will people stop looking for love during a recession? Match Group owns Tinder, the world’s most popular dating app, as well as other big dating apps like Plenty of Fish, Match.com, etc.

After successfully completing a spinoff from IAC, Match Group is the best way to invest in the accelerated online dating trend.

Tinder alone brought in over $2 billion in revenue and people won’t stop looking to hook up even in a struggling economy.

While Match Group doesn’t pay a dividend, you are getting a stable company with 58% CAGR over the last 3 years.

10. Shopify (SHOP) – Dividend Yield: N/A

Source: Oberlo.com

The Canadian online e-commerce company is one of the fastest growing stocks on the NYSE and should survive the upcoming recession with ease. The company relies on a software subscription business model and even more people may open their own online store as unemployment rises.

Shopify just passed a key milestone of 1 million paying customers and looks like it’s headed to $1,000 in the near future.

THe company doesn’t pay a dividend but a 99% CAGR over the last 3 years will keep investors very happy.

Disclosure: I own shares of Walmart, Apple, Coca Cola, Netflix, Match Group and AT&T

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Tarik Pierce

Tarik Pierce is the founder of InvestorTrip.com and regularly contributes articles to this website. He studied Economics at Dartmouth College and invests in a mix of dividend stocks, high CAGR tech stocks & cryptocurrencies.

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