For many investors, there are no scarier words than “stock market crash.” But the data doesn’t lie: stock market crashes are commonplace, and can arguably be considered the price of admission for taking part in one of the greatest wealth creators on the planet.
Since the beginning of 1950, the widely followed S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) has undergone 38 separate crashes or corrections where the index declined by at least 10%. That’s a double-digit percentage drop, on average, every 1.87 years. For some context, we’re more than 16 months removed from the coronavirus crash bear-market bottom on March 23, 2020, and have yet to navigate our way through anything that resembles an official correction.
However, it’s equally important to note that every single crash or correction throughout history has been a buying opportunity for long-term investors. All 38 of the S&P 500’s declines of 10% or more were eventually erased by a bull-market rally.
If the stock market were to crash 10% at some point in the foreseeable future, the following five supercharged stocks would be perfect for long-term investors to buy.
One of the most surefire growth trends of the decade looks to be cybersecurity. No matter how well or poorly the U.S. economy and stock market are performing, hackers and robots attempting to steal enterprise and consumer data don’t take a day off. That makes cybersecurity solutions a basic-need service, and sets up an industry giant like CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ:CRWD) for phenomenal growth.
CrowdStrike’s claim to fame is its cloud-native Falcon security platform. Being built in the cloud and reliant on artificial intelligence, Falcon is designed to grow more efficient at recognizing and responding to threats over time, compared to on-premises security solutions. As of June, Falcon was overseeing a whopping 6 trillion events each week.
CrowdStrike’s operating performance makes clear that its cloud-based services are resonating with businesses. The company’s customer retention rate has consistently been 98%, with the number of subscription customers climbing from just 450 in the fiscal first quarter of 2017 to 11,420 in the comparable quarter five years later.
What’s more, 64% of CrowdStrike’s customers have purchased four or more cloud-module subscriptions. These add-on sales have rapidly lifted its subscription gross margin to nearly 80%. With margins like this, expect CrowdStrike’s supercharged growth to continue.
Healthcare stocks are often a great place to put your money to work when stock market crashes rear their head. Since we don’t get to decide when we get sick or what ailment(s) we develop, the demand for drugs, devices, and medical services remains relatively constant regardless of how well or poorly the market is performing. That’s why biotech stock Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) is the perfect stock to buy.
Whereas most biotech stocks are losing money hand over fist in search of their first blockbuster, Vertex has developed four generations of treatments for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is a tough-to-treat genetic disease characterized by thick mucus production that can obstruct the lungs and pancreas. Though CF has no cure, Vertex’s treatments are improving lung function and quality of life for patients.
The newest foundational treatment, combination therapy Trikafta, was approved five months ahead of schedule by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. With a growing patient pool that could help more than 30,000 CF patients, Trikafta brought in $1.26 billion in second-quarter sales. That extrapolates to $5 billion in annual run-rate sales despite being on pharmacy shelves for less than two years.
Aside from Vertex’s well-protected CF franchise, it has a boatload of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities — $6.71 billion, to be exact. This capital will finance its internal research, and it could fuel acquisitions that would diversify Vertex’s revenue stream.
Innovative Industrial Properties
Marijuana stocks are also a surprisingly smart buy during a stock market crash of at least 10%. That’s because cannabis is treated like a basic-need consumer good and purchased pretty consistently, regardless of the health of the U.S. economy. Here, cannabis-focused real estate investment trust Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) would be the perfect stock to buy.
Innovative Industrial Properties, or IIP for short, acquires medical marijuana cultivation and processing facilities with the purpose of leasing these assets out for extended periods of time. As of early August, it owned 73 properties spanning 6.8 million square feet of rentable space in 18 states. Best of all, 100% of its assets were leased, with a weighted-average lease length of 16.7 years. I believe there’s a very good chance IIP will net a complete payback on its investments in seven years or less.
On top of making acquisitions to drive funds from operations growth, IIP also passes along annual rental increases on its tenants, as well as charges a 1.5% property management fee that’s tied to the base rental rate. Though modest, this organic growth component can add close to 4% to sales each year.
Innovative Industrial Properties is also benefiting from the U.S. federal government’s lack of cannabis reforms with its sale-leaseback program. As long as marijuana remains a Schedule I drug (i.e., wholly illegal), access to basic banking services will be dicey, at best. IIP steps in by purchasing facilities with cash and immediately leasing these properties back to the seller. This way, pot stocks get the capital they need, while IIP lands long-term tenants.
Bank of America
Don’t overlook bank stocks during a crash, either. If the market were to crash or correct at least 10%, money-center giant Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) would be a wise addition to investors’ portfolios.
The thing to understand about bank stocks is they’re cyclical businesses. While not impervious to the pressures that accompany short-term selling or recessions, banks like BofA benefit immensely from the disproportionately longer amount of time the U.S. and global economy spend expanding than contracting.
Investors should also take note that Bank of America is the most interest-sensitive of the big banks. Even with the Federal Reserve standing pat on historically low lending rates for the time being, all signs are pointing to higher bond yields and lending rates by 2023, or perhaps sooner. In BofA’s second-quarter report, the company notes that a 100-basis-point parallel shift in the interest rate yield curve would generate an estimated $8 billion in added net interest income (NII). Virtually all of this NII is going straight to BofA’s bottom line when interest rates and yields start rising.
Bank of America’s digital push deserves recognition, too. With more users than ever accessing BofA’s services online and via mobile app, the company has been able to consolidate some of its branches in order to reduce its noninterest expenses. In other words, BofA’s days of supercharged growth look to be right around the corner.
Finally, the supercharged FAANG stocks, which have a history of outperformance and respective industry dominance, are a smart buy during a stock market crash. Should the market dip at least 10%, investors should consider adding shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) to their portfolio.
Alphabet’s core business is driven by internet search engine Google. With the exception of a single quarter during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Google’s internet search engine has consistently delivered double-digit year-over-year revenue growth. This likely has to do with Google controlling between 91% and 93% of global internet search share over the trailing year, according to GlobalStats. With dominance like this, it’s no wonder advertisers will pay up for placement on Google.
However, Alphabet’s ancillary operations have been arguably more impressive of late. Streaming content platform YouTube has grown into one of the three most-visited social sites on the planet — and its ad revenue shows it. During the second quarter, YouTube brought in $7 billion in ad sales, up from $6 billion in the sequential quarter and just $3.8 billion in the prior-year quarter.
There’s also Google Cloud, which holds the third-largest share of the cloud infrastructure market. On an annual run-rate basis, Cloud has surpassed $18 billion in revenue. Since cloud services generate premium margins, relative to ad margins, Cloud should play a key role in potentially tripling Alphabet’s cash flow between 2020 and 2025.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.