It’s the end of a long day, you’re beat. You check your portfolio one last time, put down your phone, and finally slide into bed… ah, the sweet escape of sleep. But just before you can drift off, the talking heads from the news start to haunt you… phrases like “possible recession” and “climbing inflation” play over and over. There goes your good night’s sleep, again.
But you’re doing everything right. You’re saving, investing, being careful, and watching for possible bumps in the road. Still, you wonder, is it enough?
You’re not alone, recent polls show that more than 90% of people are concerned about inflation. More than half of those polled are worried that inflation will take away from their long-term investments, like retirement funds.
So, what else can you do? You can inflation-proof your portfolio, and we can help you do it. We’ve put together a list of stable, sure bets to help protect your money… investments so watertight, you can “take it to the bank.”
When the final accounting was done, 2021 didn’t turn out to be that bad of a year for the overall market. The S&P 500 rallied nearly 29%. Roughly triple its long-term average. Let that sink in.
Inflation-Proof Stock #1: Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is the stuff of legend, one of the most influential and well-known investment banks and financial services companies in the entire world… with 153 years of experience anchoring the company to the ground in troubled times. With recent Q1 earnings for 2022 at $40.2 million, they not only have the history, they have the future.
Always looking to stay relevant, the company recently shifted focus to digitalization. They didn’t weather crazy storms over the years just to be left behind now, they’re banking on digital banking… and you will want to make sure you’re there when they do it. They are also the first major U.S. bank to trade crypto over the counter, through a bitcoin-linked instrument called a non-deliverable option with crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital.
But don’t worry, they aren’t forgetting the hard stuff… as in physical assets. The company is also making sure to keep a presence in the real-world with projects that help them capitalize on the housing crisis, purchasing communities of homes through investment funds such as Growth eREIT VII fund and Fundrise Interval Fund.
The firm is also passionate about bettering communities through projects like Mahmee, which aims to ease the maternal health crisis in the U.S. The 8-year-old program is part of Goldman’s One Million Black Women initiative and is backed by names like Serena Williams and Mark Cuban. The program helps new moms get prenatal and postpartum care and has been a fantastic success.
Inflation-Proof Stock #2: The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV)
Travelers is another company that has stood the test of time. A holding company providing commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services, Travelers has been around since 1853. That’s 169 years of performance… they must know what they’re doing, and their recent Q1 report reflects that, with earnings that beat consensus.
The company had lower catastrophe losses from a year ago, increased insurer’s quarterly cash dividend by 6%, net written premiums of $8.37B increased from $7.51B a year earlier, net earned premiums of $8.01B increased 9%, adjusted book value of $112.19 increased from $109.76 in December, and core return on equity of 15.5% rose from 11.1% a year ago.
Travelers is a powerhouse, with policies distributed through a network of over 11,000 brokers and agents. The US property and casualty insurance is a giant in the industry that has had plenty of luck in the catastrophe bond market and is working to double its size (to as much as $600 million) with its new Long Point Re IV Ltd. (Series 2022-1) issuance.
Travelers is attractive, very. They have revenue that continues to grow, they continue to buy back shares, and they have a nice dividend that they can support. We’re taking this one to the bank…
Inflation-Proof Stock #3: ORI – Old Republic-Insurance
What can we say… we like our steady foundations when it comes to hedging against inflation. ORI is another one of those that fits the bill… founded in 1935, ORI has an 87-year track record of staying profitable and being reliable regardless of market conditions.
ORI boasts some pretty impressive numbers. The company, which engages in the insurance underwriting and related services business has increased dividends for 40 straight years, paid out dividends for the last 80 years, and has a dividend yield of 3.6%, better than the industry average of 2%.
In fact, ORI is one of only a little over 100 companies that has posted at least 25 consecutive years of annual dividend growth. That sounds pretty good given today’s challenges. And there’s no sign that these trends will let up, with a recent estimate for the company’s 2023 earnings being expected to improve 1.8% from the year-ago reported figure. ORI’s stock has gained 2.8% in a year’s time, this against an industry decline of 6.8%.
ORI isn’t a one-trick pony either, just like others on this list, they are making sure they stay relevant. They began this year off investing in their digital future and will soon be showcasing an enhanced version of their easy jacket application. The system is the core service of their portfolio of technologies offered to agents that produces a jacket for every Title Insurance Policy issued by agents.
Inflation-Proof Stock #4: Avalon Bay Communities
Avalon Bay Communities is the gold standard when it comes to apartments. The company is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) of high-end apartments for multifamily communities and their associated clientele tend to be… financially secure and professional. Their communities will weather the storm of the housing crisis because those they serve can handle the blows without blinking.
Not quite as old as some on this list, Avalon Bay has been around since 1978 and has managed to make a name for itself in more ways than one… including being recognized as a Climate Leader by global environmental non-profit CDP. They lead the pack on corporate environmental ambition, action, and transparency globally.
The company recently entered into its first commitment under its Structured Investment Program in April, through which the company will provide mezzanine loans or preferred equity investments to third party multifamily developers.
Avalon Bay reported Q1 earnings in April, reporting increased earnings with net income attributable to common stockholders at $262,044,000. The company so far this year has been able to complete the development of two consolidated apartment communities, start construction of Avalon Governor’s Park in Denver, and acquire land for the future development of apartment communities.
Inflation-Proof Stock #5: Newmont Mining (NEM) Company
No list like this would be complete without a company associated with good ole, reliable gold… Newmont Mining Company mines for gold and copper and they happen to have the industry’s largest gold mineral reserves.
While that’s so, it isn’t keeping them from hunting more… they are currently tapping deep resources in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle using a futuristic deep mining method called block caving. This was made possible through an acquisition they completed of GT Gold and a project called the Tatogga Project.
Newmont has made several acquisitions over the last few years and continues to strategically spread themselves. Gold is the perfect way to protect yourself in this market, as it is traditionally a hedge against conflict and inflation. Newmont got the memo…
Newmont is simply impressive. They’ve been recognized as a leading gold miner for the seventh consecutive year in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), earned a rating of “AA” from MSCI (putting them in the top quartile for precious metals and mining), are listed as the top mining company in 3BL’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens, are included in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for their efforts to advance women in the workplace, and are one of the most transparent companies in the S&P 500.
Beyond gold, Newmont produces copper, silver, lead, and zinc and has an expansive portfolio of mining properties and a vast resource base. Best yet, most of their gold reserves are located “in top-tier jurisdictions” … know what that means? It means locations where civil unrest or asset nationalization are not likely.
Since we’re talking about hedging against inflation, those jurisdictions really matter. The company is pretty sure that no matter what happens in the world, they can say with a high degree of confidence that they will be able to extract in an economical manner… even in times of unrest and uncertainty.
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About Hilary Kramer
Hilary Kramer is an investment analyst and portfolio manager with 30 years of experience on Wall Street. The Financial Times describes Ms. Kramer as “A one-woman financial investment powerhouse” and The Economist distinguishes her as “one of the best-known investors in America.” Ms. Kramer is often quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Bloomberg, and Reuters. She is a frequent guest commentator on CNBC, CBS, Fox News, and Bloomberg, providing investment insight and economic analysis. You can hear her weekly on the syndicated Millionaire Makers radio show.
Ms. Kramer was an analyst and investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. Ms. Kramer founded and ran a long-short hedge fund and has been chief investment officer overseeing debt and equity portfolios. Since 2010, Ms. Kramer’s financial publications have provided stock analysis and investment advice to her subscribers. Her products include GameChangers, Value Authority, High Octane Trader, Turbo Trader, 2-Day Trader, IPO Edge, and Inner Circle.
Ms. Kramer, a Certified Fraud Examiner, has also testified as an expert in investment suitability, risk management, compliance, executive compensation, and corporate governance.
Ms. Kramer received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and her BA with honors from Wellesley College. Ms. Kramer has provided testimony regarding investment policy to the U.S. Senate and is a frequent speaker on the markets, portfolio management, and securities fraud and compliance. Ms. Kramer is also the author of “Ahead of the Curve” (Simon & Schuster 2007), “The Little Book of Big Profits from Small Stocks” (Wiley 2012), and the recent Wall Street Journal best-seller “GameChanging Investing: How to Profit from Tomorrow’s Billion-Dollar Trends” (Regnery 2020).