Recession in a market is usually the result of a sudden decline in spending, although most triggers of such event cannot be foreseen beforehand.

While a recessionary environment is a tricky place to be, this is also the place where you can find excellent opportunities. Still, you need to be careful and smart about your investments.

If you want to withstand at the same time benefit from such situation, consider following these simple investment moves.

  1. Play it Safe
Most investors would be wise to not take major risks at such difficult time.

A recession is not a wake-up call to bet on highly leveraged companies, but rather it is your cue to find safe investment options. That means investing in companies that have a good cash flow and low debt loads on their balance sheet.

  1. Add Stocks from Consumer Staples
Market downturns are the perfect opportunity to invest in recession-resistant industries, like consumer staples, as they tend to rise in demand during an income drop or economic uncertainty occurs.

This industry largely consists of the essential products that you will need and spend money on a regular basis regardless of your financial condition. These include food, beverages (e.g. alcohol), household items, and tobacco.

  1. Look for Counter-cyclical Stocks
During a recession, most investors would be wise to steer clear of cyclical stocks or the non-essential goods that people will buy less often. Stocks that move in line with the current economic situation can perform poorly once the economy declines.

Instead, invest in industries that offer products and / or services that are constantly in demand. These include grocery stores, discount stores, alcohol makers, cosmetics, and funeral services.

Stocks from those industries are usually counter cyclical. They move inversely with the current economic trend so when the market dips, they increase in value.

  1. Diversify
Investing in a single sector is not a smart move during tough times like a recession when several companies get knocked down.

That is why, your portfolio should be structured to withstand such unexpected events. Diversifying across multiple asset classes (e.g. equities, fixed income, and commodities) will help reduce the volatility and the impact emanating from a recession.

When you diversify, you’re not only allocating your money into various types of investments. You are also spreading your money across industries, geographic locations, and companies of different sizes.

  1. Invest in Real Estate
It is the consistency of the yield that makes real estate a good investment option during periods of market uncertainty.

As an income stream, property investments can offer predictability. Rent payments, for example, do not fluctuate in a recession since they are always due and not connected to the stock market.

If you’re wondering where to invest in this sector, real estate investment trusts (REITs) invest are worth considering.

Most REITs invest in commercial properties with long-lease periods, making the income for the investor constant and relatively predictable. They also distribute the rental income as dividends to shareholders.

Moreover, REITs can add both growth and income to your portfolio, while increasing diversification at the same time.

  1. Include Dividend Stocks
Dividend stocks are a solid asset to hold on to when the economy or the market is in a sluggish state. Compared to growth stocks, dividend stocks are better at weathering economic blows. Their ability to generate a passive income also allows you to receive a portion of a company’s earnings.

With dividend stocks, your return will come from both share price appreciation and the dividend you received. For instance, if a stock has a dividend yield of around 7% and it gained 5%, the overall return you will receive is 12%. You can only face a loss if the stock falls below 7%.

When determining which dividend stocks to invest in, it’s usually recommended to look at companies with low debt-to-equity ratios. But if you want to be completely safe, you should focus on companies with a history of raising their dividend payouts for 25 straight years.
  1. Consider Precious Metals
Precious metals are generally deemed as safe investments when the markets fall on hard times. Gold, in particular, is traditionally seen as a safe-haven asset, especially during financial uncertainty, high inflation, declining exchange rates, and economic recession.

While the precious yellow metal is widely known to thrive in the face of such conditions, silver can also perform quite well. These alternative assets tend to rise in value at the same time traditional assets took a hit.