It has been a bloody sixmonths on the FTSE 100, one that has left many big-name stocks bathed in red.
BP and Royal Dutch Shell are down 20% and 15% respectively in that time. Tesco and J Sainsbury are both down more than 20%.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are down 32% and 15% respectively. GlaxoSmithKline is down 10%.
All are solid blue-chips with red faces, confirming that no stock, no matter how big, is ever safe.
Despite the odd shortlived swing, these stocks keep delivering the (household) goods, year after year.
Whether you measure their performance over five years, one year, six months or one week, they have delivered a positive return.
Can this really continue?
Price Worth Paying
Ive always resisted buying these two stocks, because both have been expensive by conventional metrics, while their yields disappoint.
Its the same story today. RB trades at more than 22 times earnings and yields a little over 2.5%.
Unilever trades at 21 times earnings and yields a slightly juicier 3.3%.
That is all notably below the FTSE 100 average of around 15 times earnings on a yield of 3.5%.
But as they say, you get what you pay for.
Another reason I was sceptical about these two companies was the slowdown in the emerging markets, which I feared could turn into a full-blown retreat in China.
This was RB and Unilevers big shot at future growth, as emerging market consumers loaded up their shopping trolleys with Western-branded processed foods, household goods, and health and beauty items.
The ever-strengthening dollar could put a further squeeze on emerging markets spend, but investors arent worried for now.
Are these stocks bullet proof?
RB and Unilever both posted disappointing results last October, and investors were further rattledby warnings that global consumer spending was under threat. Analysts warned of slow growth future and overpriced valuations.
But the growth has continued, and both stocksstill look reassuringly pricey. Brokers are a little more sceptical about Unilever, which suffers from a series of sell and underweight ratings, but sentiment towards RB ispositive.
Unilever reports on Tuesday, with Q4 sales expected to rise by around 5%. Investors will be focused on the outlook for Europe and China, and the prospect for some much-needed dividend growth.
But right now, it is hard to find more solid investments.
You may find more spectacular ones though.
There is a place in everybody’s portfolio get-rich-slow stocks like these, but you might want to combine them with more exciting strategies.
This FREE Motley Fool report 10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market sets out how investing in stocks and shares over the long-term can make you rich.
You might be surprised to discover how ordinary people can become astonishingly wealthy by investing in stocks and shares.
This report shows you how to do it, step-by-step, by investing in a mix of slow growers and potential five baggers. To find out more, click here now.
Get FREE Issues of The Motley Fool Collective
Get straightforward advice on whats really happening with the stock markets, direct to your inbox. Help yourself with our FREE email newsletter designed to help you protect and grow your portfolio wealth.