Two Defensive Stocks For Your Portfolio During Harsh Volatility

We all want to see our portfolios head in a straight line. A straight line up of course. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works, and it’s not the way it will ever work.

The DOW has suffered two of its biggest single day losses of the year this week, and it has had a large effect on Canadian markets. During times of volatility, it helps to have defensive stocks in your portfolio. Here are two of them you should be looking to add today.

Andrew Peller (ADW.A)

Andrew Peller (TSX:ADW.A) is a producer and marketer of wines. The company has wineries in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. It has a wide variety of brands, including Peller Estates, Trius, Wayne Gretzky, Sandhill, Black Hills and Conviction.

Andrew Peller is primarily a defensive stock because of its alcohol sales. Research has shown that alcohol consumption actually increases during times of economic uncertainty.

Most investors would associate Andrew Peller’s small market cap (around $630 million) with high volatility, but they would be wrong. With a beta of 0.39, Andrew Peller is showing it is significantly less volatile than the market. In fact, it hasn’t had a negative month since April, where it lost just -0.15%.

Andrew Peller provides one of the strongest dividends in the country at the time of writing. Its yield is small at 1.43%, but it is important to look at the overall health and growth of the dividend prior to making assumptions. Andrew Peller has grown its dividend at a rate of 8% annually over the last 5 years, with its most recent increase coming in well above that at 13%.

The stock is also a Canadian Dividend Aristocrat, raising dividends for 13 straight years. With a payout ratio of only 40% and the dividend making up only 31% of free cash flows, there is plenty of room for continued growth. The stock was recently listed as one of our top Canadian dividend stocks to buy for 2019.

Dollarama (DOL.TO)

Dollarama (TSX:DOL) is Canada’s largest dollar store operator. The company has almost 1200 stores in operation across the country and offers a wide variety of consumer products and seasonal items at discounted prices.

So why is Dollarama an attractive stock during an economic downturn? When times become tight, people look to pinch pennies and save wherever they can. Common items that can be picked up at your grocery store for a premium may now be worth the trip to a dollar store to save money.

Dollarama is one of Canada’s best performing IPOs in recent memory. The stock took a nosedive in late 2018 (much like all of the TSX) on fears of stalling growth, but it has recovered back to original price levels.

Dollarama plans to add 60-70 stores annually to its network, and analysts still expect the company to post double digit earnings growth and high single digit sales growth over the next year. The company is still featured on our list of some of the best stocks to buy in Canada today.