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Argus•July 24, 2023

Communication Services, Financial Services, Energy, Technology, Real Estate, Healthcare, Industrials, Consumer Defensive, Consumer Cyclical


Rapidly rising inflation in 2022 knocked stocks into a bear market. While growth strategies suffered the most, value strategies also declined. Even bond prices were lower last year. Stocks have recovered so far in 2023, but gains have been driven largely by only a handful of high-tech companies. Inflation remains high and the Fed continues to raise interest rates. Is a recession in the offing? With all the uncertainty, is it time for investors to cash in their chips? Perhaps not yet. We note that investors exit the stock market at their own peril, as long-term returns from equities consistently have outpaced long-term returns from other asset classes, such as fixed income and cash. As well, those returns are from eras when the 10-year Treasury bond yield was much higher than the current 3.8% level. So what’s a potential equity strategy for investors amid all the uncertainty? Argus believes that Min Vol is an all-weather strategy that is timely in any investing climate. Academic literature and, more to the point, returns history indicate that Min Vol can deliver market-matching returns on an absolute basis and superior returns on a risk-adjusted basis over various time periods. We have designed a portfolio of companies followed by Argus Research analysts that are BUY-rated and have impressive Min Vol characteristics of low beta, high yield, high market cap, strong balance sheets, and low risk profiles. Some of the stocks featured in the portfolio are listed below.

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