Best stocks in a recession

Adam Fayed
3 min readNov 3, 2019

This article will answer a number of questions. Namely:

  • What are the best stocks during a recession?
  • Can these stocks and sectors be predicted in advance?
  • Which stocks performed best during 2008–2009?
  • Should you ever rebalance your portfolio if you think a recession is coming?

Which stocks did well during 2008–2009?

2008 and 2009 were awful years for stocks. Which companies did well in the UK and US during that period, and how are they doing now?

  1. British Energy

We start off the list with the biggest riser in the FTSE 100 during 2008–2009. The energy producer British Energy’s stock price increased by 44%, after EDF bought the Government’s stake.

EDF energy didn’t seem to gain from the takeover, and has since lost about 90% of its value, trading at just 9.17 Euros at the time of writing, compared to 82 Euros at its peak.

2. AstraZeneca:

One of the biggest healthcare firms in the world, AstraZenaca’s stock price increased by 29% during the crisis. The defensive nature of healthcare stocks and new drugs like Crestor helped increase its stock price over 10 years ago.

The stock has gone onto increase by around 300% from the height of the crisis. That is less than the performance of the US S&P500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones, but better than the FTSE 100 which Astra Zeneca is part of

Also important to remember is the fact that AstraZenaca had an awful 2007, so was recovering in 2008–2009. The stock price didn’t hit 2006 levels until late 2013/early 2014.

3. Compass

Compass is a contract foodservice, with a HQ in Surrey, which thrived during the crisis. The Stock of Compass increased by 10%.

Like AstraZeneca they had an awful 2007, so were recovering in many ways.

Compass have increased by about 700% since 2008–2009, becoming the largest company of its type in the process.

4. Experian

Experian are a credit checking agency. They collect and aggregate information on over one billion people and businesses.

Their share price increased by 8% during 2008–2009 when banks looked for help with loan recovery and bad debts.

Like Compass, they have increased many fold since the crisis, with increased demand for online access to credit history in recent years.

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