Connect with us

Politics

7 Safe Stocks to Rely on When the Market Swerves

Published

on

7 Safe Stocks to Rely on When the Market Swerves

Back in August, I made the argument why now’s the right time to buy safe stocks. Just over a month later, this continues to be the case. The volatility and uncertainty that has rocked the stock market so far in 2022 doesn’t show many signs of letting up anytime soon.

The Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates. This is likely to continue, as interest rates remain at multi-decade highs. Climbing interest rates are likely to continue putting pressure on the speculative stocks that thrived during the 2020/2021 bull market.

Along with hurting the market, according to the World Bank, this raising of interest rates by the Fed and other central banks is raising the chances of a global recession. This could affect the operating results of many companies (both established and early-stage), also challenging a recovery for stocks.

Nevertheless, the discouraging prospect of more pain ahead doesn’t mean you need to sit in cash. Your better option is to stay invested, but go on the defensive. You can achieve this, by focusing on names like these seven safe stocks. Each one is likely to see their resiliency continue in this down market.

 

AMPH Amphastar Pharmaceuticals $28.38
BSM Black Stone Minerals $15.67
CMC Commercial Metals $38.18
CPB Campbell Soup $47.81
DG Dollar General $243.73
GLP Global Partners $28.40
NSSC Napco Security Technologies $30.10

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (AMPH)

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMPH) is one of the best safe stocks out there right now for many reasons. First, as you can tell from its name, it’s in the healthcare sector.

Recession-resistant companies offering healthcare products/services are much better positioned when it comes to riding out a downturn. However, the appeal of AMPH stock goes beyond this. Its portfolio of branded and generic treatments provides it with steady cash flow. The company also has a strong balance sheet,

Its $183.4 million cash position far exceeds the amount of long-term debt and other non-current liabilities on its balance sheet (around $104 million). Best of all, Amphastar trades at a reasonable valuation (17.1x earnings).

Up by more than 26% year-to-date, while the stock market overall is down by double-digits during this timeframe, it is likely to continue to perform well during this time of negative overall market sentiment.

AMPH stock earns an A rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Black Stone Minerals LP (BSM)

With the big surge in energy prices, it’s no surprise Black Stone Minerals (NYSE:BSM) has paid off for investors so far in 2022, and not only in terms of price appreciation.

Besides surging 49% since January, investors in BSM stock have also received a total of $1.09 in dividends. This gives it a total return for the year well above 50%.

With oil prices dipping on recession fears, you may at first think you’ve missed the boat with this strong performer. Fortunately, though, that’s not the case. Even as oil has pulled back from the highs it hit earlier this year due to Russia’s Ukraine invasion.

At least, not when the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects crude oil and natural gas prices to stay above 2020 and 2021 price levels through 2023. This points to more gains, and more large dividend payments, for Black Stone Minerals shares.

BSM stock earns an A rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Commercial Metals (CMC)

Commercial Metals (NYSE:CMC) is a major provider of recycled steel. Like Black Stone Minerals benefiting from Russia-related tailwinds for oil, this company has benefited from Russia-related tailwinds in the steel space.

The geopolitical crisis led to a big boost for CMC stock. Steel supply shocks paved the way for strong results during its fiscal third quarter (ending May, Q4 numbers are slated for Oct. 13).

Sure, with China’s economic slowdown, and the spiking concerns of a global downturn for the steel industry, the market doesn’t expect its strong operating performance to continue.

However, it’s possible this sentiment has become overly priced into its shares. You can buy the stock today at a super-low valuation (just 4.6x earnings). As it can ride out a downcycle much better than legacy steel producers, a drop in its earnings after its latest windfall may not be as dramatic as currently expected.

CMC stock earns an A rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Campbell Soup (CPB)

After taking a look at a few under-the-radar safe stocks, let’s dive into one that’s more commonly regarded as a safe harbor during challenging times. Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) is a stock that needs little introduction. As a producer of packaged food products (a consumer staple), it’s in a recession-resistant business.

CPB stock pays out a steady dividend to go along with its steady operations. While dividend growth has been minimal over the past five years (averaging 1.12% annually), its current payout gives it a solid forward yield of 3.1%.

As it trades at a reasonable valuation (16.4x earnings), a further rise in interest rates isn’t going to affect it the same way it’s likely to affect stocks trading at more premium valuations. All of this points to shares, up by around 9% so far this year, continuing to deliver positive returns during this market rough patch.

CPB stock earns a B rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Dollar General (DG)

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Inflation and recession worries may be bad news for most stocks, but they’ve been a positive for Dollar General (NYSE:DG). Its shares have held up in this down market, thanks to macro headwinds helping to boost traffic at its discount retail stores.

Last quarter, the company reported a 9% jump in net sales, a double-digit jump (10.8%) in earnings per share. As economic conditions get worse, such strong results could continue in the quarters ahead. Especially as the company sees a robust increase in traffic from more affluent customers.

According to CEO Todd Vasos, the company has seen the largest increase in shoppers from households earning $100,000 or more per year. Trading for 21.1x earnings, DG stock may look pricier than many of the other safe stocks. However, high earnings growth helps to justify this higher multiple.

DG stock earns a B rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Global Partners (GLP)

Price appreciation and dividends have resulted in strong returns for investors in Global Partners (NYSE:GLP) master limited partnership units.

The energy boom has been a boon for the bottom line of this gasoline wholesaler and retailer. Again, while gas prices have moved lower lately, they’re likely to remain at elevated levels compared to levels seen in 2020 and 2021.

In turn, this will enable GLP stock to continue to generate strong returns simply from maintaining its current 61 cent per share quarterly dividend. That’s even if it barely moves higher.

At today’s prices, this payout gives the stock a forward yield of around 8.6%.

Trading for just 4x earnings, and sporting a high yield, the current pessimism about energy stocks works to your advantage with Global Partners LP. Through its high yield alone, it can provide above-average returns during this bear market.

GLP stock earns an A rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Napco Security Technologies (NSSC)

Napco Security Technologies (NASDAQ:NSSC) stock has nearly doubled in price since May.

Last quarter, revenue increased 22% compared to the prior year’s quarter. Recurring revenue rose by an even larger amount (33%). Net income grew 36% year-over-year (or YoY). This points to its finding success with its pivot toward a SaaS-based revenue model.

High growth is likely to continue, as recent trends increase demand for its products. In particular, demand among end users such as schools and universities.

With a forward earnings multiple of 43x, it’s far pricier than the other safe stocks listed above. However, with the expectation it continues to grow earnings at an outsized pace, it could sustain this rich valuation.

NSSC stock earns an A rating in my Portfolio Grader.

Published First on InvestorPlace. Read Here.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Brett Sayles; Pexels; Thank you!

Politics

How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing

Published

on

How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing


Interesting subject line ✅
Engaging and relevant copy ✅
Actionable CTA ✅

All these make up a high-converting email. But there’s one more thing that helps in getting maximum ROI from your emails. That’s attractive visuals. Vennage has revealed that 49% of marketers rate visual marketing as “very important” for their marketing strategy. Three days later, people will probably remember only 10% of the information they hear but 65% of the information if it is presented with a suitable image.

So, if you want your emails to make a difference and prompt the subscribers to take action, using visuals is a must.

That said, let’s take a look at all the different types of visuals and rich media you can use to enhance the email’s aesthetic appeal.

1. Images

Static images come first, as they are a basic yet compelling part of visual email marketing. Whether you want to display your product with a pretty picture or break down the content with vectors, images come in handy. If you want to pull the plug on lengthy text, use relevant images along with a crisp copy.

Take a look at this email by Touch of Modern. They have nailed the art of product photography and included the perfect image that would attract shoppers.

Source

2. Illustrations

Illustrations can be used as a powerful storytelling tool in emails. According to a survey, illustrations and infographics are performing better than many other visual elements when it comes to yielding engagement. Rather than using stock images, you can use meaningful illustrations that add more value to the emails.
Here’s an email by Harry’s that uses an illustration to depict the awesomeness of their face wash packs.

Source

3. 3D Images

3D images originated in the 1970s. They established their identity in web designing and gradually made their way to emails. These images add depth to the flat email design and bring freshness to the subscriber’s inbox.
Burberry has incorporated a nice 3D image to promote their open spaces in the email.

4. GIFs

Let me take you back to the earliest usage of GIFs in emails.
In the year 2007, Lake Champlain Chocolates incorporated GIFs in their emails, and to their sheer surprise, it brought 49% higher conversions.

Then, in 2014, Dell drove 109% revenue (marketingsherpa) with the help of an animated laptop image in email.

Animated GIFs prove to be extremely beneficial in various use cases, as discussed below:

  • Displaying the huge range of products available in your eCommerce store
  • Inspiring wanderlust in the readers with enticing images of the destinations
  • Demonstrating the usage of your products
  • Promoting a new show released on your OTT platform
  • Executing occasion-based email marketing
  • Animating the typography to draw attention to an important message

Anthropologie has used action-packed animation to show its products. It portrays comfort and aesthetics and lures the readers to buy.

5. 3D Animations

3D animations are a step above GIFs. If you want to further enhance the user experience, use 3D GIFs as Lyft has done.

Source

6. Animated Illustrations

Illustrations with animations are a visual treat. They help in telling a story to the subscribers. If you go by the “Show, don’t tell” adage, try using animated illustrations in your emails.
Grammarly sets the perfect example of using animated illustrations in their email promoting the midnight sale. The animated owl and clock form a great combination to convey the message.

7. Cinemagraphs

GIFs are snippets taken from a video or an animation played on a loop. On the other hand, cinemagraphs are sophisticated animations with a seamlessly endless loop that take the subscriber back to a past moment.
Here’s an email example by Detour Coffee Roasters showing the use of cinematography in their welcome email.

Like GIFs, you can use cinemagraphs in the telecommunications industry and add visual oomph to your emails. It will pique the subscriber’s curiosity and make them buy an OTT subscription to watch the show.

8. Videos

You can add videos in emails in two ways.

  1. Place a video thumbnail with the play button and take the reader to the landing page.
  2. Embed the video in the email itself and let it play therein.

The first option is pretty straightforward in that you just have to embed a static image in the email that emulates a video thumbnail.
Here’s an example.

The second option requires some coding expertise. You have to consider email client support too, if you want to use embedded videos in email.
Take a look at this email template to experience an embedded video in it.

Some Additional Ideas to Make Emails Stand Out

  1. You can use a monochrome design layout with a single color in the emails.
  2. Add gradients to reinforce visual hierarchy and get the emails read till the end. You can even experiment with innovative CTA buttons with gradients.
  3. The key to using visuals effectively is to follow the principles of visual hierarchy. Arrange the email components in a Z or F-shaped pattern to guide the readers. Also, adhere to the accessibility best practices.

Pro-tips for Adding Visuals in Emails

  1. The text-to-image ratio should be maintained at 80:20.
  2. As email clients block images by default, add a suitable alt-text with every image. This will also be useful if the subscriber views the email with images turned off. It is an important accessibility best practice and aids the screen readers in conveying the message to subscribers with visual impairment.
  3. Don’t add important information and CTA in the images.
  4. An all-image email will trigger spam filters and hamper your email deliverability rate.
  5. Avoid stock photos at all costs. Real photographs work better if you want to leave a lasting impact on the subscriber’s mind.
  6. Animations should not flash between 2 to 55 Hz; otherwise, it will aggravate the condition of photosensitive epilepsy.
  7. Keep close tabs on the email file size to ensure fast loading. It will prevent cutting into the user’s Internet bandwidth.
  8. While adding GIFs and embedded videos, include a suitable fallback to curb rendering issues.
  9. Use images judiciously without getting over the board.
  10. Test the emails so that they render well across all the major email clients and devices.

Wrapping Up

Remember those times when it seemed impossible to format emails with anything more than an image? And now, we have so many different options to explore and make our emails more fun and entertaining. Besides visuals, you can even use interactivity to add to the visual appeal. Test and see what works best for you.

Put your creative hats on to create email designs that resonate with your email subscribers. It will, in turn, bring you unmatched results in terms of open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave) works as a Content Strategist at Email Uplers. She is a dentist, who has found her calling in words & technical subjects. She loves to pen down travelogues and romantic short stories in her free time.

Continue Reading

Politics

6 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Upcoming Holidays

Published

on

Calendar


The holiday season can be incredibly disruptive, especially for small businesses and their customers. You could either be in a very slow season looking for things to accomplish or so overwhelmed by business that you feel like you got run over by a reindeer. If you haven’t started making preparations yet, you need to start today.

Simple adjustments can help you gain more business or handle a heavy influx of holiday patrons. Here are several ideas you can consider implementing to end the year on a high note:

1. Decorate With Holiday Spirit

Any customer that enters your business will feel the holiday spirit if you’ve got the right decorations in place. You don’t have to go overboard with inflatable pumpkins or flashing Christmas tree lights, but some well-placed decorative touches can really bring the place together. Plus, this makes the workspace festive for your employees as well.

You can choose to highlight the general themes of the seasons or focus on specific holidays. For example, autumn leaves and fall colors can get you well into November. You could also mix things up by putting up ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and switching them out for turkeys and pilgrims for Thanksgiving.

The same can be done for winter. Snowflakes and snowmen will work for the entire season. If you want to get specific, you have Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s decorations to consider.

2. Work Out Employee Vacation Times

Everyone wants to take time off during the holidays, and for good reason. This is one of the best times of year to gather with family and enjoy life together. Unfortunately, some businesses can’t afford to have all of their employees taking time off simultaneously. Your job is to make sure everyone is getting fair time off while still staffing important dates around the holiday season.

How you approach this task is up to you and how you think your team will respond best. You might think it’s fair to let the most tenured employees select their days off first. You could also develop a rotation so that the same people don’t hog the same days off every year. Even a first-come, first-served approach could be considered if you think your team will be OK with it.

Remember that you deserve to take some time off as well. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly demanding and time-consuming. Taking even a couple of days off to enjoy the holidays with family can help you recover mentally and physically.

3. Encourage Calendar Collaboration Among Team Members

To ensure everyone on your team is on the same page with project deadlines, essential meetings and events, and client needs, it’s essential to collaborate on a team calendar. Most calendar software today offers team calendars.

Make sure everyone on your team has access to one another’s calendar so they are aware of when they are available. Then, team members can collaborate to help each other take on things that could otherwise be missed.

Thankfully, there are many collaborative calendar integrations available for teams to utilize in order to maximize their time. By utilizing these tools, teams can work more efficiently together. Therefore, they can minimize the chances of missing deadlines, missing meetings, or making clients unhappy.

4. Make Holiday Business Hours Known

Your customers also deserve to know how your business will operate throughout the upcoming holidays. You should communicate in advance the days you plan on being closed. This way, customers and clients won’t be disappointed when they try to visit, and nobody is there to receive them.

This is extremely important for schedule-based businesses. The sooner you block off certain days, the less likely you will have to reschedule a meeting or appointment that was booked in advance. Clients who have their end-of-year scheduled meetings rearranged or moved at the last minute will not be happy.

Consider sending out an email that details your holiday hours to any customers who have provided contact information to you. Additionally, you could also consider adding a note on your email signature that states when your business will be closed. You could implement this early on, especially for the winter holidays. At the very least, put up a notice on your front door and website that makes the revised schedule known and accessible.

5. Plan Marketing and Promotions

The holiday season is for family and friends, of course, but it’s also a commercial opportunity for businesses. (There’s a reason they call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”) While you shouldn’t lose sight of what’s most important, your business should be thinking about some promotions to run. The right marketing campaign at the right time can dramatically boost your revenue.

Marketing plans practically write themselves this time of year. Black Friday and Christmas sales are common and desirable. A salon could run cut-price haircut specials on Black Friday for those who want to escape the shopping fray. A mani-pedi promotion could capture the attention of those primping for holiday parties. Put your business’s personal twist on the season, and you’re likely to see sales increase.

What’s most important to prepare for is the increase in business during a holiday promotion. Make sure you are appropriately staffed for busy days with numerous consumers cashing in on holiday deals. If you’re not prepared to handle the business you’ve attracted, you’ll have a blue Christmas.

6. Consider Getting Extra Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the business coming your way over the holidays, consider contracting some extra help. Plenty of businesses hire seasonal workers to lend them a hand for a couple of months. Your business doesn’t have to be an exception.

The great thing about seasonal workers is that there’s no long-term commitment. You can get an extra receptionist, hair stylist, or stockroom organizer for just as long as you need. These workers are looking for some extra holiday cash and simply want the additional hours before life returns to normal.

You may even consider contracting some digital help. A webmaster can help you keep your website up and running even with double the online traffic. Your clever marketing strategy could be implemented by a third party so you can focus more fully on your customers.

Closing Thoughts

Of all the above steps, the most important common denominator is to be sure your clients and customers are aware of when your business will be out, so they can plan ahead as well. This will help your business avoid the inconvenience and disappointment the unavailability may cause. Be sure to encourage in-house collaboration on important dates, in addition to collaborating externally with your clients and customers.

Keep your business on the nice list by being prepared for every upcoming holiday, whether it’s the longer holiday breaks in the winter or the shorter holidays throughout the year. With the above holiday preparation planning tips, your business can plan well ahead for this holiday season so nothing slips through the cracks.

Though it’s an extremely busy time for everyone, the holiday season doesn’t have to get stressful. There are so many ways to avoid all of the stress by planning well. The better you work together to prepare, the jollier the holiday season can be for your business and your customers as we head into the 2023 new year.

You might not feel entirely ready for 2023 just yet, and that’s fine. But by taking steps to prepare for the new year now, you’ll position your business to succeed beyond your expectations.

Published First in Calendar. Read Here.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh; Pexels; Thank you!

Calendar

We are Calendar, trying to make the world a much more productive place. Check us out online at https://www.calendar.com.

Continue Reading

Politics

Face Supply Chain Disruptions : Work Smarter, Not Harder

Published

on

How To Start a Business While Living With Your Parents


Supply chain disruptions are nothing new. However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions have become more common. At first, these issues caused major shortages throughout the country. Now, shortages are still occurring along with inefficient shipping processes.

These issues have forced business owners to struggle with ways to stay afloat. Delays, interruptions, and cancellations have made it nearly impossible to keep up with demand while avoiding wasteful spending.

However, some things simply aren’t within your grasp when it comes to supply chain disruptions. On the other hand, you can work smarter to address them. You’re responsible for how your business responds to these disruptions, and with better approaches, things will run more smoothly.

With that in mind, let’s look at how your business can deal with supply chain disruptions. You can create a sense of hope in this digital world as things slowly start to return to normal and the supply chain issues start to balance out.

Use Data Analytics to Survive Supply Chain Disruptions

Collecting clean data and putting it to use can improve everything from customer service to your marketing endeavors. It can also be used to mitigate the effects of a supply chain crisis. Developing innovative data solutions can keep your business afloat and even help it grow during uncertain conditions.

Different Data Methods for Supply Chain Disruptions

To start using data to your advantage during supply chain disruptions, consider these methods:

  • Take a look at demand trends. You can look at customer orders and purchasing trends over the last year. This will give you a better idea of how much to order and how often to counteract supply chain disruptions.
  • Organize your data. This also makes it easy to look at your current inventory and open order allocations. You can compare your inventory and orders with data provided by production teams or vendors to create a realistic timeline of when things will arrive or when they can be shipped out to customers.
  • Pay attention to demand volatility. People aren’t necessarily hoarding items as they did at the beginning of the pandemic. However, there are still some things consumers are regularly purchasing to prepare themselves for the future. As you look at data relating to the current supply of popular products, as well as data from the manufacturers, it will be easier to keep a steady flow of those products in stock.

While looking at data might not sound like an immediate plan of action during turbulent times, it’s easier to make positive changes and work smarter in the face of supply chain disruptions when you have the right information.

Build Your Brand to Withstand Supply Chain Disruptions

It’s difficult to focus on anything but the supply chain issues affecting so many businesses right now. However, retting over those issues isn’t going to get you anywhere. By shifting your focus and putting your energy into supply chain disruptions, your business can move forward.

Building a brand isn’t easy, which is why it requires a lot of time, attention, and focus. Taking this time to hone in on your marketing is a great way to make your business more of a household name. That kind of brand recognition is exactly what companies need right now to stay afloat when supply chain disruptions occur. You can build your brand awareness and identity (stickeryou dot com), in a variety of ways, including:

  • Defining your company values
  • Understanding your audience
  • Determining what sets your business apart
  • Creating brand guidelines

Once you have a strategy in place to grow your brand, utilize things like logo creation, social media, and special events to grow your name and help your customers understand who you are.

Build Consumer Relationships Despite Supply Chain Disruptions

Even if you’re facing supply chain issues, you can build relationships and establish trust with consumers. Today’s consumers desire relationships with businesses more than ever before, so it’s okay to show the “human” side of your brand as often as possible. That can make it easier to provide positive customer service experiences when you’re facing product shortages and delays.

Communication with your customers is one of the best ways to deal with frustrations over delays and supply chain issues, so be transparent. Make it a part of your identity. When you make sure your audience knows about the issues you’re facing and keep them updated about shipping information (including delays), they’re more likely to be understanding and patient.

Prepare to Handle Disruptions to Your Supply Chain

Supply chain disruptions are all but inevitable. Make sure your business has a backup plan and is prepared to deal with them when they arise.

If you don’t have one already, consider establishing an emergency management center within your business. Once you have a team in place, you can offer them previously collected supply chain data and create a plan of action. This will make it easier for them to create an effective strategy while reducing the risk of miscommunication that’s often associated with supply chain disruptions.

You should also create a backup plan that incorporates the existing suppliers that can adapt with you when disruptions happen. It should also include technology exploration. Tech, such as AI, can make a big difference in the future of your business – even if it forces you to change some of your existing supply chain processes.

Be Patient During Supply Chain Disruptions

Additionally, try to be patient when disruptions occur. This isn’t the first time the world has seen supply chain issues, but they’re more unsettling now since there’s no end in sight. As someone involved in business, take heart in knowing these delays and disruptions won’t last forever.

In the meantime, focus on working smarter, not harder — to navigate supply chain disruptions. By mitigating some of the issues, being smart with data collection, and focusing on boosting the strength of other areas of your business, you’ll be able to get through these disruptions more comfortably. You may even come out on the other side with more resiliency and knowledge.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Mika Baumeister; Unsplash; Thank you!

Amanda Winstead

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2021 Seminole Press.