The EU referendum is an unfolding drama that will set the tone in Europe, and the world, for the next few years. It is really a culmination of a play in several acts, running from the Greek crisis to a rising global wave of populism with players such as Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen.
After cool reflection, most politicians, businessmen and commentators have realised that we really should stay in Europe. Yet, in this muggy June heat, cool reflection is one thing I think we miss.
What's more, even before a decision has been made, we have seen the effect in slowing growth and job creation in the UK. And with the opinion polls delicately poised, there is a chance we actually do leave. So here are 3 safe haven shares that should see you through the oncoming storm.
I think there are fewer safer harbours in a storm then telecoms, business services and broadcasting company BT(LSE: BT-A). It has a steady stream of money coming in from its fixed line arm, broadband, the range of business services it provides, and its fast-growing broadcasting venture.
A recent pull back in the share price means this is a firm that is growing, yet also exhibits good value, and pays a sizeable income to boot. A 2016 P/E ratio of 13.70, with a dividend yield of 3.04% shows this is a well-balanced company that has all the defensive qualities you want in times of crisis.
The utilities are a sector of the stock market that investors often look to in times of trouble. And one of my prime picks in this area is energy provider SSE(LSE: SSE).
This firm has had a long run of success, but even now it is fairly priced, with a 2016 P/E ratio of 13.97, and a dividend yield of 5.76%. This is a share you won't expect rapid growth from, but as long it can maintain a steady state of profitability, you can continue to rake in those dividend cheques.
What affect will low commodity prices have? Well, there will be pressure to reduce electricity and gas prices, and, in the long run, the share price might edge downwards. But, at this moment, I think it is one of the better places to put your cash.
Pharmaceutical business Shire(LSE: SHP) has emerged out of nowhere in recent years to become one of Britain's drugs giants. And, whether you have a crisis or not, healthcare spend tends to be maintained.
What's more, a growing world population with more money to spend means that many pharma firms have strong prospects.
Shire has seen its share price fall back after a mighty bull run. This tends to be the way with high growth businesses, and I expect the growth to slow into the future, with the dividend yield being steadily increased.
Drugs firms tend to be cash generation machines, and I see no exception in this case. A 2016 P/E ratio of 15.51 shows Shire is reasonably priced. This is another stock to add to your defensive portfolio.
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Prabhat Sakya has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.