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There is a saying “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary”. Most investors believe that lucrative returns could be accumulated only from investing in risky stocks. The investment philosophy is true only if the market moves on the bullish path. However, the opposite can happen if weakness prevails.

This article shows that if a portfolio of less risky stocks is created, that could also give healthy returns if some other parameters are taken into account.

Meaning of Beta

Beta measures the volatility or risks to a security relative to the market (we are considering the S&P 500 here). That is, beta measures the extent to which the price of a stock moves with respect to the market.

If the beta is equal to 1 it means that the stock is as volatile as the market. So, a stock is relatively more volatile if it has beta greater than 1 and less volatile if beta is less than 1.

For example, if the beta is 1.8 then the stock will witness 80% more movement than the market.  Hence, we can say that if the market goes up, the stock will outperform by 80%. Conversely, if the market plunges, the stock will lose much more value than the market.

Building a Low-Risk Portfolio

In order to find stocks with lower-than-market volatility, we added beta between 0 and 0.6 as our main criterion for screening. However, we need to keep in mind that low beta is not the only metric to be considered for choosing stocks in a volatile market. Hence to reach the winning strategy, we have considered a few additional criteria.

Percentage Change in Price in the last 4 Weeks: We considered those stocks that saw positive price movement over the last month.

Average 20 Day Volume greater than or equal to 50,000: A substantial trading volume ensures that the stocks are easily tradable.

Price greater than or equal to $5: They must all be trading at a minimum of $5 or higher.

Zacks Rank equal to 1: Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks indicate that they will significantly outperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Here are five of the 11 stocks that fit the bill:

Burlington Stores Inc. (BURL - Free Report) – based in Burlington, NJ – is a retailer of branded apparel products in the U.S.  The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters with an average surprise of 26.25%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has been revised upward.

Based in Secaucus, NJ, The Children's Place Inc. (PLCE - Free Report) is a specialty apparel retailer for children. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the prior four quarters with an average earnings surprise of 39.04%. On top of that, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter has been revised upward over prior 30 days.

Tokyo-based Canon Inc. (CAJ - Free Report) is the manufacturer and seller of office multifunction devices, cameras, laser printers etc. For the current year, the company’s earnings are anticipated to witness year-over-year growth of 18.9% while revenue is projected to increase 9.5%.

Logitech International SA (LOGI - Free Report) – based in Apples, Switzerland – is a global leader in peripherals for personal computers and other digital platforms. The company managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the previous four quarters with an average earnings surprise of 131.60%. Earnings for the current year are expected to increase 30.2% year over year.

Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. (GCAP - Free Report) is the provider of trading services and solutions to retail and institutional customers all over the world. The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters with an average earnings surprise of 12.97%.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.

The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.

Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance/.

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