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The Pocket Idiot's Guide™ To Direct Stock Investing by Lita Epstein, Douglas Gerlach

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Start Defensively

As you pick the stocks and industries you want to focus on, think defensively. Look for industries that survive during the good times and the bad. Some top defensive industries to consider (in alphabetical order) include:
• Consumer products
• Energy (can be cyclical, so expect more ups and downs)
• Finance
• Food and beverages
• Pharmaceuticals
• Utilities

Consumer Products

The companies that fall into this category are those that sell the little things we always need, such as shampoo, toothpaste, paper goods, shoes, and shirts—the kinds of items we buy in good times and bad. We group major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot on this list, as well as leading consumer product companies such as Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, ...

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