11 Defensive Stocks to Buy Now for Harder Times Later

The best time to buy defensive stocks is before you need them. Here are 11 picks to buy now to prepare yourself for an eventual patch of turbulence.

A businessman pulls apart a few buttons of his shirt to reveal a shield symbol underneath
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why would you hunt down the best stocks to buy now for a downturn when the markets are at all-time highs?

The current bull market – currently fueled by cheap money from the Federal Reserve, another stimulus plan and, most importantly, the hopes that some day in the nebulous future, we'll have COVID under control – is going to end. Every bull market does.


Data is as of Feb. 4. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price.

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Dana Blankenhorn
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
Dana Blankenhorn has been a business and technology journalist since 1978. His work has appeared in newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and magazines such as Interactive Age. But he has spent most of his career online, spotting future trends in over a dozen beats from e-commerce to open source, and from renewable energy to blockchain, working for such publishers as TheRegister.com, ZDNet, InvestorPlace, TheStreet.com and Yahoo Finance.