5 Super Stocks to Stave Off Sizzling Inflation

Five sectors are considered more inflation-proof than their peers. We've selected one of the best stocks from each to create a mini-portfolio that can stand up against rising prices.

An illustration of a man punching stacks of coins
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Investors spooked by the latest red-hot readings on inflation should know that a handful of market sectors have historically not only afforded them safety amid rapidly rising prices, but have actually delivered outright outperformance.

True, every sector of the market is down for the year-to-date except for financials and energy. But the long-term data suggest it's only a matter of time before the best stocks in the most inflation-resistant sectors come roaring back.

A study of U.S. equity sector performance amid rising inflationary environments revealed that from 1973 through 2020, five of the S&P 500's 11 sectors offered solid to strong performance.

Indeed, over that time span, the healthcare, consumer staples, utilities, equity real estate investment trust (REIT) and energy sectors generated 12-month inflation adjusted returns of anywhere between about 2% and 10%, according to Sean Markowicz, a research and analytics strategist at Hartford Funds.

Some folks might wonder why the materials sector didn't make the list, given that gold is thought to be a hedge against inflation. Well, guess again.

"Although gold is often touted as a hedge against currency debasement fears, the track record for companies in the precious metals and mining sector is mixed," Markowicz writes.

With this evidence in hand, we screened the S&P 500's five best sectors for inflation one by one, using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. We then singled out the top-rated stock in each sector by analysts' consensus recommendation.

Have a look at the top stock in each of the market's five best sectors when it comes to fighting inflation.


Share prices, market data are as of Feb. 9. Analysts' consensus recommendations courtesy of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.