7 Crash-Proof ETFs to Battle a Bear Market

Wall Street has started slipping into bear market fears thanks to a brutal, volatile October that has sapped away the year-to-date gains from the major indices.

Furious wild bear in the wood roars showing his teeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wall Street has started slipping into bear market fears thanks to a brutal, volatile October that has sapped away the year-to-date gains from the major indices. But investors starting to flee have the wrong idea. There are places to hide – including a handful of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The Nasdaq has slipped into a 10%-plus correction for the first time in two years. The S&P 500 and Dow are flirting with the same. Several bearish drivers are leading the charge, from tariffs weighing on American corporations to weak earnings from the tech sector to lousy housing-sector data. All this has some worried that the current trouble in the market isn’t just a short-term blip, but the start of a new bear market.

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have a suggestion: Don’t panic. Prepare.

There are numerous reasons to believe this pain will be short-lived, including still-strong economic growth, low unemployment and the continued benefit of tax breaks to American businesses. But enough bricks are coming loose that investors should be aware of their options in case the worst comes to pass. So today, we will highlight seven “crash-proof” ETFs to buy that are designed to at least minimize the damage in a bear market, and in some cases can even deliver a little upside.

Data is as of Oct. 25, 2018. Yields represent the trailing 12-month yield, which is a standard measure for equity funds.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.