5 Mighty Mid-Cap Stocks That Will Survive a Market Crash

Stocks continue setting new all-time highs, so it’s understandable if some investors are getting nervous about holding on to their gains.

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Stocks continue setting new all-time highs, so it’s understandable if some investors are getting nervous about holding on to their gains. It doesn't help that it's almost October – a month that has hosted some of the worst market crashes in history. If it's all too much for your nerves, there's nothing wrong with adding some protection to your holdings.

And you can find that protection in an unlikely place: mid-cap stocks.

Typically, when investors consider "safe" stocks, they think about big, blue-chip companies in defensive sectors, such as AT&T (T (opens in new tab)). That's fine, and AT&T's dividend yield of 5% is indeed attractive. But AT&T is unlikely to wow you with price appreciation if the markets remain in bull mode. Conversely, stocks with small market capitalizations – share price times total shares outstanding – have a greater chance of putting up big gains, but they are riskier by their very nature.

That’s why you should consider looking in the comfortable middle ground. Mid-caps are firms with market capitalizations of about $2 billion to $10 billion. They tend to be more stable than small-cap stocks, but have better growth prospects than your average blue-chip large-cap.

We have searched the S&P MidCap 400 index – which includes companies between $1.6 billion and $6.8 billion in market cap – for mid-cap stocks to buy in good times and bad. We also looked for low beta scores; when a stock has a beta of less than 1, it tends to be less volatile and hold up better in a down market. Lastly, we also considered prices and analysts' recommendations, among other criteria.

Here are five of the best mid-cap stocks to buy to survive a market crash.

Data is as of Sept. 28, 2017. Companies are listed in order of market capitalization, starting with the highest. Analysts’ ratings provided by Zacks Investment Research. Click on symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more.

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 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.