The recession of the late 2000s pummeled investors with huge losses in the Dow over multiple daily trading sessions. Wall Street was wondering "how low can it go?" During the string of catastrophic losses across the major market indexes, March 9, 2009, came and went - becoming the bottom of the financial panic that swept the country. (For more, see The 2007-08 Financial Crisis In Review.)

Many investors lost it all - or got our while they could. Some investors, however, were not thwarted by the markets and continued to make investments in spite of the panic-driven selling. Warren Buffett, who is arguably one of greatest investors of all-time, once said of his investing strategy, "We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." Buffett and other bold investors were certainly able to take advantage of this stance during the late 2000s when most investors were either too fearful - or too broke - to be in the market. Here are five recession stocks picks and what they are worth today.

IN PICTURES: World's Greatest Investors

1. American Express (NYSE:AXP)
Warren Buffett added to his American Express position in November, 2008. It hit a low of $10.26 during the week of March 2, 2009, but has since rallied to a 52-week trading range of $37.13 to $49.19, with a closing price of $43.57 on the last day of February, 2011. Interestingly, Buffett has been acquiring shares of American Express since the 1960s. At that time, the salad oil scandal threatened both the value and the reputation of American Express. The stock dropped 50% in a short period of time. Buffett, always one to buy when others are running scared, scooped up his initial shares, and has continued to add to the position over the years.

2. Ingersoll-Rand (NYSE:IR)
Ingersoll-Rand is an international supplier to transportation, manufacturing, construction and agricultural industries. Investors Warren Buffett and George Soros each hold positions in Ingersoll-Rand, which hit a low of $11.84 the week of March 2, 2009. Today it is trading under an average daily volume 4 million, with a 52-week range of $32.42 - $49.07, closing at $45.30 on February 28, 2011.

IN PICTURES: 5 Reasons Why Companies Care About Their Stock Prices

3. USG Corporation (NYSE:USG)
USG manufactures building materials for the construction and remodeling industries. In November of 2008, Buffett made a $300 million investment in USG Corporation, maintaining his position as USG's largest shareholder with over 17 million shares. After adding to the position and publicly expressing confidence in USG Corporation, USG shares were up nearly 22%. Other big name investors, including Prem Watsa and Brian Rogers, hold sizable positions in USG, which reached its recession low of $4.29 in March 2009. It is currently trading in a 52-week range of $11.34-$25.59, closing at $17.14 at the end of February, 2011.

4. Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq:COST)
Costco operates an international chain of membership-based warehouses, selling brand name merchandise at low prices. Investors like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have notable positions in Costco, which hit a low of $38.98 during the recession and now trades in a 52-week range of $53.41-$75.48, closing at $74.79 at the end of February, 2011. (For a related reading, check out Shopping For Grocery Store Dividends.)

5. Kraft Foods, Inc (NYSE:KFT)
Kraft Foods, Inc is the nation's largest food, beverage and confectionery corporation, home to well-known brands like Kraft, Cadbury and Maxwell House. Investors including Warren Buffett, Prem Watsa, and Bill Ackman hold positions in Kraft. Kraft hit a recession low of $21.62 late February 2009, and has since steadily climbed to its 52-week trading range of $27.49-$32.67, rounding out February's trading with a close of $31.84.

The Bottom Line
The investors mentioned here are by no means typical; rather than investing in terms of 100s of shares, these heavy hitters are making bets in terms of tens of thousands or even millions of shares. Warren Buffett and others continued to buy - or go long - the stock market throughout the recession of the late 2000s. Many of the bets have paid off for Buffett and other investors who took advantage the market lows. (For more, check out Warren Buffett's Best Buys.)

At the time of writing, Jean Folger did not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 5 Japan Mutual Funds

    Discover five of the most popular and best-performing mutual funds offering investors direct exposure to equities of Japanese companies.
  2. Investing News

    Canada in Recession

    On September 1, 2015, Statistics Canada reported that the economy has contracted by 0.5% in Q2 2015, after falling 0.8% in previous quarter.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    5 Mutual Funds that Hold Berkshire Hathaway Stock

    Discover the top five mutual funds most heavily weighted with Berkshire Hathaway stock, and the percentage of their assets dedicated to BRK.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Mutual Funds that Hold Google Stock

    Discover the top three mutual funds that dedicate the largest percentage of their total assets to Google, Inc. stock.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Comparing ETFs Vs. Mutual Funds For Tax Efficiency

    Explore a comparison of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, and learn what makes ETFs a significantly more tax-efficient investment.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Mutual Funds that Hold Tesla Stock

    Obtain information on the four mutual funds that have significant allocations to Tesla Motors, Inc. in their major portfolio holdings.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Mutual Funds that Hold Apple Stock

    Discover mutual funds offering the most substantial percentage of holdings in Apple, Inc. stock that investors can use to get significant exposure to Apple.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Small-Cap Value

    Find out about the Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability, recommendations and historical statistics.
  9. Economics

    Is a Recession Coming?

    In the space of a week, the VIX Index, a measure of market volatility, spiked from 13, suggesting extreme complacency, to over 50, evidencing total panic.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Switzerland ETFs

    Explore detailed analysis and information of the top three Swiss exchange-traded funds that offer exposure to the Swiss equities market.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

    A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets ...
  2. Compound Annual Growth Rate - CAGR

    The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is the mean annual growth ...
  3. Return On Investment - ROI

    A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment ...
  4. Regional Asset Liquidation Agreement ...

    An agreement between an asset manager and the Federal Deposit ...
  5. The New Deal

    A series of domestic programs designed to help the United States ...
  6. Systematic Manager

    A manager who adjusts a portfolio’s long and short-term positions ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between passive and active asset management?

    Asset management utilizes two main investment strategies that can be used to generate returns: active asset management and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What percentage of a diversified portfolio should large cap stocks comprise?

    The percentage of a diversified investment portfolio that should consist of large-cap stocks depends on an individual investor's ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the risk of investing in the industrial sector compare to the broader market?

    There is increased risk when investing in the industrial sector compared to the broader market due to high debt loads and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why should an investor include an allocation to the telecommunications sector in ...

    An investor should include an allocation to the telecommunications sector in his portfolio, because telecom offers an investor ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some mutual funds that do not have 12b-1 fees?

    Some of the most popular and best-performing mutual funds that do not include any 12b-1 fees in the expenses charged to fund ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!