I grew up in the podunk town of Bath, New York. Bath is a hop, skip, and a jump from Corning. In fact, I lived right in the city of Corning in my early 20s and worked for Corning Incorporated making fiber optics modules.
Working for Corning taught me a lot about financial security, even though I was laid off from the company after the dot com bust. Corning, if you’re not familiar, is the famous glass manufacturer that made fiber optics for AT&T and a bunch of other telecoms in the dot com boom. They also make the Gorilla Glass that goes into every smartphone on the market. They made the heat shield for all the NASA space shuttles and they invented the first stop lights in America, and a bunch of other stuff.
Anyway, Corning has 4 different core lines of business. If one of those businesses suffers, the other 3 pick up the slack. They split their strategy up across 3 different R&D initiatives.
This is why the company has remained almost bulletproof for over 150 years.
Now before you rush out and buy the stock, hold your horses. This isn’t a stock recommendation. In fact, even though I grew up in the Corning area, I don’t own the stock and probably wouldn’t ever buy it myself at this point. It can be extremely volatile.
But… the company itself has been stable over a 100-year stretch. My point here isn’t that Corning is a good or bad company. My point is the company’s strategies for coping with economic downturns have been like a Gorilla Glass bridge over troubled water.
Anyway, if you want the same sort of personal financial stability and security that Corning has as a company, then you need your own “bridge over troubled water”.