Picker: Buy Consumer Stocks (Carefully)

Jack Ablin says consumer stocks are viable, but they must be picked carefully.

"We've divided the consumer market into areas that consumers can buy with cash, versus areas that consumers need financing to buy," the chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank told CNBC. "Clearly, anythingthat needs financing to buy is out."


That deletes consumer industrials from his list. Materials are off the list as well.

"Consumers are going to continue to buy cigarettes, beer, and toothpaste," he said, referring to things they can buy with cash. "These companies do not rely on the capital markets to fund themselves, and their revenues are pretty insensitive to the vagaries of the economy."

So Ablin likes health care, consumer staples, utilities, energy and telecommunications services.

Cigarettes (Tobacco Stocks):

Altria Group


Toothpaste (Personal/Household Goods):


Procter & Gamble



Disclosure information for Jack Ablin was not immediately available.