Buy These 5 Low Leverage Stocks To Protect Your Portfolio

Per the theory of cost of capital, a company’s capital structure reflects a mix of debt and equity that are used to finance its capital projects. Now a comparative analysis of the same theory reveals that most companies prefer debt financing over equity since debt is cheaper, especially in periods of low interest rates.

This is because when a company resorts to debt financing, it takes on fixed expenses in the form of interest payments for a specific time period. However, in case of equity financing, a shareholder not only becomes a partial owner of the company but develops a direct claim on the company’s future profits as well. No doubt, debt financing is a popular financing option among the majority of corporations.

But debt financing has its share of drawbacks. The problem arises when leverage, referred to as the amount of debt a company bears, becomes exorbitant.  A high degree of financial leverage means high interest payments, which affect the company's bottom-line growth.

Therefore, to safeguard one’s portfolio from notable losses, the real challenge for an investor is determining whether the organization’s debt level is sustainable as a debt-free corporation is rare to find. Historically several leverage ratios have been developed to measure the amount of debt a company bears and the debt-to-equity ratio is one of the most common ratios.

Analyzing Debt-to-Equity

Debt-to-Equity Ratio = Total Liabilities/Shareholders’ Equity

This metric is a liquidity ratio that indicates the amount of financial risk a company bears. A company with a lower debt-to-equity ratio implies that it has a more or less financially stable business, thereby making it a more worthy investment opportunity.

Therefore, before blindly pursuing high growth-yielding stocks, investors must consider their debt level. Since large debt loads can make a so-called growth stock volatile in times of economic crisis, it is better to go for stocks bearing low debt-to-equity ratio.

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