I don’t know about you, but the recent market correction has rearranged my portfolio with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. I imagine I’m not the only investor sweeping up broken crockery right now.

As I write, the FTSE 100 has found a degree of resistance at the 7,000 level (down from 7,877 in May earlier this year). Macro fears abound: Brexit, trade wars, increasing debts, weakening underwriting standards and the gradual normalisation of interest rates, to name a few. The days are also getting shorter, but my colleagues assure me this happens every year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 2018 has been a volatile year. We are more than nine years into a bull market and pretty much in uncharted territory. If the UK stock market was an ‘X’ on an old pirate’s map, it would be scrawled right next to a ‘Here Be Monsters’ sign in the middle of the ocean.

The nature of this bull market deserves a book in its own right, propped up as it has been by the most massive bout of global quantitative easing in human history. There have been some unprecedented monetary policies enacted in the past decade by central banks, which makes second-guessing this market especially tricky. One thing is for sure: we may be in the middle of this bull run or we might be nearing the end, but we are certainly not at the start.

The risks are skewed to the downside but if you are not quite ready to start storing cash under your mattress just yet, it might at least be prudent to consider a couple of stocks with defensive characteristics.

With this in mind, I went to ‘Browse Sectors’ in Stockopedia's drop-down ‘Home’ menu, opened up the ‘Consumer Defensives’ sector, sorted its constituent companies in descending order of StockRank, and picked the top three UK-listed stocks to have a look at. (Click here for a shortcut)

Wynnstay (WYN)
Share price: 440p
Market cap: £86.9m
StockRank: 98

I was surprised to see Wynnstay pop up. I invested in this company because it is very boring, operates in the countryside away from the London hype machine, and has been around forever (well, since 1918). WYN began life as a farmers’ co-operative but grew steadily over the ensuing decades and, via a series of mergers and acquisitions (the latest being the…

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