Biases are difficult things to shake. Recently I have become somewhat bearish regarding the prospects of a continued bull market. Calling the top is one thing, but getting it right is another. So I am going to stop short of calling the end of the end of the bull market, but I will say that we have had a very long bull market from a historical perspective and that it would not come as a surprise if, some time within the next six to 18 months, the market enters a bear phase. Global markets have come down significantly already and I don’t think it would take much more panic for them to slide another 10% or so. So, to find shares worthy of investment during troubling times, I turn to noncyclical stocks to find "defensive" investments. British American Tobacco (BAT) might not seem like a logical pick considering that its shares have dropped 40% this year, the biggest decline in two decades. But if you consider that it has only had two annual declines in the past 19 years and that much of...

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