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I reckon £3,000 invested in these 2 FTSE 100 stocks could help you retire early

The recent stock market crash has thrown up some FTSE 100 bargains. However, they may not look like good value right now because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

It can be a good strategy shopping for shares when a set-back has temporarily depressed a company’s revenues and profits. I’d choose shares backed by good-quality and resilient underlying businesses then hold them for the long term.

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If you do that, you could see decent gains when markets recover and beyond, as each enterprise expands and progresses in the years ahead. There’s a decent chance that investing now could help you make enough money to retire early.

Plumbing and heating supplies

I reckon plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products supplier Ferguson (LSE: FERG) is a good example of a company operating in a resilient sector. Taps keep dripping, central heating breaks down, and pipes burst in the loft whatever the wider economy is doing.

Meanwhile, Ferguson has done a good job of capturing a large swathe of the market over the years. Indeed, no serious plumber or heating installer can manage without an account with Ferguson. The company has an active acquisition programme that buys loads of smaller distributors every year and bolts their businesses onto the larger Ferguson operation.

Radiators, pipes, and cylinders walk out of Ferguson’s doors under the arms of plumbers up and down the country every working day. And there’s a massive, similar set-up in America as well. Meanwhile, trading continues both sides of the pond, and business will probably improve further as the virus fades from our lives. I’d be a buyer of share-price weakness now and a strong long-term holder of the shares.

Packaging and paper

Paper and packaging producer Mondi (LSE: MNDI) has run a defensive, cash-generating business for as long as I can remember. In today’s world of internet shopping and plentiful parcel deliveries, there’s been strong demand for the firm’s products. I can only imagine a world with Covid-19 adding to that need.

Mondi manages forests and produces pulp, paper, plastic films, and packaging solutions. And in an update near the beginning of April, the company reported a “robust performance” during the first quarter of 2020.

Naturally, the firm has taken all the usual precautions to protect its employees and customers through the coronavirus crisis. And the directors said in the update the order books “held up well” in Q1. There was a deterioration in the uncoated fine paper order book towards the end of the quarter and into early April because of lockdowns around the world. However, I can only imagine business improving now that such measures are starting to lift.

I reckon the future looks bright for Mondi and its shareholders and I’d be a buyer now to take advantage of ongoing weakness in the share price.

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Kevin Godbold has no position in any share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.