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Forget the global recession! I’d buy this FTSE 100 stock to get rich and retire early

The world is on the cusp of a painful (and possibly prolonged) recession. Severe lockdown measures all over the world started the ball rolling. The economic implications of the coronavirus crisis threaten to last much longer. Things could get even tougher should infection rates begin to balloon again and quarantine measures start to be reintroduced.

What does this mean for stock investors though? Well, investing conditions might not be perfect, but it doesn’t mean share pickers need to lock their chequebooks up. Latest studies on pensioners’ monetary affairs — a reflection of the poor State Pension, of course — shows that we simply can’t afford to sit back and let events dictate our financial destiny.

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Global recession? Pah!

Coronavirus, or no coronavirus, I’m determined to continue building my stocks portfolio in order to get rich and retire early. Irrespective of the broader outlook for the global economy, there remains a galaxy of great shares that should continue to thrive in the medium term.

It’s worth remembering the key to successful investing is to buy shares today with a view to holding them for 10 years or more. You can’t totally ignore current events, of course. But for top-quality stocks, the coronavirus should prove a mere bump rather than a blockade on the road to enjoying big shareholder returns.

Economic Uncertainty Ahead Sign With Stormy Background

Drink sales are booming

There’s plenty of shares I reckon should remain reliable profits generators regardless of the upcoming global recession. Diageo (LSE: DGE) is a great  FTSE 100 pick I reckon has all the tools to keep performing.

Historical data shows alcohol sales zoom higher in times of severe macroeconomic trouble. It’s a phenomenon that’s becoming apparent during this current downturn.

A recent report from Nielsen shows supermarket booze sales in Diageo’s critical North America market were up more than 25% year-on-year in the nine weeks to mid-May. These growth rates are enabling drinks manufacturers to offset the loss of revenues from the shuttering of bars and restaurants.

Pleasingly for Diageo, the spirits category is the strongest-performing drinks segment right now. Supermarket sales here jumped more than a third on an annual basis in that nine-week period, Nielsen says. This is a sector in which the FTSE 100 is a global leader, thanks to products like Captain Morgan rum, Johnnie Walker whisky, and Smirnoff vodka.

A brilliant FTSE 100 share

Don’t just buy Diageo on account of its likely near-term resilience though. Its evergreen, industry-leading labels, pan-global presence, and vast investment on product innovation, marketing, and acquisition activity makes this blue-chip well-placed to thrive in the coming decades.

The Footsie firm’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) of around 25 times makes it a tad dear on paper. But, to borrow the timeless slogan of one of its rivals, I consider Diageo to be “reassuringly expensive.”

I already own shares in the drinks colossus, but I’m tempted to buy more for my retirement strategy.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Diageo. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Diageo. 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.