Worried About a Market Crash? Buy Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P.

The sharp sell-off of equities in the wake of the Brexit has made investors increasingly jittery about a market crash. Since U.K. voters elected to leave the Eurozone, the S&P 500 Index has lost over 3% in the last five days and European markets are in free fall with no signs of a recovery in sight. Even the TSX Composite Index has not been immune; it’s down by almost 2% over the same period.

Then there are the ever-expanding fissures in the world economy, which–in conjunction with rising geopolitical instability–have the potential to trigger the next market correction.

However, regardless of these factors and the increasing uncertainty surrounding markets, there are still a number of stocks that make solid long-term investments. One standout contender is Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (TSX:BIP.UN)(NYSE:BIP).

Now what?

One of Brookfield Infrastructure’s key strengths is that it invests in real assets that have wide economic moats, operate in markets with oligopolistic tendencies, and have steep barriers to entry.

Consequently, it is shielded from competition and can, to a point, act as a price maker rather than a price taker, which–along with a considerable portion of its revenues being contractually locked in–virtually guarantees its earnings.

Another of its strengths is its global presence. Assets are distributed across a range of defensive industries including transportation, energy transmission and storage, utilities, and communications infrastructure. These assets are located across five continents and operate in a mix of developed and emerging economies.

Brookfield Infrastructure benefits from the stability of developed markets such as Australia, the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe as well as the faster rates of economic growth associated with emerging markets, including Colombia, Brazil, and India. 

Such an appreciable degree of market, industry, and jurisdictional diversification reduces the risks posed to Brookfield Infrastructure’s operations. Not only does it help to shield it from a downturn in one particular industry, but it also protects it from an economic slump in any single market.

All of these attributes certainly establish its defensive nature, but what makes it even more appealing are its solid growth prospects.

You see, there is an ever-growing shortfall in investments in infrastructure globally. Many governments are either unwilling or unable to afford to make the minimum required investment. According to the World Bank, this shortfall now comes to US$1 trillion annually and is growing.

With infrastructure such as ports, roads, railways, electricity transmission, and communications towers being important elements of economic activity, demand for Brookfield Infrastructure’s assets can only grow. And the world’s population is growing rapidly, thereby placing greater pressure on the demand for such crucial assets.

It is this demand that will act as a powerful tailwind for Brookfield Infrastructure’s earnings growth.

Brookfield Infrastructure is also effectively positioning itself to take advantage of this growing demand for infrastructure through an acquisition-focused strategy. Currently, it is part of a consortium that is seeking to acquire Australian ports and rail operator Asciano Ltd., although there are still a number of regulatory hurdles to be overcome before a deal is completed.

If successful, this purchase would increase Brookfield Infrastructure’s exposure to the rapidly growing economies of Asia, while strengthening its position in Australia, which can only give its bottom line a healthy bump over the long term.

So what?

Each of these qualities make Brookfield Infrastructure an ideal defensive stock, but what makes it an exceptional investment are its solid growth prospects, giving investors the best of both worlds. Then there is that juicy and sustainable 5% dividend yield that will reward patient investors as they wait for its earnings and bottom line to grow and its share price to appreciate.

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Fool contributor Matt Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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