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How These 2 People Made Millions off Market Crashes

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Many people reap massive rewards from market crashes or economic downturns. When stocks are falling, and businesses are losing, these millionaires take action. Fortune seekers also understand market behaviour.

Even if the market was good last year, it’s no guarantee that 2020 will be as good or better. Look now, and the world is facing another global recession. Generally, the stock market spends more time advancing or going up than going down.

Hence, it gives investors a better reason to invest to maximize returns. Also, there’s the willingness to use idle capital despite the risk of losing some, if not all. The founders of SmartCentres (TSX: SRU.UN) and Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B) had the foresight and intuition that made them billionaires.

Niche focus

Mitchell Goldhar is the founder of SmartCentres. The $4.25 billion real estate investment trust (REIT) has developed hundreds of shopping centres across Canada. Goldhar was the person responsible for convincing Walmart to open a store in one of his power centres in Canada.

The first Walmart store opened in 1994, after which SmartCentres built more Walmart stores. Goldhar formed his real estate firm in the early 1990s. In the next two decades, including the 2008 financial crisis, Goldhar developed more than 265 shopping centres.

In 2015, Goldhar sold most of his assets to SmartCentres for $1.2 billion. At present, SmartCentres is a dominant real estate provider. This REIT offers some of the best commercial real estate spaces in the country. His current net worth is $2.5 billion.

With Walmart as the anchor tenant in its best-in-class portfolio (98% occupancy rate), you have a consumer defensive stock. Would-be investors can purchase SmartCentres for $25.10 per share and receive a generous 6.66% dividend.

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Overcome competition

Alain Bouchard, the co-founder of Couche-Tard, is a perceptive businessman. The former president and CEO of this $43.35 billion operator of convenience stores grew the business by acquiring competitors. He now serves as the company’s executive chairman. His net worth as of March 13, 2020 is $3.7 billion.

The rapid expansion began with a single store in Quebec in 1980. During the height of the financial crisis from 2008 to 2009, Couche-Tard continued its buying spree rather than slowing down. The company made a total of 370 acquisitions during the period.

Currently, Couche-Tard’s entire worldwide network consists of over 14,800 stores. Its international footprint is vast and wide as the Couche-Tard is present in 16 countries in various continents. The branches are either convenience or automated fuel stores only or full service (convenience and fuel) stores.

Couche-Tard is another consumer defensive stock. Business is enduring as operations in convenience stores and fuel stations continue despite an economic slowdown. The next big acquisition target is oil refiner Caltex Australia where Couche-Tard has an outstanding buy offer.

Do not panic

Regular investors are not expected to be as wealthy as Goldhar and Bouchard, however. The point here is that you can find income opportunities during market crashes.

Sometimes it’s not about the stock performance, but business endurance. You’ll realize your long-term goals when the market eventually recovers.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends ALIMENTATION COUCHE-TARD INC.

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