“Once again, the conservative, sandwich-heavy portfolio pays off for the hungry investor!”

-Dr. Zoidberg, Futurama

The first day Wall Street was open after the credit downgrade, I didn’t sell a single stock. In fact, I took half my cash and bought bought bought.

GE, Johnson and Johnson, Paychex, an ETF. These are all solid companies that aren’t going away any time soon and that pay good dividends. I’m enjoying the fact that they’re all underpriced right now, but who do I have to thank for that?

Any investor who’s ever based a decision on a “rational consumer” model had best take a look in the mirror and dunk his or her head in a bucket of ice water. A lot of people in suits are myopic and parochial worrywarts who for some reason think that a bunch of ivory tower economists writing “AA+” on a piece of paper has something to do with how many light bulbs and shampoo bottles real people buy.

I for one won’t go in for these sorts of knee-jerk shenanigans.

A good way to assess a company’s viability as a long term investment is to look at how they manage their own investments, and a readily accessible window is that company’s 5500 filings. It’s a long way from hiring to retirement, and when a company has secure pension dollars, you know they’re in it for the long haul.

Skip over defined contribution plans like 401(k)s: a company can’t be responsible for its employees bad decisions. Look for master trusts and defined benefit plans.

Take Johnson and Johnson’s Pension and Savings Plan Master Trust (Plan 015) – their rate of return in 2009 outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 15 percent. These are people who know how to handle their own money. They’re a solid buy.

And with this latest roller coaster ride, you know the company behind Pepcid AC is going to do well.