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We like money managers who are willing to share their investment ideas with the public. Billionaire Ken Fisher, the founder of Fisher Asset Management, is one of these managers. He is the author of seven money management books, three of which are New York Times best sellers. Additionally, Fisher has been writing the Forbes Portfolio Strategy column for more than 26 years, making him the fourth-longest running columnist in the history of Forbes. With regard to his performance, Fisher’s stock picks outperformed the market in 11 of the past 14 years. He beat the market by 24 percentage points in 2009 and 5 percentage points in 2010.

Below we compiled a list of Ken Fisher’s stock picks that are relatively defensive because they have Total Debt / Equity ratio of below 0.8 and beta of 0.7 or less. All companies have at least $10 billion market cap and Fisher invested at least $100 million in each of these U.S. stocks. The market data is sourced from Finviz.

Company Name

Ticker

Value

Activity

Beta

Total Debt/Equity

JOHNSON & JOHNSON

JNJ

685725

0%

0.55

0.3

EXXON MOBIL CORP

XOM

518965

0%

0.51

0.11

ABBOTT LABS

ABT

478283

0%

0.31

0.68

MICROSOFT CORP

MSFT

443964

0%

0.99

0.2

PFIZER INC

PFE

388685

0%

0.74

0.46

ALLERGAN INC

AGN

352684

1%

0.83

0.31

MEDTRONIC INC

MDT

291023

2%

0.87

0.61

QUALCOMM INC

QCOM

270992

2%

0.94

0.04

PROCTER & GAMBLE

PG

265886

-1%

0.45

0.52

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is the biggest defensive position in the latest 13F portfolio of Fisher Asset Management. As of September 30, 2011, Fisher had $686 million invested in Johnson & Johnson. Since then, the stock returned 3.77%, lower than the 13.57% for SPY. Despite that, Johnson & Johnson has strong fundamentals. It has a beta of 0.55 and total debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3. Its P/E ratio is 15.97 and its forward P/E ratio is 12.52. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson is quite popular among hedge funds. For example, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had $2.4 billion invested in Johnson & Johnson at the end of September. Bill Miller, Ric Dillon, Cliff Asness, Jean-Marie Eveillard, and Tom Gayner are also bullish about Johnson & Johnson.

Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) is another big defensive stock pick of Fisher. At the end of the third quarter, Fisher reported to own $519 million of Exxon Mobil shares. Exxon Mobil has a beta of 0.51 and total debt-to-equity ratio of only 0.11. It has a market cap of $412B and a low P/E ratio of 10.36. The stock was up 19.14% since the end of September, beating the market by more than 5 percentage points. T Boone Pickens’ BP Capital initiated a brand new $6.9 million position in Exxon Mobil during the third quarter.

Other large-cap defensive stocks that Fisher loves include Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ:QCOM), and Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG). During the recent market turmoil, we recommend investors to play more defensively in order to protect themselves from potential losses. We think one of the best ways of picking defensive stocks is to focus on the stocks that are liked by successful fund managers such as Ken Fisher.

Source: Ken Fisher's 9 Low Risk Defensive Stock Picks