umbrella_cash[1]The stock market volatility we’ve experienced thus far in 2014 has certainly served as a rude awakening for many investors who were lulled into a false sense of security after a year of smooth sailing.

Wednesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ¬†— flat as a pancake since January — is the only major index not in the red. Both the Nasdaq Composite Index and Dow Jones industrials¬† are in negative territory, sending weary investors on a roller-coaster ride they didn’t expect.

One way to avoid the ups and downs is by owning stocks that aren’t about short-term trends, or economic cycles, or what the new Fed chair said a week ago. It’s certainly OK to invest in stocks that change with the seasons, as long as you monitor them semi-regularly.

However, owning a few staples that can hold you and your nest egg together for the long haul certainly makes sense. That can allow you to sleep soundly while making solid gains. That said, here are four stocks capable of delivering stability — and sanity — over the long haul. Springing from the education, healthcare, food processing and technology industries, each company has long histories and long profitable futures.