An investment strategy is a protocol and methodology for allocating funds of a portfolio. This strategy is based on an investor’s risk profile. The more risk the investor is willing to take, the greater the potential returns, but also the higher risk of a loss in capital. There is a whole universe of investment strategies, from the least risky of buying treasury bills and government bonds with high credit ratings, to the more risky of buying stocks based on fundamental analysis, technical analysis or simply buying and holding for the long term. Some investors also look to stocks with dividends that return a yield over time, to mitigate some of the risks of the stock market.
Many times people ask me how I come up with my investment strategy.
Obviously, there is no one answer, but a common trick I use when developing any investment strategy is to look for areas where market sentiment still remains below peak optimism.
Following the tragic events of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, market sentiment for uranium dropped, naturally. As Japan halted all nuclear power plants, shareholders adjusted their investment strategy to get out of uranium mining stocks.
Now, the time when market sentiment is about to shift for the uranium industry, I believe, is close at hand.
The reality for energy use over the next decade is that it will grow massively around the world. Nations like China and India cannot keep up with industrial demand for energy, which is now causing huge amounts of pollution.
Chinese authorities are aware of the polluting side effects of conventional energy sources, such as coal, and are building several new nuclear power plants, which is a much cleaner energy source. Market sentiment will continue to shift in favor of uranium as more nations realize that nuclear power will continue to be with us for some time.
Adjusting your investment strategy before everyone jumps on board is important. Even Japan is now conducting analysis to re-open 14 nuclear power plants, as five utilities within that nation are requesting these energy sources be put back online.
If you’re going to look for a uranium miner to add to your portfolio, one well-established and smooth-running company to consider is Cameco Corporation (NYSE/CCJ, TSX/CCO).
Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com
In the latest quarter, … Read More
Retailers are likely sitting on the edge as we head into the Thanksgiving weekend on Thursday, which means Black Friday is nearly here. The three days from Friday to Sunday are the most critical period in the shopping calendar for the retail sector, followed by “Cyber Monday” (the Monday after Black Friday when many retailers offer steep discounts online), which has historically been the biggest one-day online shopping event of the year.
So these four days are make-or-break for some retailers. What happens during these days could also help dictate what happens in December and 2014. And of course, what happens with consumer spending and the retail sector will dictate the gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
Yet while I was previously more positive towards the retail sector, I’m beginning to have some doubts. Not only am I worried about the weak jobs market, but confidence levels aren’t exactly high now, either. Currently, I expect the retail sector will face greater headwinds in December and early into 2014.
The reality is that the average consumer is uneasy about their economic situation, so they are nervous and hesitant to spend. This will impact the fourth-quarter GDP and make it much more difficult for investors to play the retail sector.
Retail sales advanced for the second straight month in October; albeit, at a muted pace, but it was still nonetheless better than what the market watchers expected. Sales on an ex-auto basis increased 0.5% in October, above the 0.4% Breifing.com estimate and in line with September’s reading. It was also the second straight up month for the retail sector.
But despite these advances, … Read More
The more I view this stock market, the more nervous I get. While Wall Street gets set for some terrific year-end bonuses and investors take some amazing gains off the table, I’m sensing some euphoric buying in numerous areas of the stock market.
We saw what happened to hydrogen-cell car maker Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA), as the high-momentum stock rocketed to $194.50 on September 30. The euphoric buying was clearly overdone and set for a nasty decline as short-sellers jumped in. Fast-forward nearly two months, and the stock has plummeted 38%, sitting at the $120.00 level as of Friday. And while some are blaming multiple engine fires in several Tesla cars, the reality was the stock simply accelerated much too fast on the chart to levels that were clearly unsustainable. Even now, trading at 80 times (X) its estimated 2014 earnings and with a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) of 11, the valuation is obscene.
Areas that I view as having some excessive run-ups and valuation in the stock market include the Internet services and social media sectors, which include such stocks as Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE/TWTR), and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ/NFLX). These high-momentum stocks are excessively priced by the stock market, so investors should be wary of chasing them higher. As an alternative investment strategy, wait for the stock to come to you; in other words, wait for weakness in the stock market and for prices to decline before jumping into these investment areas.
The cloud services area in the tech sector has also seen some massive advances to the point where there is so much hype built into the … Read More
In my past two commentaries, I discussed the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth and October jobs growth. Both metrics looked good on the surface, but after closer inspection, there were clear gaps.
Both of the reports suggest that consumers may not be in the spirit to spend cash this holiday shopping season. With Black Friday just around the corner, for the retail sector, this one day of the year is critical and can generate a key portion of the year’s total sales.
We are already seeing a mad dash by the retailers to open earlier on Black Friday and extend the shopping day. Some are opening at midnight, others before midnight.
At stake in the retail sector are the consumer dollars and the intense competition I expect to see, especially among the larger department stores. We may see J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE/.JCP) take one of its final gasps, as the company fights to survive with declining sales and dwindling cash.
In the retail sector department store area, I would stick with Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE/M) and Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE/JWN). Macy’s and Nordstrom, along with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE/WMT) and Kohls Corporation (NYSE/KSS) will report quarterly results this week. The key to listen for in these companies’ reports is what each has to say about the upcoming holiday shopping season.
The reality is that based on the soft personal spending component of the GDP along with the lower quality of jobs in the nonfarm payrolls report, I expect the retail sector will struggle through the holiday season.
I expect heavy discounting in the retail sector to attract shoppers and … Read More