Investment Contrarians

investment opportunity

Landmark Ruling in Mexico a Boon for These U.S. Oil Stocks?

By for Investment Contrarians | Dec 11, 2013

U.S. Oil StocksIn 1938, Mexico nationalized its oil industry, taking over all aspects from production to final distribution. This ban on ownership by foreign companies continues today; however, changes are underway.

Under the leadership of Mexico’s new president, there is a growing desire and need for the knowledge and technical skills developed by foreign companies, many of which are U.S.-based, to stem the decline in oil production and revive the industry in that country.

I think this will be a tremendous investment opportunity for oil stocks going forward. Mexico still has a tremendous amount of energy commodities under the ground, but many need advanced technology to extract them. And U.S.-based oil stocks are among the leaders in the world when it comes to extraction technology.

By allowing foreign-based companies to help develop projects, oil stocks would profit from having access to new reserves, and Mexico would benefit from having billions of dollars in funding and access to those with top-notch technical skills.

There are several different types of oil stocks that would benefit from this investment opportunity. One company that I’ve liked for some time is Halliburton Company (NYSE/HAL), a global leader in the oilfield service industry.

While Mexico has not yet changed its legislation and we don’t know which companies will obtain these oil rights at this time, Halliburton has been extensively offering its services in Mexico for a number of years. I think it’s highly likely that Halliburton would benefit from more work as this investment opportunity opens up.

When investing in oil stocks, one has to consider the company’s current level of production, future reserves, and potential for growth … Read More

Undervalued Opportunity Ripe for Long-Term Investing

By for Investment Contrarians | Dec 2, 2013

Long-Term InvestingAs my long-time readers know, contrarian investing is all about buying when others are selling and selling when others are buying. Getting in ahead of the crowd is the key to successful long-term investing.

One market segment that has been severely hit over the past few months and could be ripe for long-term investing is the international potash market. Two firms operating out of Russia and Belarus essentially control approximately 40% of the potash market through a cartel that dictates supply and, ultimately, pricing.

In July of this year, this cartel collapsed, with one of the firms changing their strategy to maximize volume. This caused potash prices to drop by approximately 33%.

I believe there is a long-term investing opportunity in the international potash market. The current squabble between these two firms really is a soap opera, involving egos and politics centered between former Soviet Union nations.

For long-term investing purposes, one has to envision what’s likely to occur over the next few years. I don’t believe that management and the political leaders of both Russia and Belarus want to see potash prices at such low levels when they are able to reduce supply and raise prices.

This creates an investment opportunity for domestic potash producers.

While the overall stock market has soared, potash companies have seen their share prices drop significantly. For long-term investing purposes, I believe this is creating an attractive investment opportunity.

When it comes to long-term investing in a sector that’s beaten up, I would suggest looking at the market leaders, since they have the cash on hand to weather the storm.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan … Read More

Economic “Growth” in Eurozone a Hoax?

By for Investment Contrarians | Nov 8, 2013

Eurozone a HoaxMost readers, I’m sure, are aware of how weak the eurozone has been over the past few years. That area has had essentially no economic growth at all for quite some time.

But now, eager to find any investment opportunity, some investors are looking at the eurozone as a value play, hoping for a turnaround and a possible acceleration in economic growth. These thoughts of investing in the eurozone, however, are based primarily on hope. As I said, there are no signs of economic growth emerging at all. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Recently, the European Commission issued its forecasts and, well, the news wasn’t good.

According to the European Commission, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the eurozone on an annual basis this year will be -0.4%—meaning contraction. For 2014, estimates are for a mere 1.1% growth, and in 2015, that number only increases to 1.7%. (Source: “Autumn 2013 Economic Forecast,” European Commission, November 5, 2013.)

I’m sure this isn’t breaking news to my readers: another year, another weak level of poor economic growth in the eurozone.

What’s interesting, however, is how the European Commission calculated its estimates. According to the European Commission, economic growth in the region will be a result of “resuming private consumption growth and the rebound in gross fixed capital formation.” (Source: Ibid.)

Capital formation I can understand; money can easily move to areas that offer the best opportunity. However, expecting private consumption to drive growth in this region surprises me.

If you think America is having a tough time with unemployment, you obviously haven’t been to the eurozone … Read More

How Investors Can Play the “Losers” in Blue Chips

By for Investment Contrarians | Oct 23, 2013

Blue ChipsThe key to buying stocks and stock market success is to always be on top of your outstanding positions, especially with any major changes in the underlying fundamentals.

If you ignore the warning signs, you may as well go to Las Vegas and gamble away your capital. Buying stocks is not like going to the grocer’s and looking for the cheapest deals. If stocks are getting thrown around and are steadily moving lower on the chart on higher volume, clearly, something is wrong or the company has experienced some dramatic change. This is what you want to avoid.

When I trade, I don’t care about the company’s fundamentals. I simply look out for reversals, whether I’m buying stocks or shorting them. The key is to be on top of things.

For the majority of investors, you don’t need to be constantly staring at the chart on the screen. What you need to do is be on the lookout for any major changes in the sector, a company rival, or the company itself. Failure to recognize changes and heed red flags could result in major losses.

The risk of buying stocks is intensified even more when it comes to smaller companies. If you buy a blue chip stock, one bad quarter or weakness in just one area is no big deal, since the company is usually big enough to absorb any short-term shocks and bounce back. This principle doesn’t apply to small-caps.

For instance, buying the “dog of the Dow” is a strategy often used by traders and institutions to invest in out-of-favor stocks that are paying the highest dividend yields … Read More

How to Profit When Other Investors Slip Up

By for Investment Contrarians | Oct 10, 2013

Investors Slip UpWhen talking to a friend of mine the other day, he brought up a common misconception; he thinks that it’s been impossible to make money in the stock market over the past 10 to 15 years.

After he told me his investment strategy, it was clear that the problem was with his approach and not with the opportunities available to investors.

For investors who focus on the long-term horizon, one of the best approaches is to incorporate the investment strategy of the greatest investor of all time: Warren Buffett. At the core, his investment strategy is exactly the same as mine: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

What do most investors do wrong when it comes to forming a profitable investment strategy?

The average investor does the exact opposite of what is needed to have a successful long-term investment strategy. By letting emotions get in the way of logic and reason, people panic at the bottom and get caught up in the frenzy at the top of the market.

Let’s take a look at the S&P 500 as an example. Many investors sell their stocks during times when the S&P 500 is crashing out of panic that perhaps the economy will crash too—or maybe they’re worried that the world is going to end. Either way, the response is irrational panic. This is precisely when one should consider buying into the S&P 500 and stocks in general, taking advantage of this investment opportunity.

S&P 500 Large Cap Index Chart

Chart courtesy of

Above is the S&P 500 monthly chart going back to 1999. When you think about it, the … Read More