Stocks to Invest in 2008

January 22, 2008

Investors are scared, people are trying to figure out if we’re really in a recession, and even President Bush is doing his part to help stimulate the economy. Instead of getting scared and jumping off the investing boat, just make sure that you have a diversified portfolio that can perform as well as possible because past recessions have not lasted longer than about a year and stocks are still going to do well in the long run. Five years from now, we will not be scared of subprime mortgages, credit crunch, or oil prices hindering consumer spending. Ten stocks that I am trying to buy or have already bought (every stock with exception of Aluminum Corp and Schlumberger) that I believe will do well in the long term are as follows (in no particular order):

1. Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
2. Wynn Casinos (WYNN)
3. Aluminum Corp of China (ACH)
4. Schlumberger (SLB)
5. Cemex (CX)
6. Wachovia (WB)
7. Trinity Industries (TRN)
8. Sandisk (SNDK)
9. Broadcomm (BRCM)
10. Valero (VLO)

With the list above, I believe I have a good combination of large cap companies, companies in various sectors, and most importantly, companies that have the capability to weather rough times. A truly diversified portfolio would require at least 25 different stocks (mutual funds must have 20 different companies in their investments according to the SEC) but not all of us have enough money to purchase that many different companies.

Also foreign revenue on average accounts for 30% of companies revenue and a good number of the above companies have healthy international exposure. It’s never a guarantee that they will all make money from this point in time, but I think it’s a portfolio with a lot of upside. At this point in time, Wachovia is the riskiest investment, but assuming they don’t cut their dividend, I’ll take their 8.3% dividend. Also I prefer Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Casinos over MGM because I believe their casinos are stronger and the growth in other countries are much better for the former two.

Speculation play: If Wynn Casinos is able to acquire a gambling license to build a mega casino hotel in Tokyo, it’s going to blow through the roof.

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Application of Stock Picking Basics (2)

November 2, 2007

It is very easy to get carried away and buy stocks when the market is up to ride the positive upward momentum. But it is much more difficult to invest in declining markets. Declining markets provide opportunities to buy stocks that are oversold or undervalued. Investors need to realize the following points when investing in declining markets:

a) Make sure you have the cash available to invest in new options. This is why it is always a good idea to keep a share of your stock portfolio liquid on the sideline for major drops in stock prices.

b) Selling a stock at a loss may be necessary to get into another investment opportunity with more potential. If you think the stock you currently own can only go back up 20%, but another company has the potential for 30% gain, write down the loss for the year and make a better investment choice.

c) Keep your head up and don’t get discouraged by all the negative news because people will panic and it’s your job to find stocks that don’t deserve to be at their current valuations. Think of down markets as discounts the market is offering you.

d) Don’t just buy whatever has dropped the most, but still concentrate on what businesses have the best future growth prospects. Remember, some sectors are not very attractive markets to buy whether you’re in a bull or bear market. Right now, I feel that way about home builders and mortgage companies. Maybe a company like Home Depot (HD) would be a safer bet if you want a company that has some direct correlation with the housing market.

e) Mentioned in the Application of Stock Picking Basics (1), make sure you only invest in companies that you understand. If you don’t understand how the company makes money and will be able to increase profits domestically and globally, it doesn’t matter how much they are down.

The NYSE was down 2.6% (more than 360 points) and will probably feel some negative effects tomorrow with much uncertainty in the market. Stocks from all sectors got pummeled, and some stocks of note to take a look at that were down at least 4% are:

  1. Las Vegas Sands (LVS): -5.6% in regular session and -15.1% after hours to 106.402
  2. Peabody Energy (BTU): -11.3% to 49.47
  3. Wynn Resorts (WYNN): -4.0% in regular session and -8.3% after hours to 142.084
  4. Aluminum Corp of China (ACH): -7.1% to 68.02
  5. KB Homes (KBH): -6.4% to 25.88
  6. Merrill Lynch (MER): -5.8% to 62.19
  7. Flotek Industries (FTK): -28.3% to 36.45
  8. Aéropostale (ARO): -7.2% to 21.26
  9. Nucor Corporation (NUE): -6.6% to 57.91

There are so many stocks down over 4% today that it’s hard to pick and choose the “best” ones, but there are a lot of opportunities for investors who have the right mind set while others start to panic. Invest wisely!!