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It's no secret that the majority of investors, including institutional professionals, consistently underperform their market benchmarks year after year.

According to Investors Business Daily in an article last month...

"A recent study of more than 1,500 mutual funds found that in the 15 years between 1998 and 2012 fewer than 20% of all funds managed to both survive and outperform their benchmarks."

Clearly, it takes skill, systematic planning, and sound strategies to consistently beat the market over time without taking excessive risk. Those who do it well one year may not "survive and thrive" the next (myself included).

Here are some possible plans and strategies for 2014, as we approach the 6th year of a raging bull market...

1) Take profits, go to 50% cash, and wait for the correction that must surely be coming

2) Stay fully invested and keep screening for and trading quality stocks that you believe can outperform

3) Stay 75% invested and nimble, ready to sell, hedge, or buy the dips

If one of these sounds like your plan for the first quarter or two of 2014, let me know. If the description is too narrow, by all means elaborate.

Better yet, just tell us all your investing secrets right now for free (especially if they incorporate the Zacks Rank and the Research Wizard). If they work, you'll probably make more money using them than selling them in an e-book.

Cooker

5 Stocks to Double in 2014

Today, you are invited to receive a free Special Report from Zacks Investment Research. It reveals five companies that could gain +100% and more in the next 12 months.

One is set to ride a little-known All-American energy boom. Another is a chip maker looking for big gains through Google Glass. Another could be the next alternative energy "Tesla."

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Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
BITAUTO HOLD BITA 35.33 +14.82%
ANI PHARMACE ANIP 24.79 +14.66%
E HOUSECHINA EJ 10.99 +9.24%
CANADIAN SOL CSIQ 26.97 +7.15%
INTERNATIONA ICAGY 33.30 +5.38%