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Weekend Wisdom

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Even in the remotest corner of the world, everyone understands the law of gravity. When you drop something...it will fall to the ground.

Interestingly most investors don't really understand the natural gravity of stocks. In fact, they find every way possible to confuse matters with too much commentary, charts and data.

Plain and simple, the gravity of stocks is to move up. Meaning that to move higher is their natural progression UNLESS an opposing force gets in their way.

I'd like to prove this point so you can better understand why stocks will continue higher in 2013. And to learn the signs of what will eventually lead to an overall market decline.


Growth is the Most Natural Thing in the World

I don't mean to get too philosophical here, but it is important to understand that advancing forward is a prime driver of the human condition. This innate desire to do things better leads to improvements in productivity and our standard of living.

It also creates greater economic activity, which is another way of saying higher profits. And profit growth is the main ingredient we investors seek when selecting stocks.

To boil it down:

Human advancement = higher economic activity = higher profits = higher share prices.

The above equation proves why the natural order of things is for the stock market to move higher. Unfortunately it's not all rainbows and lollipops.

MORE . . .

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Reitmeister's Personal Trading Portfolio Re-Opens for a Limited Time

Zacks' most popular trading service has been closed to new investors. Now, until Saturday, February 16, you can get Zacks.com head and Editor-at Large Steve Reitmeister's stock picks from his personal trading portfolio. Not only will you gain his market-beating stocks — the same picks that he uses when trading for his family — but you will also receive his in-depth commentary and timely market calls.

Learn more now >>

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Boom and Bust Cycle

One sad thing about the human condition is that we are also prone to believing that the good times will last forever. This leads to excesses during the boom times that pave the way for the next bust. (And often those excesses are about people, businesses and governments becoming over leveraged).

Here is the equation for a recession:

Lower economic activity = lower profits = *lower share prices
(*average stock market decline during a recession is 34%)

Gladly the average US recession only lasts about 13 months, while the average expansion enjoys a healthy 63-month reign. That means we are able to take five good steps forward for every one backwards.


What Does that Mean for 2013?

It should be clear by now that my premise is this:

Stocks will continue to advance until there are signs of the next recession.

Of course, I don't mean stocks will go up every day, week or month. I mean that the primary long term trend will be bullish until the odds of a future recession increase.

Right now the odds on that are very low. And so best to stay in the bullish camp.


What to Do Next?

The above may give the false impression that just about any stock will do. But certainly you understand that some shares will do better than others.

To put the odds strongly in your favor, you should rely upon a proven stock-rating system like the Zacks Rank with independently verified results of +26% per year since 1986. However, there are over 220 of these Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks to consider at any given time.

That is fine if you are professional investor with 60-80 hours per week to focus on researching the full list. For the rest of you, it's usually better to consider a hand-selected group of these stocks that you can more easily put into your portfolio.

My Reitmeister Trading Alert portfolio currently has 10 stocks and 3 ETFs that fit the bill. These are the same positions I put my own family's money into.

Normally this portfolio is closed to new members. But we are opening it up once again for a limited time. If you want to learn more, then best do so before it closes up again on Saturday February 16th at midnight.

See Reitmeister Trading Alert Portfolio.

Best Regards,

Steve

Steve Reitmeister has been with Zacks since 1999 and currently serves as the Executive Vice President in charge of Zacks.com and all of its leading products for individual investors. He is also the Editor of the Reitmeister Trading Alert.

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