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With all of the major indexes trading at or near their all-time highs, there are plenty of investors handily beating the market.

So why are so many other investors underperforming the market?

Could it be that one of the reasons why so many people are not seeing the kinds of returns they want is because they don't know of new stocks to get into? They find themselves in mediocre stocks because they don't know of anything better instead?

I think that for some, their knowledge or 'universe' of familiar stocks is relatively small and this limits their opportunity of getting into better ones.


Which Half Are You In?

Nearly half of the companies in the S&P are beating the index and showing positive returns this year. But that means more than half of the stocks in the S&P 500 are underperforming the Index.

Even 'good' companies like Archer-Daniels Midland, they're down -13.82%. Or Target, which is down -20.74%. Or even Mattel, down -32.74%. So what gives?

I don't single these out so you can feel bad if you have them. But instead, to stop and think about 'why' you have them.

Nobody invests so they can underperform the market. But if you are -- why? You don't have to. If you're underperforming the market, that means you have more of these types of laggards in your portfolio than leaders.

More . . .

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How the Other Half Lives

Of course, there are a lot of big names beating the S&P too. Take Lockheed Martin, or Microsoft, or Amazon for example. All are outperforming the S&P with gains of 26%, 34% and 51% respectively.

But now let's move outside of the S&P.

Did you ever hear of a company called Kraton? What if you did? It has outperformed the market by gaining 71.66% since the start of the year. Or Cognex? They're up 127.70%. Or Zagg? Up over 227%. (By the way, these are all Zacks #1 Rank stocks.)

There are hundreds and hundreds of stocks producing fantastic gains that many people may never have even heard of.

What about you? How many times have you heard about a stock or read about a stock that skyrocketed - only to think to yourself; "if only I knew about that stock ahead of time, I would have been in that".


Expand Your Universe and Pick Better Stocks

Increasing your stock knowledge and awareness of new and better stocks is easier than you think. And you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

• For example, over the last 29 years, the Zacks #1 Rank stocks have beaten the S&P 500 in 24 of the last 29 years, with an average annual return of 25.3% a year vs. the market's 10.2%. That's nearly 2.5 times the returns of the S&P with an 82% annual win ratio.

• Stick with the top industries. Since roughly half of a stock's price movement can be attributed to the group that it's in, you'll significantly increase your odds of success by focusing on the best groups. By how much? Our tests have shown that the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of 2 to 1. And the top 10% of industries outperform the most.

• Or select your next stock from a proven profitable stock picking strategy - like our 'Filtered Zacks Rank 5' strategy which is up 79.1% this year (YTD thru 11/17/17); or our 'New Highs' strategy which is up 86.2%; or the 'Small-Cap Growth' strategy which is up over 105% so far this year!

Once you know what to look for, and how to pick better stocks, it can transform your portfolio.

You don't need to turn yourself into an analyst to beat the market. Just focus on what works, and apply those methods consistently.


Leadership

For most of us, our investments are the largest, most important chunk of money we'll ever be responsible for in our entire life.

And if it isn't now, it likely will be one day.

The leaders in the past (stock names we're all too familiar with) will likely not be the leaders in the future.

But you can stay ahead of the pack by following some simple rules and methods that have proven to work.

And don't be afraid to consider a stock you may never have heard of before. There was a time when some of the best stocks in your portfolio today, were brand new to you before you bought them. And now they're one of your top performers.

The next time you read about or hear about a stock that's skyrocketed in price; instead of thinking, 'I could have been in that had I known about it' -- wouldn’t it be great to say, "I'm in it!"


Where to Start

You can beat the market. And there's a simple way to get started: It's called the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course.

With this fun, interactive online program, you can master the Zacks Rank without attending a single class or seminar. Do it online in your own home at your own pace. It covers the investment ideas I just shared and guides you to better trading step by step.

You'll quickly see how to get the most out of the system that has more than doubled the S&P 500's average yearly return for more than a quarter century. Discover how to identify what kind of trader you are, how to find stocks with the highest probability of success, and how to trade them so you can consistently beat the market regardless of where stock prices are headed.

The course also lets you access the latest picks from some of our best strategies that produced gains of +79%. +95%, even +153% in 2016 alone.

Today is the perfect time to get in. I'm giving participants free hardbound copies of my book, Finding #1 Stocks, a $49.95 value. Its 300 pages unfold virtually every trading secret I know and have learned to beat the market.

Please note: Copies of the book are limited and your opportunity to get one free ends midnight Sunday, November 26. So if you're interested, be sure to check this out right now.

Find out more about Zacks Home Study Course and Finding #1 Stocks >>

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Kevin

Zacks VP Kevin Matras is our chart patterns and stock screening expert. He developed many of Zacks' most powerful market-beating strategies and directs the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course.




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