As the trading year comes to an end, now is a good time to reflect on what you did right in the market, what you did wrong, and what you'd like to do better in the new year.
This includes patting yourself on the back for your successes.
Being honest with yourself for your failures.
And setting big goals for what you'd like to accomplish.
Like doubling your investment returns. (That's right, double!)
It takes no more mental energy to work on a big goal than it does to work on a small one.
But the end results can be enormous.
Most people set their sights on small ideas because they don't yet know how they'll achieve them.
But in today's day and age, somebody has likely accomplished the very thing you've set out to do -- and left a roadmap on how to do it.
And for those who may think the market has already made its move and it's too late, think again.
Continued . . .
Free Book: Finding #1 Stocks
Today you can claim a copy of Finding #1 Stocks by Kevin Matras (a $49.95 value) free of charge. This 300-page hardbound book unfolds almost every stock-picking secret from the Zacks Rank system that has nearly tripled the S&P 500 with an average gain of +26% per year. That incredible performance has been examined and attested by the independent accounting firm of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP.
You can learn how to take full advantage of that system without attending a single class or seminar in a lot less time than you may think. Don't delay, your free book opportunity ends when copies run out and, in any case, no later than midnight Tuesday, December 27.
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The market has been trading within a perfectly defined uptrend since Q1 of 2009, and has now formed an unmistakable uptrend channel (see chart below). The uptrend line continues to form the backbone of this bull market. And the top line of the channel gives us a clear indication of where the market is headed.
As you can see, the charts are projecting a price target of 2,500 by mid-2017, which represents a 10% move from where we are today. And if you were to extend that chart to the end of 2017, it comes in at 2,600 for a nearly 15% increase.
So, the stage is set for another up year. And with the bullish backdrop in place, that means significantly larger upside potential in individual stocks where you could see gains of 25%, 50%, even 100% or more, if you know where to look.
Do What Works
So, which stocks should move the most? Stick with tried and true methods that work to find the best ones.
This is part of the roadmap to success.
For example, did you know that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buy have beaten the market in 23 of the last 28 years with an average annual return of 26% per year? That's nearly three times the S&P. But when doing this year after year, that can add up to a lot more than just three times the returns.
And did you also know that stocks in the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperforms those in the bottom 50% by a factor of 2 to 1? There's a reason why they say that half of a stock's price movement can be attributed to the group that it's in. Because it's true!
Those two things will give any investor a huge probability of success and put you well on your way to achieving your goals.
But you're not there yet, as those two items alone will only narrow down a field of 10,000 stocks to the top 100 or so. Way too many to trade at once.
So, the next step is to get that list down to the best 5-10 stocks that you can buy.
Proven Profitable Strategies
Picking the best stocks is a lot easier when there's a proven, profitable method to do it.
And by concentrating on what has proven to work in the past, you'll have a better idea as to what your probability of success will be now and in the future.
For example, if your strategy did nothing but lose money year after year, trade after trade, over and over again, there's no way you'd want to use that strategy to pick stocks with. Why? Because it's proven to pick bad stocks.
On the other hand, if your strategy did great year after year, trade after trade, over and over again, you'd of course want to use that strategy to pick stocks with. Why? Because it's proven to pick winning stocks.
Of course, this won't preclude you from ever having another losing trade. On the contrary, even the best strategies 'only' have win ratios of 60%, 70%, or even 80% -- not 100%. But if your stock picking strategy picks winners far more often than losers, you can feel confident that your next trade will have a high probability of success.
Here are a few of my favorite strategies that are performing spectacularly well this year.
Filtered Zacks Rank 5: This strategy leverages the Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys, and adds two time-tested filters to narrow the list of stocks down to five high probability picks each week. Over the last 16 years (2000 thru 2015), using a 1-week rebalance, the average annual return has been 54.7% vs. the S&P's 3.8%. And so far this year (thru 12/16/16), this strategy is already up 71.7% to the market's 12.9%.
New Highs: Studies have shown that stocks making new highs have a tendency of making even higher highs. And this strategy proves it. The alignment of positive price action and strong fundamentals creates all the necessary conditions to see these stocks soar to even greater heights. Over the last 16 years (2000 thru 2015), using a 1-week rebalance, the average annual return has been 51.9%. And so far this year (thru 12/16/16), it's up 95.9%.
Value Method 1: A special blend of valuation metrics drills down to find the best undervalued gems. It then combines the spark of the Zacks Rank to detect sharp upward earnings estimate revisions for explosive opportunity. Over the last 16 years (2000 thru 2015), using a 1-week rebalance, the average annual return has been 49.8%. And so far this year (thru 12/16/16), it's up a whopping 154%.
The best part about these strategies (aside from the returns) is that all of the testing has already been done. There's no guesswork involved. Just point and click and get your list of the best stocks for the week.
Roadmap to Success
As you can see, there's a clear roadmap to success to help you achieve your goal of doubling your stock returns in 2017.
No need to reinvent the wheel. The path has already been created. Now it's just about doing it. And once you decide to do something, it's amazing how often those decisions come true.
And just like anything, it only requires a few simple steps to get the ball rolling.
Where to Start
There's a simple way to add a big performance advantage to your stock-picking success. 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 nearly tripled the S&P 500 with an average gain of +26% per year since 1988. 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 for maximum gains no matter where the market is headed. The course also includes some of our best-performing strategies (like the ones mentioned above and more), and shows you how you can create and test your own.
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 over the last 25 years to beat the market.
Please note: Copies of the book are limited and your opportunity to get one free ends midnight Tuesday, December 27. So if you're interested, be sure to check this out right now.
Find out more about the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course >>
Thanks and good trading,
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.