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 . . .
Investor Alert: 3 World-Changing Tech Trends
Did you miss Apple's 9X stock price explosion after they launched their iPhone in 2007? Ten years later, 3 tech trends are taking shape that could dwarf the iPhone-powered move.
Today you are invited to download 3 Zacks' Bonus Reports on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Driverless Cars - trends predicted to create markets worth more than $1.7 trillion. Best of all, each free report names a handful of stocks to buy now just as the technology is starting to catch fire. Important: Opportunity expires midnight Sunday, December 10.
See Stocks to Buy Now >>
The market has been trading within a perfectly defined uptrend since Q1 of 2009, and shows no sign of slowing. In fact, it actually looks like it's speeding up and getting stronger.
This year, with only another few weeks to go, the market is on pace for a +20% gain. And with GDP doubling, corporate profits surging, and consumer confidence at a 17-year high, the stage is set for another banner year in 2018.
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 24 of the last 29 years with an average annual return of 25%? That's more than two times the S&P. But when doing this year after year, that can add up to a lot more than just two 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. But if your stock picking strategy picks winners more often than losers, you can feel confident that your next trade will have a high probability of success.
Stock Picking Secrets of the Pros
Once of the best ways to begin doubling your returns is to see what the pros are doing.
There's no one perfect way to beat the market. Some traders prefer high flying growth stocks, while others prefer deeply discounted value stocks. Some may prefer fast-paced momentum stocks, whereas others are more comfortable with mature, dividend producing income stocks.
Yet others may want to focus on more specialized strategies like insider trading (the legal kind), institutional buying and selling, large-caps, small-caps, stocks about to surprise, or cheap stocks under $10.
Still others may want to turn their attention to specific sectors or industries like healthcare innovators, biotech stocks, or high-tech companies.
Or even incorporate options into their portfolio.
Regardless of which one fits your personal style of trade, just be sure you're getting the best advice from experts who have demonstrated their ability to beat the market.
I'm happy to say, our team of experts has performed spectacularly this year, with 9 of our most popular portfolio services beating the market, including my very own Options Trader service, which was up 43.7% as of 11/30/17.
The best part about these strategies (aside from the returns) is that all of the hard work is done for you. There's no guesswork involved. Just follow the experts and start trading like a pro.
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 2018.
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
For the next 30 days, I invite you to follow our high-performing Zacks strategists in real time, and share all their private buys and sells.
And if you are looking for exceptional growth potential, be sure to get started before midnight Sunday. Then you can also download 3 Zacks Special Reports absolutely free >>
They cover fast-emerging tech trends that could reward early investors handsomely, as they are just starting to catch fire:
• Internet of Things may generate 27 billion devices in just 3 years. Check 6 trades that offer the best prospects for profit.
• Artificial Intelligence will create the world's first trillionaires according to Mark Cuban. See 3 stocks that we deem most promising.
• Driverless cars may soar from zero in sales to $42 billion by 2025. Which 8 stocks are top rated to ride this phenomenon?
Each of these trends could potentially dwarf the profit explosion from Apple's iPhone launch back in 2007. This is a very good time to think big and consider getting aboard.
But please note that the deadline to download our tech reports is midnight Sunday, December 10.
Download and see their recommended stocks right now >>
Thanks and good trading,
Kevin Matras serves as Executive Vice President of Zacks.com, with responsibility for all of its leading products for individual investors. He is also the Editor of his personal portfolio service, Options Trader. Today he invites you to see all Zacks' live buys & sells for 30 days in Zacks Ultimate and also download 3 Special Reports on emerging technologies.