Whether you’re bullish on the market or think the correction has more to go, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get the most out of your trades.
Regardless of which camp you put yourself in, there will be distinct winners and losers as we move forward. So before you make your next trade, please read this first to learn how to put the probabilities of success on your side.
Knowledge Is Power
We’ve all heard the old adage; knowledge is power.
It’s a great saying because it’s true.
And that saying couldn’t be truer than when it comes to investing.
Take a look at your last big loser for example. After analyzing what went wrong, you soon discover some piece of information that -- ‘had you known beforehand, you never would have gotten into it in the first place’.
I’m not talking about things that are unknowable, like inside information or surprise announcements that can catch even the most professional of professionals off guard.
I’m talking about things that you could have known about or SHOULD have known about before you got in.
Did You Know?...
• Did you know that roughly half of a stock's price movement can be attributed to the group that it’s in?
• Did you also know that oftentimes a mediocre stock in a top performing group will outperform a ‘great’ stock in a poor performing group?
• And did you know that the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1?
• And did you also know that the top 10% of industries outperformed the most?
More . . .
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Was your last loser in one of the top industries or in one of the bottom industries?
If it was in one of the bottom industries, you should have known to not take a chance on something with a reduced probability of success.
That’s what is meant by knowledge is power. Knowable things that you need to know.
That’s not to say that stocks in crummy industries won’t go up -- they do. And that’s not to say that stocks in good industries won’t go down -- because they do too.
But more stocks go up in the top industries, and more stocks go down in the bottom industries.
And since there are over 10,000 stocks out there to pick and choose from, why settle for one with a reduced chance of making any money?
Did You Know?...
• Did you know that stocks with ‘just’ double-digit growth rates typically outperform stocks with triple-digit growth rates?
• Did you also know that stocks with crazy high growth rates test nearly as poorly as those with the lowest growth rates?
Did your last loser have a spectacular growth rate?
If so, and it got crushed, would you have picked it if you knew that stocks with the highest growth rates have spotty track records?
It seems logical to think that the companies with the highest growth rates would do the best. But it doesn’t always turn out to be the case.
One explanation for this is that sky high growth rates are unsustainable. And the moment a more normal (albeit still good) growth rate emerges, the stock gets a dose of reality as well.
For example, a company earning 1 cent a share that is now expected to earn 6 cents, has a 500% growth rate. But, if it receives a downward estimate revision to 5 cents, that’s a significant drop. Even though it still has a 400% growth rate, the estimates were just reduced by -16.7% and the price is likely to follow.
If you’ve ever wondered how a stock with a triple-digit growth rate could possibly go down -- that’s how.
Instead, I have found that comparing a stock to the median growth rate for its industry is the best way to find solid outperformers with a lesser chance to disappoint.
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
One of the best ways to turn the probabilities of success in your favor, 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 performed spectacularly last year, with many of our most popular strategies beating the market, including our Large-Cap Trader service, which was up 50.1%, my very own Options Trader service, which was up 46.3%, and our Black Box Trader service, which was up 37.9%, just to name a few. And we are off to a great start this year!
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.
Beat the Market on Your Next Trade
Before you buy another stock, ETF, or option, I invite you to look inside all of Zacks' private trading and investing portfolios for the next 30 days.
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Thanks and good trading,
Kevin Matras serves as Executive Vice President of Zacks.com and all of its leading products for individual investors. He invites you to download Zacks' Making Money on Marijuana Special Report, and enjoy 30-day access to all buys and sells on Zacks Ultimate.