After a bumpy 2018, traders couldn’t wait for the new year to begin. And what a start it’s been.
Already, the Dow is up 6.37%, the S&P is up 6.54%, the Nasdaq is up 7.87%, and the Russell 2000 Small-Cap Index is up 9.82%.
While trade tensions with China weighed on stocks last year, growing optimism over trade talks this year continues to fuel the market.
And once a deal finally is done, the very thing that has weighed the market down will be lifted and stocks are expected to soar.
While the deadline for an agreement isn’t until February 28th, savvy traders aren’t waiting for the official announcement (if and when it happens), they have been swooping in and picking up stocks at deeply discounted valuations, and prices not seen in many months or even years!
Add in a robust economy and the best jobs market EVER, and you can see why 2019 is expected to be a banner year.
And even though the year has just begun, it’s off to an auspicious start.
So as an investor, you should be handily beating the market right now. And planning on crushing it this year. If not, now would be a good time to reflect on what you’re doing right in the market, what you’re doing wrong, and what you'd like to do better.
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 that goes for the market.
Continued . . .
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1) Cybersecurity firm designing Artificial Intelligence
2) Tech company with potential to revolutionize law enforcement
3) Strong retailer flush with cash and impressive growth figures
4) Biotech company with cures for cancer and other diseases in the works
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There’s also a phenomenal set of stats as a backdrop to suggest big gains are indeed on the way.
Since 1946 (over the last 72 years), there have been 18 midterm election cycles – and in the year after the midterms, the market has been up in every single one of them. EVERY SINGLE ONE! And the average annual return is 17%!
Interestingly, the second year of a presidency is usually the worst. And 2018 was definitely the worst. But the third year of a presidency is usually the best year. And that’s 2019.
With a perfect 100% track record of post-midterm gains, there’s a huge probability for a positive year this year, with expectations running high for something much, much bigger.
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 over 25% per year? 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.
The best part about these strategies 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 2019.
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
What if you could look inside all of Zacks' private trading and investing portfolios?
Imagine seeing the moves our experts are making -- in real time. So you can get in on them early.
That's exactly what I'm inviting you to do starting today. I don’t know of any other research organization offering anything quite like this arrangement. We call it Zacks Ultimate.
Here's more good news: Start now and you are welcome to download our just-released Ultimate Four Special Report free.
It includes 4 stocks hand-picked by a different Zacks expert to have the greatest upside growth potential in this quarter:
Stock 1: A cybersecurity firm designing Artificial Intelligence to crush hackers -- and earnings that crush Wall Street estimates.
Stock #2: A tech company that could revolutionize the way law enforcement agencies operate. The stock more than doubled in 2018 and already has double-digit increase in the new year.
Stock #3: Arguably the strongest brand in retail, with projected 43% earnings growth for the fiscal year, massive cash reserves and an ever-increasing loyalty among its global customer base.
Stock #4: A small cap biotech company with important patents on gene editing technology and a pipeline full of DNA-level treatments for cancer, cystic fibrosis and other diseases.
The Ultimate Four has just been released. The earlier you get into these stocks, the greater your potential gain.
Also, my research suggests that the market will surge through Q1, set new record highs and ultimately double within the next 5 years. A great tailwind for your investments.
It’s critical that you get started now because the opportunity to download Ultimate Four ends midnight Sunday, January 20.
Get these 4 stocks today >>
Thanks and good trading,
Kevin Matras serves as Executive Vice President of Zacks.com and all of its leading products for individual investors. He is also the Editor of his personal portfolio service, Options Trader.