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How to Invest in Graphene
When people ask how to invest in graphene, I think of a recent History Channel series called "The Men Who Built America."
It isn't about financial tricks, dark pool trading, mergers and acquisitions, derivatives and securities bundling. It's about a time when real things were built by real people.
It's one of the reasons I'm excited about graphene. It's about time that we started to invest in real things again.
Graphene is literally the kind of game-changer that will separate the walkers from the talkers and reshape all of our industrial and commercial production possibilities.
That's why this modest carbon derivative-akin to atomic scale chicken wire– has set the world's research community on fire.
Why Some of the Best Investments for 2013 Come from this Region
With low growth forecast in the United States, some investors have headed beyond U.S. borders in search of the best investments for 2013 – and landed in Latin America.
Latin America's largest economies, like Brazil, aren't the ones that will be delivering the biggest stock gains this year. As measured by the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ), equities in the region's largest economy are extending last year's glum pace as the exchange-traded fund (ETF) is off nearly 2% to start the year.
But while economies like Brazil and Argentina might not offer the best investments for 2013, there are some "unsung gems" that will deliver.
Here are some of the most promising Latin American names, both on the equity and debt fronts, that investors should consider this year.
Investing in 2013: Watch These Emerging Market Rebounders
Broadly speaking, 2012 was an excellent year for investing in emerging markets stocks and ETFs – making some of them a good bet for investing in 2013.
The returns offered by the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSE: EEM), which has almost $51 billion in assets under management and is used by many professional investors as an emerging markets benchmark, indicate as much. EEM, the second-largest emerging markets ETF, returned 13.4% last year.
Given that EEM offers exposure (to varying degrees) to more than 20 countries, the ETF's 2012 performance could leave some investors thinking the just completed year was one big party for developing market equities. Unfortunately, that was not the case as some of the developing world's marquee countries, at least at the ETF level, were absolute laggards.
So while investors were tantalized by the jaw-dropping returns generated by ETFs tracking the likes of Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand just to name a few, chances are there were some mediocre performances from ETFs tracking countries in the same region.
However, there is an important factor when it comes to investing in emerging markets and it is one that runs counter to conventional wisdom.
The conventional wisdom is that it's best to avoid laggards and embrace leaders. But with emerging markets ETFs, they take turns moving between the leaders and laggards categories.
For example, the iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: THD) finished 2011 in the red. In 2012, THD gained over 36%, making it one of the best ETFs tracking any asset class.
While that doesn't mean THD is bound to be a laggard this year, it does mean some emerging markets funds that left investors with sour tastes in their mouths last year have the potential to soar in 2013.
Here are a couple to consider.
Investing in S. Korea Today is Like Buying the U.S. in the 1990s
If you're tired of the crisis a month routine we've seen with the United States and the Eurozone, there's always South Korea.
In fact, for demographic and budgetary reasons, South Korea is much like the United States was during the prosperous 1990s–not the deficit-ridden, slow-growing place the U.S. has become.
The truth is South Korea, has very little foreign debt, and recently re-elected the pro-business party by a comfortable margin. What's more, South Korea has kept its government the smallest in the OECD club of rich nations.
So if you haven't considered investing in South Korea you should.
Emerging Markets 2013: The Unsung Gems of Latin America
For investors in search of growth in 2013, one of the best places to look is in emerging markets, particularly in the often-neglected region of Latin America.
While most of the talk about investing in emerging markets over the past several years has focused on Asia, particularly China and India, Latin America has been quietly enjoying a nice little boom of its own.
The IMF's Change on Capital Controls Adds Danger for Emerging Market Investors
The IMF is up to no good again.
On Monday they released a new report on international capital flows which relaxed its opposition to exchange controls.
Why to Keep Betting on Higher Silver Prices
As November comes to an end, silver prices continue to hold their luster even in this down week.
On Tuesday, spot silver increased to $34.26 an ounce, its greatest level since the middle of October, before it dropped to $33.76.
Silver traders have hit the sidelines as economic news such as fiscal cliff discussions, the Greek bailout and an appreciating U.S. dollar have been a drag on the white metal.
James Steel, HSBC metal analyst said to Reuters of the current prices, "We believe gold and silver prices will tend towards consolidation, as investors await further developments on the U.S. fiscal cliff negotiations."
But don't worry silver bulls, there's still enough good news to keep you happy.
Why 185% Gains Are Just the Beginning For 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD)
Loose lips sink ships. Or at least they try to…
Take the case of 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE:DDD). Investors who bailed on the stock recently – and there were a lot of them – missed a great rally on Tuesday. That 8.5% gain on heavy volume put the stock among the top 20 gainers of its exchange.
It would be easy to chalk that gain up to the market's overall rally that day.
No doubt, investors were thrilled to see evidence that Washington just may solve its budget impasse before we go over the "fiscal cliff." But that's not what's really going on here…
As I see it, DDD's rebound earlier this week was sweet justice indeed.
Or perhaps even revenge.
See, the stock had recently come under huge selling pressure after the financial advisory website Seeking Alpha slammed the company last week. An article on Seeking Alpha questioned the firm's huge recent sales growth, accusing management of "hiding something."
I've analyzed publicly traded firms for more than 30 years and I can tell you – that is a very serious charge.
In response, 3D Systems made the unusual move of holding a conference call to dispute Seeking Alpha's critique. Senior managers gave analysts an on-the-record look at the firm's accounting practices.
This call ranks as a key event in the recent history of 3D Systems' stock, which is up more than 185% so far this year. (Like I keep saying, you really can make a lot of money in this field.)
That's why I'm telling you, you have to be very careful who you listen to about tech stocks. So, let me take a moment to tell you what's really going on with DDD.
Here are three reasons I think DDD has the potential to blow that 185% gain out of the water.
Emerging Markets Stocks 2013: Don't Miss These Next Waves of Growth
Amid a turbulent market environment in 2012, emerging markets stocks have been, well, turbulent.
Some markets (Colombia, Mexico and Thailand to name a few) have performed well. Others have disappointed (Brazil and Russia stand as two laggards.)
Why to Expect Higher Silver Prices Before 2013
As the week comes to an end, Comex December silver prices are trading at $32.45, a slight decline from yesterday. For the week, prices are off about 1%.
Recent economic data and concerning news from abroad have hit precious metals this week, leading to their declines.
Gold has been stealing headlines as fear surrounding the fiscal cliff drives investors to seek safer assets. Should Congress and the president not reach an agreement by early next year, this will provide an opportunity for gold to shine.
But the white metal, with its volatility and recent high prices, can hold its own and also has the potential to increase in the short-term due to a few reasons.