A Bond Investment Strategy For the New Year
For those seeking greater safety, bonds will be the wrong place to look in 2011.
To understand why, we need to look back more than 25 years – to a time when economic conditions were very different than they are today.
Eurozone Forecast: How to Profit From the Hidden "Good News" in Europe
If you wanted to describe how most of the European nations fared in 2010, you would do so quite easily by citing the old adage: "If it wasn't for bad luck, they'd have no luck at all."
Truth be told, Europe was in the news for most of 2010 – but for all the wrong reasons. A series of financial panics hit the weaker Eurozone countries hard, forcing draconian austerity measures in many countries and igniting concerns that the euro may not survive as a currency.
Against such an unappealing backdrop, it's no real surprise that any positive information tends to be overlooked.
And that's truly unfortunate, since for much of Europe – and for its stock markets – 2011 should be a pretty good year.
U.S. Dollar Forecast: Seven Ways to Profit in 2011 – Despite the Greenback's Expected Struggles
The U.S. dollar faces a long list of challenges in the New Year.
The U.S. greenback could strengthen in 2011-but only against the European euro and other currencies with heavy exposure to the European debt crisis, including the British pound sterling. Against virtually every other currency, however, the U.S. dollar is likely to be the loser.
In short, the outlook for the dollar in the New Year depends almost entirely on which currencies you're comparing it with.
Energy Forecast: Oil Prices Poised to Again Test Record Levels in 2011
After starting the year at slightly more than $80 a barrel, oil prices yesterday (Tuesday) rose to their highest level in two years, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude surging as high as $90.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
But that 13% advance is just the beginning.
Crude oil prices are poised to again break the psychologically important $100 a barrel mark in a bid to move higher throughout 2011 and 2012, and some forecasters are calling for prices to zoom by as much as 65% from here.
If that happens, crude oil would approach – or possibly even eclipse – the all-time high of $147 a barrel, a price not seen since the summertime speculative frenzy of 2008.
Asia Forecast: High Growth Rates Will Create Top Profit Opportunities For 2011
Asia was a great place to invest this year.
While some individual Latin American markets have outpaced their Asian counterparts, the fact is that the 10.9% return of the overall MSCI Asia Index outdistanced the 10.3% return of the "Americas" region.
Investors can expect more of the same in the New Year. The fact is that the Asian region – including Australia and New Zealand – was a profit powerhouse in 2010. And Asia's prospects for 2011 are even brighter:
- It's where a great majority of the world's growth is taking place.
- And it's where investors can reap their biggest profits – if they pick the right investments in the best Asian markets.
Investing in the Americas: Natural Resource Prices Will Be Key to 2011 Profits
Whether you win or lose on your Americas-related investments in 2011 will come down to a single factor – natural-resource prices.
If the prices of oil, gold, copper and other natural resources are high, the hideous flaws in the economies of a number of the countries north and south of the U.S. border will remain hidden behind, as if by magic.
But if resource prices plummet, then even some of the best-run countries in North and South America will probably stumble a bit – and several will be revealed as true economic basket cases.
When we refer to "the Americas," we're talking about all the countries in North, Central and South America – with the United States excluded. There's a great divergence in potential. So let's begin our journey with Latin America.
Silver Price Forecast: Investment Strategies for the "Other" Precious Metal in 2011
Forecasting prices for anything can be tricky. And a precious-metal commodity such as silver is no exception.
With gold holding the leash on its "lapdog" – silver – the performance of the so-called "yellow metal" holds the key to silver prices in the New Year.
Here's why: For several years leading up to the 2008 stock-market panic, it typically took 55 ounces of silver to buy an ounce of gold. Today, a gold ounce will cost you 50 ounces of silver.
The message: There's been a fundamental shift, where precious metals investors see silver as the "more-affordable" true-money option. So, I expect this newer 50:1 ratio to hold, and perhaps to even decline – which portends a relative outperformance for silver versus gold.
Gold Price Forecast: Four Reasons the "Yellow Metal" Will Hit $1,900 an Ounce in 2011
Gold investors are a happy bunch. Those with the luck or foresight to have boarded the golden railroad back in 2001 have experienced a fivefold investment in the "metal of kings." That works out to compounded return of better than 20% a year.
Such a torrid performance has evoked claims that this is just another financial bubble – that's soon to burst.
But the reality is that anyone who classifies this bull market in gold to be nothing more than a bubble simply hasn't looked at the market fundamentals, doesn't understand them, or has an ulterior motive.
Precious metals – and gold in particular – have been the asset class of the decade. But it's not too late to climb aboard – there's still plenty more growth to come.
In fact, before 2011 closes out, I predict that each ounce of the prized "yellow metal" will be trading at $1,900 – an increase of about 37% from yesterday's (Wednesday's) closing price of about $1,390 an ounce.
U.S. Economy Forecast: Five Ways to Profit in 2011 – Even With a Double Dip Recession
It's been a dull year for the U.S. economy.
But don't expect a repeat in 2011.
In fact, as we enter the New Year for the U.S. economy, investors face some major risks. Should the U.S. Federal Reserve opt to maintain its record-low-level of interest rates, it's very likely that we'll see the kind of virulent inflation that will send commodity prices skyward, and inflict some real long-term damage in the process.
With higher rates, the U.S. economy could experience its second downturn in three years, the kind of "double-dip" recession that would boost an already scary jobless rate – while also sending U.S. stocks into a bearish tailspin.
With uncertainty the watchword for the New Year economy, U.S. investors need to position themselves to cash in should the currently anemic U.S. advance continue, while at the same time making sure to protect themselves against a potential downturn.
As contradictory as that might sound, it is possible to do both.
U.S. Retailers Hoping Black Friday Sales, Smartphone Apps Fuel Strong Holiday Shopping Season
Another Black Friday. Another holiday shopping season. But a whole new strategy for U.S. retailers. As the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday, today marks the "official" kickoff of the 2010 holiday shopping season. Usually referred to as "Black Friday," today is the day when U.S. retailers traditionally pull out all the stops in an effort [...]