best investments now
Talk about looking for best investments in the most unlikely places...
The bad economic news out of Greece has dominated the headlines for several years now. As the country tries to work its way back to prosperity, a solvent banking system is going to be critical to the process. Banks have seen their capital base shrink from bond haircuts, bad loans and depositors withdrawing money to get it outside the beleaguered nation's banking system.
As part of its plan to restore the nation's fiscal health, Greece has told the banks they need to complete a recapitalization plan that raises Tier 1 capital ratios by 9%. This should increase their solvency and allow the nation to receive further bailout funds from the European Union.
Restored capital levels should help the banks regain access to interbank markets and provide the liquidity needed to help push the economy back on track.
Follow Africa's Richest Man Into One of the Best Profit Opportunities on Earth
Aliko Dangote is the richest man you've never heard of.
The 56-year old native of Kano, Nigeria is a self-made business magnate, with a net worth of more than $16 billion.
With boom times ahead for Africa, Dangote is leading the continent's headlong charge into infrastructure building and resource exploration.
A person of vision and drive, he's well suited for the unfolding boom, and all the opportunity it offers.
As the African Century moves into its second decade, Dangote is still very bullish on Africa-- making - and keeping - most of his fortune there.
Best Investments 2013: How the Mining Mess Will Send Platinum Soaring
Thanks to the hit gold prices took in mid-April, other precious metals also got caught in the downdraft - but some still look to be among the best investments of 2013.
Take platinum, for example.
It is currently trading at about $1,500 an ounce, well off its 52-week high of $1,734 an ounce. During the height of the selloff last month, it touched a low of $1,381 an ounce.
Investors sold it along with all other precious metals, even though the fundamentals for platinum may be better than ever.
While platinum's long-term outlook is bright, a short-term price catalyst is about to take place, as early as this week.
The world's biggest platinum producer, ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats), could take a significant amount of platinum off the market. The restructuring could cost 14,000 jobs and close two South African mines.
It'll also help drive a supply deficit that will only expand in the years ahead, making platinum one of the best investments to make now before prices soar.
No wonder Sprott Holdings' Rick Rule bought $280 million worth of platinum and palladium earlier this year...
The Best Sector to Invest in Now
I try to keep a balanced portfolio, or at least one that isn't entirely concentrated in one sector.
I like a lot of international holdings, especially from East Asia (but not particularly China itself) and I try to have at least some representation even in sectors that bore me utterly, like consumer packaged goods - Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG). I know you've increased your dividend every year since 1954, which is a magnificent achievement, but I STILL can't get excited about your business!
Some market sectors I have difficulty warming up to. Tech, for example, I find very difficult to analyze. If a company has the latest whizz-bang, I can't tell how the market will receive it. I can't tell how long market enthusiasm for it will last, and I can't tell how quickly competitors will produce something that's just a little bit better.
Even an Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) that appears to have an invulnerable position can very easily be undone by margin erosion. Apple's margins are unsustainable in a competitive environment; it has a business in which Foxconn, the manufacturer, makes very little money while Apple, the retailer, makes heaps of it. For me, instead of trading at a premium to the market because of its growth, tech should trade at a discount to the market because of its risks.
Best Investments: How These Investors Got 20% Annual Gains for a Decade
When billionaire and corporate raider Carl Icahn gets involved in a stock, the share price often skyrockets - known as the "Icahn Effect," or "Icahn Lift."
That's why investors often follow his lead into these stocks, hoping to get a piece of the resulting gains.
But there's another way to profit from Icahn's investing prowess. Investors who took this route have scored 20% annual gains for a decade.
We're talking about investing in Icahn's $6 billion master limited partnership, Icahn Enterprises LP (NYSE: IEP).
Best Investments: The One Stock to Buy in the Red-Hot Biotech Sector
For the best investments to add a little high-potential punch to your portfolio, nothing's better than biotech.
The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) (Nasdaq: IBB) rose 30.2% in the last 12 months and is already up a healthy 16.5% year to date.
In fact, the biotech sector has been a consistent performer for investors. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index has notched 16.1% annualized returns for the last five years.
Big gains from just three stocks -- Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN), BiogenIdec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) -- created a whopping $60 billion in combined shareholder gains in 2012.
And analysts expect the trend to continue.
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.