The best way to invest
There was definite energy spin this week at the 18th Ira Sohn Investment Conference at New York's Lincoln Center. In fact, at this an annual gathering of some of the world's influential money managers and investors, energy was applauded as one of the best investments to make now.
Some 3,000 guests paid as much as $100,000 (proceeds benefit pediatric cancer resesarch) to hear what 17 of Wall Street's lucrative members had to say about the stock market. Each had some 15 minutes to share their picks, pans and opinion.
Clearly, energy was a favorite, as Barron's outlined in its Ira Sohn coverage this week.
Here's a roundup of what these money managers consider to be the best investments in the industry.
How to Invest in E-Cigs: The Cigarette of the 21st Century
They look like cigarettes, feel like cigarettes, taste like cigarettes - and, smokers will tell you - satisfy the craving for a smoke.
But electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, don't have any of the offensive smoke that's so harmful to health. Instead, they feature an odorless vapor in which nicotine is delivered to the user. And they're sometimes allowed in public places where cigarettes are banned.
Studies show e-cigs make smoking healthier for smokers and those around them, while also helping smokers quit.
Plus, e-cigs cost about half as much as regular cigarettes.
Big tobacco continues to place bets that electronic cigarettes can keep the tobacco industry and its annual sales north of $750 billion and growing.
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO), the world's biggest tobacco company and parent company of Philip Morris USA, is the last of the three major U.S. tobacco firms to get into the e-cigs game.
"There is no denying that adult tobacco consumers have shown interest in it," Marty Barrington, Altria's CEO, told investors during an earnings conference call last week.
Thanks to increased health awareness, as well as the introduction of several taxes which have led to the price of packs more than tripling in some cities, cigarette sales began declining over15 years ago and continue to do so, falling 6.2% in the first quarter of 2013.
Even though e-cigs were introduced almost 10 years ago, they are just starting to take off. Sales in the U.S. totaled $500 million in 2012 and are expected to double to $1 billion in 2013.
And a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 21% of adults who smoke regular cigarettes had used e-cigs in 2011, up from 10% in 2010.
So, now that e-cigs are growing more popular, what's the best way to invest in them?
The 10 Secrets of Successful Investing
For Sir John Marks Templeton, the road not taken really did make all the difference in the world.
A true contrarian, the legendary investor became a billionaire by "avoiding the herd".
He bought low, sold high, and was always working against the grains of extreme bullish and bearish sentiment.
In fact, it is when the streets were the bloodiest that Templeton became the most eager to invest.
It was at these moments of what Templeton called "points of maximum pessimism" that he began to wade in snapping up rock bottom bargains along the way..
The Best Investments to Play Emerging Market Growth May Surprise You
If you're looking for ways to profit from soaring emerging market growth, you don't have to go overseas.
Some of the best investments to play emerging economies are in the United States.
Investors need exposure to emerging market growth, as U.S. GDP grew a paltry 2.2% last year, ranking 137th worldwide. The prospects for this year don't look much better.
The Best Investments for a Market Sell-Off
With fears of a market sell-off growing, you can survive a downturn if you know the best investments to make now.
For example, one way savvy investors navigate through volatile markets is by buying inverse funds.
Inverse funds enable you to make money when markets fall, while lowering your risk and protecting the value of your investments in the long run by smoothing out volatility.
The Seven Best Investments for 2013
A year ago, I asked each of our experts here at Money Map Press to recommend their best investment ideas for the 12 months to come.
Of the five stocks our experts recommended in "The Five Stocks You Have to Own in 2012," two more than doubled in price.
And the biggest winner posted a peak gain of 153%. A year later, here we are with a fresh set of recommendations for 2013.
I talked to each of our in-house gurus - including Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, gold-and-natural-resources expert Peter Krauth, high-tech maven Michael A. Robinson - and asked each for their single-best investment idea for the rest of this year.
Best Investments 2013: What to Buy as Global “Currency Wars” Begin
Japanese Prime Minister Abe's recent success in talking the yen lower against other currencies has increased fears over "currency wars." Now investors are on the hunt for the best investments to profit from central bankers' "race to the bottom" in 2013.
As we've pointed out, the Japanese have done nothing overt to weaken the yen - yet. Markets were massively long the Japanese currency and, when Prime Minister Abe called for "unlimited easing" during the election campaign last year and in the run-up to selecting a new Bank of Japan governor, that was all traders needed to hear to begin selling their yen long bets and taking out short positions.
Abe's great success was in getting the market to do all of the heavy lifting for him.
In fact, Abe has been a little too successful. Minister of Finance Taro Aso told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that the yen had weakened too quickly, which prompted an immediate reversal in the currency markets.
Aso's comments came after remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Thursday raising concerns that the recent strength of the euro might derail the recovery just gathering momentum in Europe now.
Looking at the interplay of comments from Draghi and Aso last week, it is tempting to think that all of this commotion in the currency markets is being coordinated at the highest level of central banking.
But, with the exception of China, which has been quietly pushing the renminbi toward the lower end of its trading range, no one has done anything. It's all just talk.
In the financial markets, however, talk is a big industry. Talk gets people to put on trades and that is how bankers and brokers make money.
This leaves investors wondering the best currencies to invest in to profit from these fluctuating values, which is why Morgan Stanley developed a currency war basket trade.
How to Invest in 2013 Without Losing Your Shirt
What a long, strange trip it has been. Roughly four years after falling to 6,600, the Dow pushed back above 14,000 last week.
Of course, you would think that such a climb would be cause for some euphoria. But reading the mail that comes into Money Morning each day leaves me with another impression entirely.
Judging from the comments, it's clear to me that investors are struggling at the moment with how to make sense of these markets. Worse, an overwhelming majority are now afraid that the rally will leave them behind.
The undercurrent is a familiar friend called fear, and it's cousin, confidence. Neither eliminates the need to grow their wealth.
So, what's an individual investor to do? How can you compete in today's brave new financial world?
I put those questions to Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald last week and wasn't disappointed.
Point by point, Keith explained how retail investors can safely participate in these markets without losing their shirts.
It's embodied by his "Money Map Method," a proven strategy for building wealth in today's tough markets.
Here's what Keith had to say: