The “Smart Money” Loves This Stock – and Now It’s About to Break Out

This week, I'm attending one of the most exclusive hedge fund conferences on the planet: the SALT Conference in Las Vegas.

My mission is to find out where Wall Street's top analysts and fund managers are putting their money to work over the next year.

It's a very luxurious event - five-star accommodations at the Bellagio. The speaker list includes prominent names like Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Sam Zell, Mark Cuban, Valerie Jarrett, and Brad Katsuyama.

The annual gathering centers on global investments, finance, social impact, and politics. Topics range from how to extend human life to cybersecurity challenges in the 21st century.

They have an outstanding cocktail reception where the more than 1,700 attendees can talk best investment ideas, raise capital, and pitch fund strategies.

Fortunately for Money Morning readers like yourself, you don't need to pay $8,000 just to walk in the door at SALT...

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Instead, you can use a simple, back-tested investment strategy called VQScore to find breakout stocks.

And you can bet I'll be touting its impeccable track record at the conference...

But interestingly enough, one of the best "smart money" hedge fund companies in the world just earned one of our highest VQScores.

It may not be presenting at this year's SALT Conference, but it is hands down the best asset management stock to buy on the planet.

Here's the Stock to Buy Ahead of SALT

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Too many private equity firms are closed off to the ultra-wealthy. That leaves retail investors with the publicly traded stocks of these wealth-building giants.

Carlyle Group LP (NYSE: CG) is available on the New York Stock Exchange. Northern Trust Corp. (NASDAQ: NTRS) is another option for investors looking to capitalize on the "smart money" trends that help rich people stay rich...

But if I had to pick one, I'd go with KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR). This firm is famous for mainstreaming the leveraged buyout deal and creating a host of imitators.

Founded in 1976, founders and cousins Henry Kravis and George Roberts have created a legacy that is unrivaled in American business...

The company began with a $120,000 partnership. And today, the firm has $194.7 billion under management.

The tailwinds for this stock are strong. Despite a horrible fourth quarter for the market, KKR reported yet another strong year. It raised $6.3 billion in new capital for its rock-solid private equity, real estate, and leveraged credit strategies.

"We had a good start to the year as investment performance led to meaningful book value growth," said Kravis and Roberts after last week's Q1 earnings report. It was such a good year that KKR hiked its buyback program by $247 million to a half billion dollars.

So why should you tap into this stock right away?

KKR is the best in class when it comes to delivering incredible returns for investors. Since its inception, the firm has provided an annualized return of 19% to 20% a year.

KKR trades at an attractive price/earnings ratio of 8.15 and offers a dividend of 2.07%.

But the most important number is KKR's VQScore, which sits at a 4.75. That signals that the stock is poised to break out in the future and deliver solid returns.

I will be reporting from the SALT Conference all week and sharing insights into the best "smart money" plays in the market.

For now, KKR stock will look to press new five-year highs to $30 per share. That figure represents upside just shy of 25% from current levels.

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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