The way the markets have been moving the past few weeks, it almost seems like there are just three stocks in the driver's seat – Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), and AstraZeneca Plc. (NASDAQ: AZN).
Investors have been absolutely transfixed by the news that 90%-plus effective coronavirus vaccines could start to hit the street, albeit in extremely low quantities, possibly as early as two or three weeks from today. In fact, just over the long holiday weekend, the first doses of Pfizer's vaccine arrived in the United States from Belgium, courtesy of United Airlines – and 7.5 tons of dry ice.
Don't get me wrong: This is fantastic news, and I'm as excited as anyone to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there's still plenty of tunnel to move through yet.
Now, Monday's "down" day on the three big indexes could very well have been some routine profit-taking; there are, after all, plenty of profits to take.
But as upbeat as the vaccine headlines are, the virus could very well be about to send markets lower.
COVID-19 is spreading out of control already, and some health systems are nearing the limit. Some governors, like Larry Hogan of Maryland and Kim Reynolds of Iowa, have slowed their "reopening" and in some cases are putting restrictions back into place.
And, though we have clarity on the election outcome, we certainly don't have it on stimulus prospects. So, there's no telling for sure where the markets might head next – and that's okay.
The smart move, in my view, is to add to our positions in some of the year's top tech performers. The tech sector has of course been one of the most robust of the entire pandemic.
THE BIGGEST, FASTEST-MOVING PLAYS on the market, each with the potential to hand you 400% or more in a matter of days or weeks. Details here…
But I'm also going to show you two pro-level moves you can make on these recommendations – or any other stock you like – that will "lock in" gains no matter what happens…
Apple and the "Cowboy Split"
My enthusiasm for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is a matter of record at this point; I think it's one of the tech stocks every investor needs to own, and I'm repeating that message today.
The stock just received some analyst upgrades on the strength of its iPhone 12 and 2021 sales forecasts.
But I must admit I'm shocked that more investors don't use this technique to buy it; they could save themselves a fortune if they did this, like I recommend all the time.
I call this move the "Cowboy Split," and, simply stated, it's a staggered-entry system. You take a position in AAPL (or any stock you've got your eye on; it's extremely versatile) at market.
Then, you "lowball" the market and put in a limit order to buy more when a discount comes your way. You could be conservative and "demand" a 5% discount, which is more realistic with a stock like Apple, or a more aggressive 15% to 20% discount, and then enter a "lowball limit" order to buy more if a discount comes your way. Apple alone has offered many such opportunities over the past six months.
Say you want 100 shares of AAPL, ultimately. You'd buy 50 shares at market, which today is around $5,950, or $119 a share. Your "Cowboy Split" technique would have you put in a limit order for another 50 shares at $107 each, or $5,350, slashing the cost of your 100% position.
What's more, when Apple rallies – as it invariably does – you'll have that much more in profits; that second tranche of shares can really juice your gains.
Now, here's what to do with those gains…
Take a "Free Trade" (or Five) on Microsoft
This move is even simpler, and you can use it on any of your "outperformers."
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When it comes to Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), it's already paid my longtime readers handsomely.
This company is up more than 500% since 2014, when I first wrote to let my readers know that a "new guy" by the name of Satya Nadella was taking the reins.
I could – and would – enthusiastically make that same buy recommendation today, particularly on the strength and profitability of its Azure Cloud computing platform. The future looks bright indeed.
Whenever a stock like Microsoft doubles in value, take a "free trade" and lock in gains. A free trade is merely a sell order for half of your stake. Doing so means you have every last nickel of your original capital back; the rest is cream, so you're then playing on "the house's" money.
This is a smart idea at the best of times, but its real power becomes clear when markets start to slip. First, you end up owning stock for "free," essentially, and you stay in the position to collect upside. If, for some unthinkable reason, the stock declined 50%, you'd be completely whole.
The free trade is the perfect example of "simple… but effective."
Using these two easy maneuvers with stocks like Apple, Microsoft, or any of the tech buys we talk about here can effectively guarantee massive profits no matter where the market goes from here.
And believe it or not, there are some stocks that aren't household names yet, but could be even better than AAPL and MSFT. My friend and colleague, Shah Gilani, recently sat down to go through a blistering 50 of the best (and worst) stocks on the market in a marathon "Buy This, Not That" stock-picking session looking ahead to 2021. Watch it here…
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.
Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.
To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.
His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.