I write today with one very important question on my mind…
…did I help you make money in 2017?
I'm asking because I'm a firm believer in taking my own advice.
I counsel you to take a good hard look at the strategies you use, at your investments, and at your analysis, so it only makes sense that I do the same.
Some people call this "transparency," but I call it "owning up."
Frankly, I wish more investment experts would own up – warts and all – because that'd go a long way to cleaning up Wall Street. Sadly, there's a snowball's chance in you know what because they're too busy trying to steer you in a direction that boosts their profits at your expense.
The way I see it, integrity is everything in this business. I don't deserve the trust you place in me if I'm not helping you chart a path to profits.
Let's start with one of the boldest and most audacious predictions I've ever made.
Did I Get It Right on How President Trump Would Impact Markets?
I stopped FOX Business Network host Stuart Varney cold five days before President Trump's victory on Nov. 8, 2016, by saying on air that his win would result in a "rip your face off rally."
Mind you, that was at a time when everyone I knew, or knew of, was calling for massive declines, including – to name a few – Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist Dr. Paul Krugman, American billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and the head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ethan Harris.
Since then, the Dow has hit 70 record closes, which tops the previous record set in 1995 of 69. It's also easily toppled four 1,000-point milestones while also putting in the second fastest 1,000-point run ever recorded… in just 24 trading sessions.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 put in a record 388-day stretch without a 3% or more pullback even as the VIX, which tracks S&P 500 contract volatility, sank to record lows. That's created a staggering $1.6 trillion in market capitalization.
At 313% average weekly gains (including partial closeouts), this strategy is leaving Wall Street Elite in the dust. Space is limited, so you’ll have to act fast for your chance at triple-digit gains…
And, not to be left out, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is cresting at 7,000 points for the first time. Big tech continues to plow ahead and remains more than capable of growing into PE ratios others perceive as expensive but aren't – a distinction that most investors fail to grasp.
Investors who got "in to win," as you and I discussed many times, have done exceptionally well, while those who failed to get on board because they couldn't overcome their fears or doubts got left behind… yet again.
Was I Correct That Apple Was Undervalued?
This time last year many investors worried that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) had reached the end of its run. Yet I argued that the company was undervalued, and that Team Cook had another great run in front of it.
Apple's year-to-date return is a staggering 52.82%, and it's well on its way to becoming a $1 trillion company. Many investors don't believe that's possible… but I beg to differ.
I believe Apple will make a fundamental pivot to medical devices and, in doing so, potentially double revenue once doctors, insurance companies, and healthcare practitioners begin prescribing everything from the Apple Watch to iPhones, iPads, and more. Dropping $1,000 on the latest cell phone will be your insurance company's problem, not yours. Prices will rise, and margins along with them.
It's disruptive progress of the highest order and fully capable of making my $200-per-share price target appear cheap in the rear-view mirror, a few years from now.
Did the "Most Dangerous" IPO I've Ever Seen Stay Dangerous?
Snap's now trading at $15.59, after falling 63.85% from its post-IPO high to a low of $11.28.
I seriously thought about recommending shorting the stock, but reasoned that doing so wasn't worth the risk given SNAP's status as a media darling. Instead, I encouraged you to invest in alternatives like Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and even Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), which have tacked on 51%, 33%, and 35%, respectively, within the past year.
SNAP remains a failed company based on a business model that never should have been brought public in the first place. Investors who fell for the "innovation" it supposedly brought forward have collectively lost more than $15.67 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.
Grade: A- for avoidance
Is My View on Why Pessimists Never Make Money Accurate?
Last January, just after the Dow hit 20,000, I shared my thinking with you about why pessimists never make money.
It was a theme we'd return to many times for the simple reason that I believed, and still do, that the markets had plenty of room to run. There was no reason to stay on the sidelines given the staggering amount of money chasing relatively few quality stocks.
Every new milestone forced me to revise my numbers, though… 21,000 became 22,000 and even 23,000, which I viewed as a foregone conclusion as of October. I noted on CNBC Asia that the S&P 500 may even touch 3,000 in a "surprisingly strong move to the upside" that would catch many investors by surprise.
The Dow is within spitting distance of 25,000 as I type, but the S&P 500 remains at around 2,700, which means I got three things correct: direction, timing, and the sector analysis.
So I'm going to ding myself a bit because my calculations were off, despite the fact that this is advice which stands the test of time.
Ekso Bionics – Hero or Zero?
I told you in May that the company had hit a "make or break" moment that would see it become a "hero or a zero."
Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: EKSO) is easily one of the most exciting and yet frustrating companies I've ever encountered. Every time I'm ready to write it off, the company does something brilliant.
About the Author
Keith Fitz-Gerald has been the Chief Investment Strategist for the Money Morning team since 2007. He's a seasoned market analyst with decades of experience, and a highly accurate track record. Keith regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand. In addition to heading The Money Map Report, Keith runs High Velocity Profits, which aims to get in, target gains, and get out clean. In his weekly Total Wealth, Keith has broken down his 30-plus years of success into three parts: Trends, Risk Assessment, and Tactics – meaning the exact techniques for making money. Sign up is free at totalwealthresearch.com.