My “Are You Crazy?” Investment of 2011

Nicholas Vardy

Nicholas Vardy has a unique background that has proven his knack for making money in different markets around the world.

I am issuing this “Special Alert” to highlight an “Are you Crazy?” pick that I believe could double — or even triple — before the end of 2011.

And it is… (drum roll, please)… the National Bank of Greece SA (NBG).

I hear the cries of “are you crazy” here in London…

After all, ratings agency Fitch just recently cut the long-term ratings of the National Bank of Greece to BB+ from BBB- while it maintained a “negative outlook” for its prospects.

Here’s why I think Fitch and the other naysayers are wrong… and why National Bank of Greece will be a big winner for patient investors…

First, downgrades or not, the European Union cannot afford to let major European banks go under. The National Bank of Greece’s position is much like that of Citibank (C) in the United States at the height of the financial crisis. And savvy investors like hedge fund manager David Tepper now have made close to five times their money in Citibank over the past two years by having the foresight to buy it near the bottom.

Second, negative headlines notwithstanding, we already may have seen the bottom in the share price of the National Bank of Greece. The European banking sub-index has regained the ground it lost during the Irish bailout at the end of last year. Bank stocks now are trading at their early November levels in spite of the concerns about the debt of countries such as Portugal and Belgium. National Bank of Greece stock has just traded over its 50-day moving average for only the second time since its collapse at the end of 2009.

Third, Greek banks are slowly, but surely, being upgraded by investment banks. Just yesterday, Greece’s third-largest lender, Alpha Bank, was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” by investment bank Credit Suisse. In another positive sign, option call volume on National Bank of Greece — bets that NBG’s share price will increase in the near future — now is running at close to three times the daily average. Speculators are piling in.

As with the Bank of Ireland (IRE), I want you to think about this pick like an option. As with an option, the stock will bounce around like crazy. But unlike an option, it will not expire or lose its value over time.

So buy the National Bank of Greece (NBG) at market today. Because of the unusual nature of this pick, I am not placing a stop on it. Nor am I recommending options. Holding the stock itself will give you a wild enough ride.

Full disclosure: I hold the National Bank of Greece (NBG) stock both in my personal accounts and for my clients at my investment firm, Global Guru Capital.

Like This Article?
Now Get Our FREE Special Report:
Alternative Investing: Investing in Timber

Stock Investor editor Paul Dykewicz reveals why investing in timber may be one of the best long-term portfolio strategies you'll find today.

Get Access to the Report, 100% FREE

previous article

Almost all of your Global Bull Market Alert positions corrected this week, as global markets took a breather. This made our decision to exit most of your option positions over the past two weeks particularly well timed.


Dr. Mark Skousen

Named one of the "Top 20 Living Economists," Dr. Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.

Product Details


Bryan Perry

A former Wall Street financial advisor with three decades' experience, Bryan Perry focuses his efforts on high-yield income investing and quick-hitting options plays.

Product Details


Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker,
financial journalist, and money manager. As well as a book author and regular contributor to
numerous investment websites, Jim is the editor of:

Product Details


Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson provides independent, objective research covering all the financial issues of retirement and retirement planning. In addition, Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County (VA) Employees’ Retirement System, which has over $2.8 billion in assets.

Product Details


Hilary Kramer

Hilary Kramer is an investment analyst and portfolio manager with 30 years of experience on Wall Street. Since 2010, Hilary's financial publications have provided stock analysis and investment advice to her subscribers:

Product Details


Jon Johnson

Jon Johnson's philosophy in investing and trading is to take what the market gives you regardless if that is to the upside or downside. For the past 21 years, Jon has helped thousands of clients gain success in the financial markets through his newsletters and education services:

Product Details


Used by financial advisors and individual investors all over the world, is the premier provider and one-stop shop for dividend information and research.

Product Details

Popular tools include our proprietary Dividend Calendar, Dividend Calculator, Dividend Score Card, and many more.