PowerTrend Brief: Wondering Where to Invest Next? Confirming Data Are All Around Us

Chris Versace

Chris Versace is a financial columnist and equity analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry.

I spent the majority of last week at the Las Vegas MoneyShow giving presentations, sitting on panels and hosting a few as well. Not only was it good fun to be a part of the conference, but it was great to connect with a number of my PowerTrend Profits and ETF PowerTrader subscribers. The stock market, as you no doubt know, marches on, and last week the S&P 500 rose another 2%, putting its year-to-date return at nearly 17%. That’s impressive, but the question you probably are thinking when you hear that percentage return is — what’s my next move?

That’s a vexing question, particularly when the market is moving in an upward trajectory. But just like a game of musical chairs, at some point the music will stop and you’ll need to make sure you have a chair or you’ll be left out.

As I explained to attendees during my PowerTrend presentations at the Las Vegas MoneyShow, one of the reasons I prefer the PowerTrend method of investing is that there are high signs all around us each day, every day. Let me give you an example…

On my flights to and from Las Vegas last week, I did a fair amount of reading across a number of newspapers, magazines, trade journals and more. That reading turned up a number of confirming data points for my Great 8 PowerTrends.

Living Longer Lives. We all know that obesity is a killer issue — no pun intended — and it is not just in America, but on a global basis. Helping combat the expanding waist line, the number one health app for females in January 2013 was Weight Watchers’ (WTW) mobile app.

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Better Smarter, America. More and more Americans are questioning the value of a college education compared to the massive cost and rising student debt. At the same time, the Society for Human Resource Management recently shared that:

  • 65% of organizations hiring full-time employees say they are having difficulties recruiting for specific job openings.
  • Half of the organizations surveyed reported candidates do not have the right skills for the job, while 42% said candidates lacked the needed work experience.

One emerging trend to watch is the rising enrollment among 18-44 year olds in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are online courses aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. Are MOOCs catching on? Consider that in 2011-2012, the University of California at Berkeley enrolled more than 2,000 students in online courses for academic credit, more than 7,500 students in online courses for professional credit and more than 75,000 students in free noncredit MOOCs. We have not heard the last of the emerging trend in education.

Always On, Always Connected. Historically, the hunt for a job included in-person networking with friends, family and head hunters, as well as perusing newspapers and other trade papers for open positions. Much the way people read newspapers and magazines, job hunting has shifted onto the Internet. According to data from comScore (SCOR), 26.4% of individuals who are planning to change jobs in the next 12 months visited LinkedIn (LNKD). For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it’s a professional network on the Internet with more than 90 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

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Rise and Fall of the Middle Class. Wal-Mart reported its quarterly earnings this past week, and the retail giant missed Wall Street expectations when it reported only a 1% increase in its top line. Because Wal-Mart accounts for nearly 10% of nonautomotive retail spending, the company is considered an economic barometer. Reading between the lines, Wal-Mart’s top line not only confirms that The Cash Strapped Consumer is alive and well, it suggests that Wal-Mart customers are living paycheck to paycheck.

More tidbits are coming. While economic weakness is not a situation I am happy about, it confirms the merit of a number of the recommendations that I have made for subscribers of my investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits. Next week, I’ll share with you some of the tidbits at the MoneyShow that I picked up while hosting several panels that featured representatives of publicly traded companies. Much like my weekly show PowerTalk that shares my in-depth and one-on-one conversations with key people in business, politics and more, the MoneyShow panels were chock full of useful investing information. If you’d like to know how I plan on using those MoneyShow tidbits to generate big profits in the weeks ahead, click here.

To read my e-letter from last week, please click here. I also invite you to comment about my column in the space provided below.

Upcoming Appearance

  • Be sure to tune into The Andrea Tantaros Show to hear me discuss the latest stock market and economic news on Talk Radio Network.

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