PowerTrend Brief: Be Prepared for What Lies Ahead

Chris Versace

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

I’m just back from attending FreedomFest 2013 and for those wondering, I had a great time. There were a number of great presentations at the event, and I was fortunate enough to chair “The Financial Guru” panel and participate on the dais during the “Best Asset Class Debate: Stocks, Gold/Commodities, Real Estate.”

My position was that I simply love stocks and investing in the stock market. As I explained to the thousands in attendance, there are more than the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and more than the 500 that comprise the S&P 500 — there are thousands of stocks across a wide variety of industries.

A plethora of choice. Retail. Biotech. Tech. Machinery. Agricultural and construction equipment. Aerospace. Airlines. Railroads. Shipping. Trucking. Industrials. Rental Companies. Healthcare. Pharmaceuticals. Financials. Banks. Investment Banks. Consumer discretionary. Cable. Telecom. Food. Grocery. Alcohol. Tobacco. Chocolate and candy. Publishing. Movies. TV. Radio. Newspapers. Chips. Internet companies. Social Media. Defense. Energy. Utilities. Oil. Gas. Natural Gas. Coal. Consumer staples. Clothing. Electronics. Computers. Mobile Phones. Smartphones. Tablets. Water. Electricity. HVAC equipment. Rare earth elements. Copper. Gold. Silver. Corn. Wheat. Soybeans. Fertilizer. Packaging companies. Real Estate. Housing. Furniture. Paint. Chemicals. Cabinets. Faucets. Lumber. Security. Cybersecurity.

I mean, don’t get me started.

In short, there are dozens and dozens of sectors to invest in, no matter what your investing style might be. For the value investors, you can look at out-of-favor industries. For a go-go growth person, there is biotechnology, technology and more. For the income-minded investor, dividend-paying companies, including what I call dividend dynamos. For the growth-at-reasonable price investor (better known as GARP), there is no shortage of companies.

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If you’re upbeat on the economy or even a particular sector, an investor can make a bullish investment. If you’re unsure, you can exit your positions and move into cash. Should you be downright negative and have the needed risk tolerance, you can make a negative bet by shorting a stock.

There are so many ways to invest. As corny as it may sound, there is always a bull market out there — you just have to find it.

What to do is what really matters. Of course, knowing what to do when you do find it is what really matters. Just because you have found a stock doesn’t mean you want to buy it at that moment. It’s a lot like buying a house — you may love it, but the price may be too inflated and you could risk losing more money than you might make.

Powerful profits with PowerTrends. Subscribers to both PowerTrend Profits and ETF PowerTrader and I use the intersection of economics, demographics, psychographics and more, as well as a food-chain approach and multi-pronged valuation methodology to ferret out the stocks we buy. In short, I call them PowerTrends because they identify those companies that are positioned to benefit from the next boom.

Let me give you one example — Starbucks (SBUX). We’re up more than 50% in the shares, which are benefitting from international expansion, an overhauled menu offering that is driving food to beverage attachment rates and falling coffee prices. I put the pieces together last summer and we bought in last August. By the way, Starbucks is a dividend payer, which means we’re clipping coupons along with watching the shares climb.

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That same strategy also has led to a better than 90% return on closed option positions in ETF PowerTrader since I began writing the publication last fall. During the last few weeks, I’ve made several recommendations to position my subscribers for what’s to come next.

With signs that consumers are going to feel their wallets pinched even more amid a slower economy that has businesses slowing their investment spending both here in the United States and abroad, you’ve got to take your financial well-being into your own hands instead of sitting on them.

PowerTalk with Ron Shaich, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Panera Bread (PNRA)

Joining me this week on PowerTalk is Ron Shaich, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Panera Bread (PNRA). As usual with these one-on-one conversations, I covered a lot of ground during my time with this CEO, including the strategies that have led to strong growth in Panera’s revenues and stock price during the last several years. Focusing on the customer experience, transparency and, as Ron said, simply “doing it right” are some of the strategies that led to that significant growth at a time when most competitors like Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (BAGL), Cosi (COSI) and others were struggling. Ron and his team also successfully navigated the rise of many alternative eating styles — Atkins, Paleo, raw and others — by offering the customers a wide selection of products, including my favorite — bear claws.

Click here to listen to my one-on-one conversation with Ron that delves into how he and his team at Panera Bread have delivered better than average industry revenue growth during the last several years.

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Be sure to visit my website, www.ChrisVersace.com, where you can check out not only PowerTrend Profits, my investment newsletter, but also ETF PowerTrader and PowerTalk. Also, I’d encourage you to follow me on Twitter @_ChrisVersace.

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 Appearances

  • I’ll be making a presentation to the Maryland SIG chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors on July 17. Be sure to attend if you’re nearby — more information can be found here.
  • Each Monday, I kick off the week with America’s Morning News as we discuss what’s on tap for the coming trading week. Click here to find a radio station near you that carries the program.
  • Each Friday, I’ll be joining The Andrea Tantaros Show to dissect the latest economic and stock market news with Andrea and her listeners. You can listen to that discussion by clicking here.

P.S. Join me for the San Francisco Money Show, Aug. 15-17, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. There is no charge for this conference, but you do need to register. Call 1-800/970-4355, and mention code #031735.

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