What kind of investor are you? If you don't know, you might have a problem. It's useful to have a handle on your investment strategy, so that you can better focus on it.
There are many different ways to categorize investing. For example, a Goldilocks-like approach might divide investing strategies into these groups:Too-aggressive investing: This approach puts your dollars in danger. It can include any of a host of riskier-than-average types of investments, such as options, commodities, currency bets, penny stocks, and even lottery tickets. It's true that some options strategies can be conservative, but many are not, and it's very, very common for options to expire unexercised and worthless.
Too-cautious investing: It might seem smart to be very conservative with your money, but if you do that, it might not grow enough to support you in retirement. That's especially true these days, in our environment of ultra-low interest rates. With inflation historically averaging about 3% annually in the U.S., even earning 2% in your bank account or via a bond or CD will leave you losing purchasing power over time.
Just-right investing: For many people, a long-term portfolio mixed with both stocks and bonds is a sound way to grow your net worth.
The bond world features many kinds of bonds, such as government bonds, municipal bonds, and corporate bonds. Government bonds, such as U.S. Treasury bills, bonds, and notes, are the safest, backed by the U.S. government. They pay interest that's taxable on your federal tax return, but is exempt from state and local taxes. Municipal bonds can be riskier, as some local governments are on somewhat shaky ground, but they can therefore offer higher interest rates and their interest is exempt not only from state and local taxes, but also from federal taxes. Corporate bonds are issued by companies that want to raise money. They, too, offer rates higher than government bonds, and their interest is not tax-exempt. In general, the higher their interest rate, the lower their credit rating and healthiness.
Stock investing approaches
A sound stock investment strategy is hard to beat, for long-term growth. Here's a quick rundown of some key approaches. Note that many investors engage in one or more of them -- they're not all mutually exclusive.
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: Under Armour Inc.(UA)
Under Armour, Inc. develops, markets, and distributes performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth primarily in the United States, Canada, and internationally. It offers products made from moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics designed to regulate body temperature and enhance performance regardless of weather conditions. The company provides its products in three fit types: compression (tight fitting), fitted (athletic cut), and loose (relaxed) extending across the sporting goods, outdoor, and active lifestyle markets. Its footwear offerings comprise football, baseball, lacrosse, softball, and soccer cleats; slides; performance training footwear; and running footwear. The company also provides baseball batting, football, golf, and running gloves, as well as licenses bags, socks, headwear, custom-molded mouth guards, and eyewear that are designed to be used and worn before, during, and after competition. Under Armour sells its products through retai l stores, as well as directly to consumers through its own retail outlets and specialty stores, Website, and catalogs. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Glenn]
Current Price: $27.27 12-month target: $37I see potential in opportunities for new product adjacencies, and expanding distribution worldwide. Footwear growth will continue to increase. Revenues for these products have increased over 69% in 2009. Adding to this I still see growth in Under Armour’s apparel sales, which are up 8%. Under Armor had yet to even break into the international market, which offers a plethora of new opportunities for this growing brand. I believe sales will rise drastically in 2010 driven by international sales, new women’s clothing line, and expansion within their own footwear line.
- [By Roger]
Under Armour (NYSE:UA), a maker and designer of apparel, footwear and accessories that target sports enthusiasts, has more than doubled in one year. But despite the advance, many research firms still have a “strong buy” recommendation on the stock. And S&P recently revised its annual target to $93.
Technically UA has advanced on a series of stair steps, sometimes called “base moves.”? These are very bullish formations that resemble cups. UA reversed up recently following a signal from our proprietary Collins-Bollinger Reversal (CBR) indicator. If the recent pullback to its 50-day moving average (blue line) holds, then the next move up should break the prior high with a target of $85.
Traders could take risk positions now with a target of $85 to $90. But be careful and use stop-loss orders to protect against a violent reversal, which could drop prices back to support at $62 where this volatile stock could be bought again.
- [By Fernandez]
Under Armour designs, develops, markets, and distributes performance apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and youth primarily in the United States and Canada.
You’ve probably seen the company’s “Protect This House” or “Click-Clack” commercials, and probably seen anyone from the weekend warrior to professional sports teams wearing the company’s moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics, which are designed to keep perspiration away from the skin, and regulate body temperature regardless of weather conditions.
I must admit for full disclosure that I am an Under Armour nut, and own about 20 pairs of their shorts, shirts and shoes.
I can attest from personal experience as a natural bodybuilder and athlete that the Under Armour apparel are the best workout clothing I have ever worn, and they look pretty darn cool too.
Now let me make a clear distinction between a great company, and a great stock.
Up until recently, Under Armour was the former, but not the latter.
It has now entered into a zone where the valuation metrics, even in the face of a consumer slowdown, is looking more and more attractive.
In fact, Under Armour just released earnings Monday.
They were pretty much in line with analyst’s expectations, and then Under Armour slightly lowered their forward guidance for the remainder of 2008 based on those same consumer headwinds.
The market liked what it heard sending shares up 20% (of course, the overall market was up 10%, so…). Shares have since rebounded further are now up almost 50% from their lows just last week!
This leads me to my investment thesis in shares of Under Armour.
I believe that Under Armour represents one of the quintessential brands of this decade when it comes to sports apparel, the way Under Armour’s fiercest rival Nike (NYSE: NKE) dominated the 90’s.
Until now the valuation of the company was not commensurate with the! projected profit and growth, which I thought were way too high, and still might be, along with certain inventory related problems that the company now seems to be getting a handle on.
Still, with the spike in share price, along with the uncertainty in the market and overall economy, I feel that we will still be able to purchase shares of this great company at a great price in the near future and that we’re seeing a bit of a short squeeze in shares of Under Armour.
Why I Like the Company: One of the quintessential brands of this decade; Valuation is reaching reasonable to “cheap” levels depending on direction of consumer market and Under Armour’s stock price; Dedicated and fully invested founder with over 77% voting power via class B shares; Improved business fundamentals via better inventory controls and operational structure, and new product offerings; Further expansion available outside the U.S.; Relatively higher margins than competition
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras(PBR)
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. primarily engages in oil and natural gas exploration and production, refining, trade, and transportation businesses. The company?s Exploration and Production segment involves in the exploration, production, development, and production of oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and natural gas in Brazil. This segment supplies its products to the refineries in Brazil, as well as sells surplus petroleum and byproducts in domestic and foreign markets. Its Supply segment engages in the refining, logistics, transportation, and trade of oil and oil products; export of ethanol; and extraction and processing of schist, as well as holds interests in companies of the petrochemical sector in Brazil. The Gas and Energy segment involves in the transportation and trade of natural gas produced in or imported into Brazil; transportation and trade of LNG; and generation and trade of electric power. In addition, the segment has interests in natural gas transportation and d istribution companies; and thermoelectric power stations in Brazil, as well engages in fertilizer business. The Distribution segment distributes oil products, ethanol, and compressed natural gas in Brazil. The International segment involves in the exploration and production of oil and gas, as well as in supplying, gas and energy, and distribution operations in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Further, the company involves in biofuel production business. Petroleo Brasileiro was founded in 1953 and is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dave Friedman]
Institutional investors bought 78,663,680 shares and sold 101,125,380 shares, for a net of -22,461,700 shares. This net represents 0.23% of common shares outstanding. The number of shares outstanding is 9,872,826,100. The shares recently traded at $27.61 and the company’s market capitalization is $170,178,700,000.00. About the company: Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras explores for and produces oil and natural gas. The Company refines, markets, and supplies oil products. Petrobras operates oil tankers, distribution pipelines, marine, river and lake terminals, thermal power plants, fertilizer plants, and petrochemical units. The Company operates in South America and elsewhere around the world.
- [By ETF Authority]
Current Price: $47.68 12-month target: $80PBR plans to invest $174 billion by 2013 to support the largest oil discovery in 30 years. PetroBras has both the backing of the Brazilian government who invested over $30 billion and the Chinese private investors who have pledged over $20 billion to PBR’s discovery. Brazils government proposed to make PBR the only operator of all new offshore pre-salt oil fields yet to be exploited. PetroBras expects oil production to increased from 2.4 million barrels a day to around 5.7 million barrels a day by 2020. PBR has long-term views and have been expanding renewable energy programs such as solar, biofuel, and energy. Biofuel production is expected to increase 18% by 2013.
- [By David Sterman]
Market Value: $173 billion
Fall from 52-week high: 38%
This Brazilian oil giant has lost $100 billion in market value since March 2011. That's a lot of dough. The sell-off is the result of a drop in oil prices, slightly stricter government policies regarding oil and gas royalties, and recent moves to issue more stock and debt to help fund business development. (Though the company now vows to stop issuing any more equity.)
Indeed, this company has been sucking in cash for quite some time, generating a cumulative $40 billion in free cash flow loss in just the past two years. Pretty soon, though, losses will morph into outsized profits when the company's heavy investments to tap massive offshore oil fields finally bear fruit. In 2007, 2008 and again in 2009, Petrobras discovered three new offshore oil fields, known as Tupi, Jupiter, and yet-to-be-named site off of the state of Sao Paolo.
It's the Tupi energy play that should pique your interest. It's the largest new find of oil since the Kashagan oil field was discovered in Kazakhstan in 2000 and instantly put Brazil's oil reserve base on par with industry giant Norway. Tally up all of its fields, and Petrobas' engineers estimate the country is sitting on more than 12 billion barrels of oil.
The recent sell-off has put shares of Petrobras deep into bargain territory, trading at just 7.3 times projected 2011 profits and 1.2 times tangible book value.
Top 5 Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: Fluor Corporation(FLR)
Fluor Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance, and project management services worldwide. Its Oil & Gas segment offers design, engineering, procurement, construction, and project management services to upstream oil and gas production, downstream refining, chemicals, and petrochemicals industries. This segment also provides consulting services comprising feasibility studies, process assessment, and project finance structuring and studies. The company?s Industrial & Infrastructure segment offers design, engineering, procurement, and construction services to the transportation, wind power, mining and metals, life sciences, manufacturing, commercial and institutional, telecommunications, microelectronics, and healthcare sectors. Its Government segment provides engineering, construction, logistics support, contingency response, management, and operations services to the United States government focusing on the Departme nt of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense. The company?s Global Services segment offers operations and maintenance, small capital project engineering and execution, site equipment and tool services, industrial fleet services, plant turnaround services, temporary staffing services, and supply chain solutions. Its Power segment provides engineering, procurement, construction, program management, start-up and commissioning, and operations and maintenance services to the gas fueled, solid fueled, plant betterment, renewables, nuclear, and power services markets. The company also offers unionized management and construction services in the United States and Canada. Fluor Corporation was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.
Best Safest Companies To Invest In Right Now: Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(The)
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides investment banking, securities, and investment management services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. Its Investment Banking segment offers financial advisory, including advisory assignments with respect to mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate defense, risk management, restructurings, and spin-offs; and underwriting securities, loans and other financial instruments, and derivative transactions. The company?s Institutional Client Services segment provides client execution activities, such as fixed income, currency, and commodities client execution related to making markets in interest rate products, credit products, mortgages, currencies, and commodities; and equities related to making markets in equity products, as well as commissions and fees from executing and clearing institutional client transactions on stock, options, and fu tures exchanges. This segment also engages in the securities services business providing financing, securities lending, and other prime brokerage services to institutional clients, including hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and foundations. Its Investing and Lending segment invests in debt securities, loans, public and private equity securities, real estate, consolidated investment entities, and power generation facilities. This segment also involves in the origination of loans to provide financing to clients. The company?s Investment Management segment provides investment management services and investment products to institutional and individual clients. This segment also offers wealth advisory services, including portfolio management and financial counseling, and brokerage and other transaction services to high-net-worth individuals and families. In addition, it provides global investment research services. The company was founded in 1869 and is headquartered in New York, New York.