Friday Charts: The Best (and Worst) Investments of 2013

by Wall Street Daily
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Submitted by Wall St. Daily as part of our contributors program

Words mean little on Fridays in the Wall Street Daily Nation.

Instead, we let pretty pictures do the talking for us. Each week, I select a handful of graphics to put important economic and investing news into perspective for you.

So I’ll (mostly) shut up now…

Buy and Hold isn’t Dead!

Earlier this week, the Dow closed at a new all-time record high of 14,253.77.

It’s been 1,973 days in the making, in case you were wondering.

And for the handful of investors who hung tight through the financial meltdown, their portfolios are whole again. Finally.

So who said that buy-and-hold investing is dead?

Is it Time to Buy or Sell?

I’ve already dedicated an entire column to dispelling the myth that a new record high points to an imminent end to the bull market (see here).

Just for good measure, though, here’s a fresh reminder from Bespoke Investment Group…

They crunched the numbers on one-month, three-month, six-month and one-year returns following record highs for the Dow since 1900.

Their conclusion? There’s “not much credence to the argument that you should not be buying equities when the DJIA is trading at all-time highs.”

“Not much”? How about almost none? As you can see, the Dow actually performs better, on average, following new record highs after six months and one year.

So keep buying stocks. And don’t quit until the Fed stops printing money…

Remember, it’s All About the Fed

I told you before that the Fed is the main driving force behind stock prices (see here).

If you doubted me, though, consider the latest proof: the performance of the S&P 500 during the course of the Fed’s various quantitative easing programs.

As the Fed’s balance sheet keeps growing, stock prices keep climbing. Coincidence? Not a chance!

The time to trim up our stops or reduce our equity exposure will be when central banks start meaningfully curbing their money printing. But that time is definitely not now.

Not-So-Precious Gold and Poor, Poor Hedge Funds

I know we’re only two months into the year. But a quick comparison of the year-to-date returns for various investments and sectors reveals some shocking truths.

Healthcare is leading the pack right now.

So it might not be a bad idea to tap into the momentum with a healthcare ETF like the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV). Just a friendly investment suggestion to consider.

Hedge fund managers can’t catch a break. Not only is their performance lagging behind the S&P 500 Index. They’re also losing out to (gasp) mutual fund managers.

And gold is getting clobbered. It’s by far the worst performer.

Now, if you’ve watched the first two parts of our Keynote Speaker Series with legendary investor, Rick Rule, you know that there are certainly ways to profit from the downtrend. Rick reserved his most compelling investment ideas for part three, though, which is going out to subscribers on the Oil & Energy Daily e-letter list at 10 AM today.

That’s it for today. Before you sign off, though, do us a favor. Let us know what you think about today’s column – or any of our recent work at Wall Street Daily – by sending an email to or leaving a comment on our website.


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