Every year I like to grab a big ‘ol pile of the investing magazines and see exactly what predictions they make for the year ahead. Many of them have “buy lists” of a dozen or so companies that they believe will succeed … and, to tell you the truth, it sometimes seems to me that a few of the newsletter editors do little more than parrot the entries from these lists.
So in the interest of sharing a few ideas with you that you might not have yet run into (and there are a few magazines that I haven’t hit yet this year), I’ll share the buy lists for 2008 here of a few of the most popular mags. I don’t have time to comment on any of them at the moment, though there are many stocks in these lists that I find appealing as well, even if some of them are still a bit pricey even after their recent dips. I do hope that if you have opinions on any of these stocks — or a “top ten” list of your own, you’ll add it to the pile here so we can all make ourselves a touch wiser.
Without further ado, the lists:
- Annaly Capital Management (NLY) — this has been a newsletter teaser pick that masquerades as the 180% government bond.
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) (The Gumshoe owns this one, and it’s one of Stansberry’s Secret Investment Societies)
- Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS)
- Electronic Arts (ERTS)
- Genentech (DNA)
- General Electric (GE)
- Jacobs Engineering (JEC)
- Merrill Lynch (MER) (The Gumshoe, unfortunately, owns some call options on this one)
- Petrobras Energia (PZE) — from the description, they really meant the parent company Petrobras, PBR or PBRA.
- St. Joe (JOE)
Barron’s “ready to bounce” stocks for the year ahead:
- American International Group (AIG) (Ken Fisher is also looking for a bright 2008 for this cheap and embattled insurer)
- Bear Stearns (BSC)
- Comcast (CMCSA)
- Comerica (CMA)
- SunTrust (STI)
- Gannett (GCI)
- Kohl’s (KSS)
- Legg Mason (LM)
- Micron Technlogy (MU)
- Southwest Airlines (LUV)
- Starbucks (SBUX)
- Time Warner (TWX)
SmartMoney‘s “Where to Invest 2008”
- Bunge (BG)
- Deere (DE)
- Diamond Offshore (DO) (This is the sexiest subsidiary of Loews, which we looked at very recently as the Ultimate Hedge Fund)
- Ion Geophysical (IO) (this one was apparently teased several times last year, though not recently that I’ve seen)
- Central European Media ENt. (CETV)
- Erste Bank (EBKDY)
- Phililppine Long Distance (PHI) (this was a Robert Hsu pick about six months ago)
- Telefonica (TEF)
- General Electric (GE)
- United Technologies (UTX)
- Genworth Financial (GNW)
- Wells Fargo (WFC)
BusinessWeek’s predictions are a lot harder to look at with any seriousness, since they issue predictions by sector for Environment, Energy, Banking, Agribusiness, falling Dollar, Infrastructure, Tech, Housing, Canadian, European, and Indian Stocks … in addition to options strategies, inflation hedges, and inverse funds. And each of those different sectors or strategies has a half dozen ways to profit, so we can’t say they’ve got a “best for 2008” list unless you’re willing to give them a “top 50” list. Though it might be worth noting that these are the hot and talked about ideas of 2007, too, not a lot of contrarian thought in here (except for finding a few good values in banks) … they didn’t list a homebuilder or a retailer that they recommended buying, nor did they go out on a limb and say that China is going to keep up with its exponential growth. I’d say that safe and diversified is the kind way to describe their 2008 investment outlook, which is a nice way to invest but a pretty boring way to make predictions.
All of these mainstream magazines, by the way, tend to be much better at reporting the progress of their picks than are many newsletter editors, even when they make bad picks. The bonus of being an underpaid journalist, no one really expects you to be a great stock picker.
For the record, the stocks on those lists that sound most appealing to me so far, just on a gut reaction, are Genentech, Legg Mason, Starbucks, St. Joe, and Erste Bank.
And I think there are a few interesting magazine lists that I haven’t gotten to here … if you want to share a list — yours or someone else’s — go right ahead and add it below with any comments you might have (though please don’t copy and paste copyrighted material). I’ll see if I find a few more to share in our next installment of the Gumshoe’s Weekend Reading.