Sunday, December 28, 2014

Your Investment Watch List for 2014

It's been a great year for the U.S. stock market. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index is up about 25%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 23%.

And Money Morning's gurus have done even better than that for their subscribers this year...

Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald decoded an 80% gain for readers of his Money Map Report with an insurance company that pays out a super dividend.

Our Defense and Technology Specialist Michael A. Robinson, delivered a 100% gain with a politics-proof defense contractor.

Now it's time to pick the next big winners for 2014. Some of our experts share what they're watching, looking for, or forward to, next time around.

The Good

Here's who's going to have a great 2014:

Two of our favorite tech stocks, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), bear close watching next year, according to Money Morning's Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani.

"Apple is headed back to $700," he said, on the basis of "new products and business lines that will shock the world." AAPL is trading at $560 per share now.

Meanwhile, Gilani says Microsoft will mount its own challenge to Apple and Google - and emerge from the fight "bigger, stronger, and more growth-oriented."

2013 was a rough year for the equity markets in the emerging economies of Asia and Latin America. Although gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 4.5% in those markets, share price indexes for Asia were only up 1.7%, and down 8.7% for Latin America, according to research firm Yardeni.

Next year, things will start to look up, at least for one of the big emerging economies.

"2014 is going to be all about Brazil: economically, politically, athletically," said Gilani. "If Brazil can rise to the many challenges it faces, its stock market will soar."

Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio da Janeiro, both events that will tax the country's infrastructure.

And speaking of soaring, this famed investor is poised to have a massively profitable 2014...

"Billionaire private equity investor Stephen Schwartzman will make still more billions as his fund Blackstone IPOs more of its portfolio companies." Blackstone took Hilton Hotels public in 2013, and it has plenty more companies in its portfolio. The Fed(s)

In the U.S., 2013 market activity seems to have revolved around one question: What's the Fed going to do?

The Open Market Committee answered that question - taper starts in January - but that doesn't mean the Fed has become irrelevant.

Far from it. The Federal Reserve and the federal government - "the Feds" plural - will only increase in importance.

One thing our experts absolutely agree is a must-watch for next year is the Federal Reserve Bank and its incoming Chairman, Janet Yellen.

"There is no stock, no investment, no person more important to watch than Janet Yellen and the rest of the central bankers," said Money Morning's Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "The central bankers will take their cue from Yellen, which will set the tone for every asset class in the world."

And speaking of politics and money, our Global Investing & Income Strategist Robert Hsu predicts we'll "See a lot more class warfare in the United States next year, thanks to the Congressional mid-term elections in November."

But there is more to money and banking than is dreamt of by Treasury secretaries and central bankers. And that's why Money Morning's Global Income Specialist Robert Hsu is watching China's shadow banking system.

"There's probably going to be at least one default in China's underground credit system," he warned.

And The Tech-y

This year was great for technology, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index up 33% - higher than the Standard & Poor's 500's 25%.

And 2014 will be no different.

"Americans love technology and the country is continuing to embrace new developments, products and innovations," said Money Morning's Defense & Technology specialist Michael Robinson. "The big money makers are going to be in cloud computing and biotechnology."

3D printing really got noticed in 2013, Robinson said, which means that the industry will only increase its momentum in the New Year. "We're talking about an industry with a compound growth rate of 25% per year. 3D printing is going to be everywhere."

But it's not all business...

Here at Money Morning we love keeping you abreast of the news you can profit from. And we have a good time doing it. (Besides, sometimes a good time is also a good investment.)

But even we like to kick back with a great TV series or movie, and 2014 is looking to be a bang-up year for entertainment.

The year 2013 brought the untimely end of beloved chemistry teacher-turned-drug kingpin Walter White. People distraught over the end of AMC's hit series Breaking Bad will rejoice, says Robert Hsu, as the spin-off and prequel Better Call Saul becomes the most anticipated TV show in years.

Perhaps most importantly, the long wait for the second Avengers installment comes out next year, too. Robert tells us that the new movie's villain, Thanos, "will move out of comic book obscurity and into the mainstream."

Now get started on making 2014 your most profitable year ever: This New Year's Eve, "Ring the Register" for Profits

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