Stocks for 2012

One of the blogs I read on a semi-regular basis participates in a stock-picking contest each year. In the contest, bloggers from a number of different finance sites pick four stocks that they ‘own’ for a year. Any stock or ETF on Canadian or US exchanges are fair game. To get in on the fun, I figure I’ll throw out my top four stock picks for this year and see how I do. Note that due to the relatively short timeframe associated with this contest, and the lack of consequences for being wrong, the portfolio I’m outlining is not one that I would recommend in general. Though I do think that each of the stocks / ETF’s picked are no more than fairly valued at the very least.

#1 – Bank of America (BAC)

My #1 pick is Bank of America. It’s probably one of the most hated stocks out there now. It’s also trading at a substantial discount to both book value and tangible book value. My only reservation in picking this for the contest is that I have no idea whether or not it will go anywhere in a year.  If you give me 10 years, I’d be much more confident.

#2 – Research in Motion (RIMM)

My #2 pick is Research in Motion. It’s also an extremely hated stock. Now this one I’m going out on a limb for as I’ve decided to avoid buying RIM for a number of reasons. However, I think the stock if RIM’s strategy and management begins to perform at all, their fortunes should pick up.  It’s also trading near book value which should provide a bit of a floor to the price. I picked the US listed version as I’m guessing that the Canadian dollar will end the year higher against the US dollar which would add a few extra percentage points if I’m right. Not that it matters much.

#3 – FAS– US 3x Bull Financial ETF

Now this one is cheating a bit, but in the rules it says you can pick any stock or ETF on the Canadian or US markets. This is just a bit of a broadening of my #1 pick. Basically, I think US financials are some of the most beat down stocks out there. This just buys a basket of them and then leverages it up.  Easy peasy. If the US avoids a recession and Europe doesn’t blow up too badly, this should turn out okay so long as the rebalancing and ETF fees don’t bite too badly.

#4 – UPRO– 3x Leveraged S&P 500 ETF

I was thinking of putting some of the stocks that I’m currently looking at in here, but as there’s only a 1 year time horizon, it was time to go big or go home. Basically, this is a bet that the US will do okay and muddle along. At the end of 2011, the S&P finished with an estimated P/E of around 12.5 as long as the quarterly earnings for the fourth quarter hold up. If they do, this will be the first calendar year in awhile that the P/E of the S&P has been 15 at the end of the year. So, this is basically a bet that price reverts to earnings and not that earnings come down to meet price. I’ve also leveraged it up to ensure that if I’m right, I win big. Then again, that can bite both ways.

Anyway, I’ll be tracking my picks on a quarterly basis along with the other bloggers to see how I do. Note that this is not how I would actually throw together a portfolio, but since it’s all for fun (and bragging rights), why not.

Until next time,
Nathan @

The data and opinions presented above are for educational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or as a recommendation to buy or sell the securities in question.  The investing methodology outlined on this site assumes that a stock will perform in the future as it has in the past.  This is generally not true.  It is the responsibility of individuals to perform their own due diligence and/or consult their investment adviser to determine the suitability of any given investment product for their specific situation.  For more information, please see my disclaimer. (link)

Full Disclosure:  Long BAC  as of the time of this writing.

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1 Response to Stocks for 2012

  1. Pingback: Stock Picking Contest – 2012 Q1 Update | Engineering Income

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