Hedge Fund titan Jon Paulson pulled off the greatest trade of all time in 2007, raking in a cool $15 billion in his bet against subprime mortgages - according to the International Business Times who ranked the top ten greatest trades of all-time. Some were brilliant masterminds, others were just plain lucky.
The Top Ten Greatest Trades of All-Time
1. John Paulson’s bet against sub prime mortgages made him $15 billion in 2007
2. Jesse Livermore’s call on the Crash of 1929 (a legendary trader featured in the popular book, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator).
3. John Templeton’s foray into Japan in the 1960s (a true investment pioneer, Templeton foresaw the rise of Japan after World War II and profited hugely from it).
4. George Soros’ breaking of the Bank of England in 1992 (Soros made $1 billion).
5. Paul Tudor Jones’ shorting of Black Monday in October 1987 (he predicted the crash, bet a bundle & tripled his money as the market crashed 22% in one day).
6. Andrew Hall’s $100 oil prediction (with oil trading at $30 per barrel in 2003, Hall bet prices would rise to $100 in 5 years; they did and he took home a personal paycheck of $100 million in 2008).
7. David Tepper’s 2009 bet on financials (as the market hit its low in early 2009, Tepper bought financial services stocks & his fund earned $7 billion that year ($4 billion of that went to Tepper).
8. Jim Chanos’ prescient shorts (his sharp analysis led him to predict the demise of Enron, WorldCom, and other firms, and he is known as the best short-seller in the world).
9. Jim Rogers’ early call on commodities (he was bullish on commodities back in the 1990s & has been riding them to great profits ever since).
10. Louis Bacon’s geopolitical play (he correctly predicted that Saddam Hussein would invade Kuwait in 1990 & profited handsomely by going long on oil & shorting stocks, which helped his fund return 86% that year).
Most of these trades were ‘global macro’ plays where huge, concentrated bets were made by analyzing fundamental economic/business conditions. These investors excelled at turning a great observation about the world into a great investing idea. But, while these make the headlines, you never hear about the other investors who made a big call and missed, and ended up out of business.
It’s almost impossible for regular investor folks to make a ‘big score’ like these traders. Rather than trying to throw a touchdown pass on every play and make a big score like these traders, the smarter game plan is to focus on trying to get consistent first downs. Do your homework, watch market/sector developments, don’t chase stocks up or down. Do that, and the score may take care of itself.
Source: International Business Times
Shares of the iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: TUR) has soared throughout 2013 and has even hit its 52-week highs trading at $77.38. Turkey as a whole has been experiencing robust growth as the Borsa Istanbul National 100 has surged to its highest levels in the past 25 years. We have been huge supporters of TUR dating back to August 8th, 2011 when we issued our first ‘BUY’ rating for the ETF in our article ‘iShares Turkey ETF (TUR) Poised for Success‘. Since then, TUR has appreciated +69.67% over the past 22 months.
What Attracts Investors to TUR
Investors looking to play the Turkish markets have few options. iShares MSCI Turkey Investable Market ETF (TUR) originally launched in 2008 is the only option avaliable to investors seeking a pure play exposure in the Turkish equity space. TUR is also the only ETF with dedicated Turkish exposure. The banking sector also plays a prominent role in the investable market in Turkey and TUR has a high concentration of financials in its portfolio.
What To Expect Going Forward
When it comes to Turkey, it has been the talk of a higher sovereign debt rating that has been lifting TUR, the lone ETF devoted exclusively to the country. Turkey, which has been engaged in a multi-decade conflict with Kurdish militants in the Southeast part of the country, is working to end the conflict. The government there is in negotiations with Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, in a bid to end the bloodshed.
Just last month, Moody’s Investors reported that Turkey’s ongoing efforts to bring an end to the conflict could be a positive credit step. Fitch Ratings upgraded Turkey’s long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to BBB- from BB+ back in November and the Long-term local currency IDR to BBB from BB, this is huge news as it’s giving Turkey its first investment grade ratings in nearly two DECADES.
This has been great news for investors as the speculation of a possible credit rating upgrade has lifted Turkish banks shares. TUR is heavily centered on the Turkish financial sector with 51.9% of its holdings in financial services stocks, quadruple its next largest sector weight, industrials.
Turkey’s economy has some good signs heading their way. Beyond this falling inflation rate, investors should note that Turkey has seen a plunging growth rate as well.
Turkey has good medium-term growth prospects and a diverse economy. The nation’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 39.9%, much lower than the debt-to-GDP ratio of many developed economies. On top of this, the country has a low employment rate, government reforms, strong, solid banking system, and improved credit rating. Adding all these solid growth factors together and Turkey could prove to be a great investment market in Europe for years to come.
If you have any further questions on either TUR, Turkey’s economy or any investment at all don’t hesitatet to contact us at all by emailing us at jameshartje@StocksonWallStreet.com or Follow our Contact Form
Also make sure to tune in later this week for our long-term outlook on TUR along with more detailed analysis on both Turkey and other emerging markets.
Delaying making investments in order to launch your career can cost you dearly later on. Smaller investments made between the ages of 18-25 will yield much greater returns than larger investments made later on over a longer period from ages 26-65. Consider the classic parable taught in many basic economic courses:
Jack decided not to go to college. He got a job at 18 and invested $4,000 each year into an IRA. He stopped after eight years after investing a total of $32,000. His sister, Jill, went to medical school, started her medical practice at age 26, at which point she began contributing $4,000 to her IRA. Jill did this for 40 years from 26 to 65. She invested a total of $160,000 and put her money into the same investment as her brother. Jill started investing the same year Jack stopped, and she saved for 40 years compared to just eight years for her brother.
By age 65, whose IRA account do you thing was worth more money?
Assuming both Jack and Jill earned a 10% annual return, Jill accumulated $1,327,778. But Jack had $1,552,739 – $224,961 more than his sister!
|8 Investments ($4,000/yr) – Ages 18-25||40 Investments ($4,000/yr) – Ages 26-65|
Ultimate value at age 65:
Ultimate Value at age 65:
Jack’s account grows to a higher value because he started sooner!
Jack stopped investing at age 26 having invested only $32,000 to Jill’s $160,000. But Jack’s money earned interest for eight years longer than his sister. It wasn’t the money that made him successful – it was the time value of money. Jack didn’t put off investing when he first launched his career. By investing sooner than Jill, his account grew larger.
The moral of this story is not to forego a college education and its promise of higher earning potential. No doubt, Jill earned more disposable income during her career. But Jack’s investment head start was far superior, resulting in substantially greater savings.
Without question, procrastination is the most common cause of financial failure.
When it comes to money, people are always making dumb decisions. From spending what’s not theres, to buying a house they can’t afford, or leasing that car that doesn’t fit their budget. Time after time we make mistakes with our money and fail to recognize the warning signals that could have prevented us from making these costly errors. The key to avoiding these possible life blunders is to always stay informed and educate yourself before making a decision. This will greatly lower your chances of making a poor, dumb decision that costs you for years to come.
Brett Arends is a writer for the Wall Street Journal. This weekend he wrote a great, short, small column offering five simple pieces of good advice. Below are Brett’s Five Really Dumb Money Moves You’ve Got to Avoid:
1. Reaching for yield
2. Going into the poor house to send Junior to a country-club college
3. Owning stock in your employer
4. Taking Social Security too early
5. Buying long-term bonds
For those of you interested in reading more, follow the link below as the full article is worth your time.
On today’s great occasion we would like to celebrate the 4th official birthday of Stocks on Wall Street. It was just four years ago that we started out as a small blogspot.com site and to see how far we have grown since I have no doubt that the sky is the limit for this company and team of people. Lets enjoy this day and celebrate and then get back to work to continue offering a better product to our readers day-by-day.
- James Hartje, President & Founder
Source: J.P. Morgan
Below is a very interesting graphic from Martin Kronicle on why so many people fail to succeed at Trading, enjoy!
StocksonWallStreet readers know I’ve been bullish on Vietnam. Bloomberg seems to agree. The Bloomberg Markets, November 2012 list of the most promising Frontier markets for investors ranks Vietnam #1. United Arab Emirates is #2 – a market I also think has strong growth potential.
It’s no secret that growth in the U.S. and Europe over the next decade will be outpaced by the BRIC’s and emerging markets. Adventurous investors looking for even more attractive growth potential should also consider Frontier markets. Frontier markets tend to be smaller than emerging markets. Shares of frontier companies are also harder to trade than those of emerging countries.
I like Frontier markets that are moving to Emerging Markets. Developed capital markets are key to becoming an emerging market. So, I’m most interested in economies where the stock market is developing and companies are beginning to get access to capital. Also, it’s worth noting that weakness in China tends to get picked up by Frontier Markets. Sectors that show the most promise in Frontier markets are technology, energy, consumer discretionary and industrials that benefit from infrastructure improvements.
Vietnam fits the bill on all counts. It has enjoyed a strong and consistent average GDP growth of 7.2% annually since 2000 and projected cumulative GDP growth from 2012-2016 is 31.4%.
The main ETF tracking Vietnam is the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM) sank 47% in 2011 and was one of the worst performers in the entire emerging world which fell by an average of 21% in 2011. These horrible losses were largely due to runaway inflation. While inflation is still high (around 20%) it appears the country is finally starting to turn around. VNM is certainly capable of producing huge gains. VNM is up about 36% year-to-date, suggesting that investors who have a high-risk tolerance may want to consider making a play on this Vietnam ETF.
Below is an interesting quiz that every young entrepreneur or aspiring young adult should take. The quiz will be able to give you an answer to whether or not you have the drive and right characteristics to become a young millionaire! Just answer the questions below, keep tally of your score and then follow the number key on the bottom to see your results!
1. Are you young?
A. Yes (5)
B. No (-100)
C. No, but I’m spry! (-50)
2. Are you currently or have you ever been worth $1 million?
A. No (0)
B. Yes (100)
3. How amped are you right now?
A. Not all that amped. You? (-5)
B. Totally (3)
C. TO-tally (-5)
4. Do you currently make more than $75,000 a year and save at least 15 percent each month?
A. Yes (10)
B. No (0)
A. Yes (5)
B. No (-5)
6. Quick, here’s an asset!
A. Buy it! (2)
B. Appreciate it! (2)
C. Protect it! (2)
D. Do all three! (10)
7. When you hear the term “hedge fund” you think:
A. A little money set aside for landscaping (-5)
B. A speculative investing portfolio involving high risk and a very large initial investment (1)
8. Which word best describes this photo?
A. Mountains (0)
B. Sunset (0)
C. Success (4)
9. While growing up, you had a favorite:
A. Stuffed animal (0)
B. Horse (10)
10. Which activity do you most enjoy?
A. Hemming (-5)
B. Hawing (-5)
C. None of the above (0)
11. Which of the following stocks have you purchased in the last five years?
A. Priceline.com (50)
B. Apple (40)
C. Facebook (?!)
D. Other (0)
12. Which set of zeros seems most appealing?
A. 00 (0)
B. 000 (0)
C. 0000 (0)
D. 00000 (0)
E. 000000 (10)
13. Who’s your favorite notable American?
14. Which of the following virtues do you possess?
A. Hunger (2)
B. Drive (2)
C. Prudence (2)
D. Patience (2)
15. Did the last question make you think about going to Taco Bell?
A. Yes (-3)
B. No (1)
16. What comes to mind when you think back on your college experience?
A. Ivy (10)
B. Other green plant (-10)
17. Choose a boat:
18. Choose a boat name:
A. Knot Paid IV (-1)
B. Aquaholic (-1)
C. Lamberdinghy (-1)
D. Feelin’ Nauti (-1)
E. Wake Me When It’s Over (-1)
F. Sea-E-O (5)
19. Which of these two self-help books seems most up your alley?
A. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker (8)
B. The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living by Mark Boyle (-2)
20. In your professional life, do you go by your first initial and your middle and last names?
A. Yes (5)
B. No (0)
21. Might you be T. Harv Eker?
A. Yes (20)
B. No (0)
22. You consider an empty storefront to be:
A. Urban blight (0)
B. A thing of beauty (2)
23. You consider the walk-in freezer in that empty storefront to be:
A. A metaphor for a cold world (0)
B. One less thing you have to purchase to get a restaurant off the ground (4)
24. Describe this glass:
A. Half empty (-5)
B. Half full (5)
C. Hello? Coaster?! (-10)
25. Building wealth is most like …
A. Climbing a mountain (2)
B. Rowing a river (-2)
C. Thinking about climbing a mountain or rowing a river–while lying in a hammock (-5)
26. What are you most likely to do with this pile of cash?
A. Invest it. (4)
B. Spend it. (-1)
C. Sit atop it and giggle. (-3)
D. Ignite it to provide light and warmth. (-10)
27. Here’s what I need you to do. I need you to take this briefcase. Then I need you to get a flight from JFK to Belgium and meet up with a guy named Janssens. Give him the briefcase. Then lie low for a little while. And don’t ask any questions. When you get back, I’ll give you $1 million. Also, Janssens can be a little prickly.
A. No. (0)
B. Newark is slightly more convenient for me, especially on weekends. (-20)
C. Done. (30)
Less than 0 points: “Hundredaire” is not really a thing.
1 to 50 points: That’s hunger, drive, prudence and patience. And maybe a little fear.
51 to 100 points: One word: biotech.
More than 100 points: You did not need to take this quiz.
This story originally appeared at Entrepreneur.com
This was posted earlier today by The Big Picture and it’s a great info-graphic on the progression of Apple’s iPod and to see how far the product has come in its 11 year history.
Click on the Link to Read the Full Article: How to invest in legalized marijuana - MarketWatch
Mark Twain is said to have remarked that a gold rush is a good time to be in the pick and shovel business. Investors may be able to apply that same bit of wisdom to the growing number of U.S. states that have legalized pot.
Although federal law prohibits the sale or possession of marijuana, Massachusetts last week joined the ranks of states — 18 plus Washington, D.C. — that allow its use for people suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. In Washington and Colorado, meanwhile, voters passed an initiative to allow pot for recreational use.
How to invest in legalized Marijuana
Several states made recreational use of marijuana last week, and there are several small-cap stocks that stand to gain from the drugs growing acceptance. Photo: AP.
Those changes have kickstarted a small but fast-growing medical-marijuana industry, estimated to be worth about $1.7 billion as of 2011, according to See Change Strategy, an independent financial-analysis firm that specializes in new markets. In Colorado alone, sales topped $181 million in 2010, and the business employed 4,200 state-licensed workers, says Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association , a nonprofit trade group that campaigns for marijuana’s federal legalization.
In addition to profiting itself from growing and selling marijuana, the industry benefits a slew of other businesses, such as insurers, lawyers and agricultural-equipment firms, experts say. “Call it the ‘green rush,’” says Derek Peterson, CEO of GrowOp Technology, an online retailer of hydroponics — products used in the cultivation of indoor plants — and a subsidiary of OTC stock Terra Tech TRTC +3.53% . “The industry is expanding, and there are all kinds of investment opportunities.”
For regular investors looking to get in on the action — and without having to actually grow or sell drugs — there are several small-cap stocks that stand to gain from marijuana’s growing acceptance. Medbox MDBX +150.00% , an OTC stock with a $45 million market cap, for example, sells its patented dispensing machines to licensed medical-marijuana dispensaries. The machines, which dispense set doses of the drug, after verifying patients’ identities via fingerprint, could potentially be used in ordinary drugstores too, says Medbox founder Vincent Mehdizadeh. Based in Hollywood, Calif., the company already has 130 machines in the field, and it expects to install an additional 40 in the next quarter. “The smart money is trying to help with compliance and transparency,” Mehdizadeh says.
Expelled U.S. Olympian: Yeah, I ate marijuana
Nicholas Delpopolo becomes the first U.S. Olympian in London to be disqualified for failing a drug test.
Of course, investing in drugs the federal government still outlaws poses enormous risks to investors, says Sam Kamin, a law professor and the director of the Constitutional Rights & Remedies Program at the University of Denver. In fact, nearly 500 of the estimated 3,000 dispensaries nationwide have either been closed by the federal government or shut down in the past year, says a spokesman for StickyGuide.com , an online directory and review site for medical marijuana dispensaries — and yet another ancillary business that’s currently seeking investors.
That said, there are many companies that appear to be betting on a change in federal law. Steep Hill is a quality-control laboratory that tests medical marijuana to see if there’s any contamination from mold, bacteria or harmful pesticides. The company, based in Oakland, Calif., is also actively seeking funding of up to $3 million. David Lampach, co-founder and president of Steep Hill, expects a federal law legalizing medical marijuana within the next decade. Cannabis Science in Colorado Springs, Colo. CBIS +1.02% , an OTC stock with a market cap of $41 million, is developing marijuana-based medicines to help cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. “We’re at the beginning of the revolution in medicine,” says CEO Robert Melamede.
Other companies are creating a range of quirky products that allow people to use marijuana without smoking it. Medical Marijuana MJNA -0.85% , an OTC stock with a $69 million market cap, based in San Diego, Calif., offers more than 50 ways to ingest marijuana , from Dixie Elixir soda to Dixie Chill ice-cream and a range of Dixie Edibles, like chocolate truffles and crispy rice treats.
While experts say competition in the medical-marijuana business is growing fast, they add that there are also still plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs. For example, Troy Dayton, president and CEO of ArcView Group , an angel investor network for the industry, says demand has been growing for handheld tobacco vaporizers like those made by Ploom (which charges $250 for its “premium loose-leaf vaporizer”). “There’s a rush now to make the ideal vaporizer,” Dayton says. “There’s still room for a kingmaker in this space.”
In the meantime, at least one drug company is directly selling medical marijuana to patients around the world. GW Pharmaceuticals GWPRF +4.72% , based in London, markets Sativex, billed as the world’s first marijuana-based medicine. With a market cap of around $137 million, it’s listed on the Alternative Investment Market, a submarket of the London Stock Exchange. Sativex is currently sold as a mouth spray to help alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis in several countries, including the U.K., New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Canada, a spokesman says, and it is currently seeking FDA approval in the U.S. for use as a pain reliever in late-stage cancer patients.