Friday, February 29, 2008

Tough Friday

Not much holding stocks up right now. The oversold conditions that drove stocks up during the past week has worn out. The rally did allow me to get a better entry point for the Ultrashort Russell 2000 ETF (TWM). Beyond that, I'm not buying right now. Although Bernanke, Paulson and friends are doing their best to prop stock prices up, I'm convinced we need to let the market do its thing. Any intervention will be temporary and will make things worse later.

I'm not excited about the anti-free trade protectionist talk being displayed by presidential candidates. Politicians don't realize that things have changed in the global economy. We can't just insulate ourselves anymore and rely on our own resources. The US, which used to account for about half of global GDP, is now more like 1/3. Competition is much greater now, and the US must be able to adapt. The easy thing to say right now is "stop shipping jobs overseas." The US needs to re-think our priorities. We need to be the leader in technology, science and medicine. We can't focus on those manufacturing jobs. Our unions and workers are demanding too much, and its choking the big manufacturing companies (Ford, GM).

I also think we can be the leader in alternative energy technology. We are behind in that race as other countries are leading the way. But we have the resources and technology to take the lead if we have the will. If oil continues its climb, this will happen.

Beyond that, keep an eye on things, do your research and identify stocks and the entry point you're looking for. No hurry.


Rosann said...

Thanks for the tip---I think I will hold off buying for a while.

Say, what alternative energy stocks to you recommend? When things settle a bit I think that would be a good thing to invest in.

Michael said...

Alternative energy as a whole is an exciting investment. I've been struggling with finding stocks or funds to capitalize on this. Solar stocks are highly speculative right now, and very volatile. A few conglomerates (GE, Siemens) are investing heavily in alternative energy, but you have to buy the stock of the whole company to get exposure. This can be counter-productive because these conglomerates have businesses that aren't doing so hot right now as well, so your investment isn't directed where you want it. I've liked the Market Vectors Alternative Energy ETF Symbol (GEX). It's only problem to me is it has a lot of volatile solar stocks in it, and trades in big swings. It should be a good investment over the next few years though, especially if the new presidential administration moves from ethanol and biofuels toward more wind and solar, which is quite possible. Thanks for the comment.