My Best (and WORST) Investment Calls So Far in 2012

Apple, Priceline prove me out, but Sears smacked me

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Best Calls So Far in 2012

BEST CALL — Yes, This Was REALLY Better Than Apple

In March, I wrote an article about how to buy Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock without buying Apple itself. After all, there were no shortage of bulls on the tech giant earlier this year, so I looked around for options.

Most of the seven picks in this article tracked the market, but one — Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS) — has soared an incredible 80% since publication.

I’ll admit it’s a tired convention of financial sites to call out the “next Apple.” But this time I managed to identify a real tech stock that actually did outperform the Cupertino Colossus.

OBVIOUSLY — Beating the Drum on Apple

In January, I wrote about 5 $200-plus stocks worth every penny. The entire list is in the green year-to-date, led by Apple, which has soared 67%, and Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN), which is up 28%.

But I never stopped beating the drum on Apple — twice in March (amid the spring iPad event and again here in the days after) and once in April after a pullback below $600.

Yes, it’s a crowded trade. Yes, everyone knows about Apple’s performance. But you can’t argue with the success here — and since I took my own advice and bought the stock early in the year, I am pretty proud of this trade despite its popularity.

WELL-TIMED WARNINGS — Chipotle, GMCR and the Spring Pullback

Not surprisingly, my worst calls came earlier in the year when I was giddy about the market being back in bull mode. But as the rally started to unravel, I took off the rose-colored glasses and got realistic. Thus, some of my better calls in 2012 were bearish ones made in the spring.

Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR): In March, I warned of trouble with expiring Keurig patents, critical mass and increased competition. GMCR has tanked 60% since.

Chipotle (NASDAQ:CMG): In April, I drew a connection between China and Chipotle. Namely, it was a problem of expectations, not of growth. The commentary proved to be right on as CMG crashed 30% in its next earnings report after this article was published.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ): I have been hating on HP for a long time, ever since I said it embodied the worst of corporate America in 2011. I have kept panning the stock this year, in the spring here and here and most recently after its ugly earnings. The stock is off almost 35% this year.

Bearish ETFs for Big Profits: Lest you think I was only warning of trouble, I also pitched a short-term profit strategy with bearish ETFs in March. All three of the vehicles posted gains across the next 60 days as the S&P dropped 5% — with the best performer, the AdvisorShares Active Bear ETF (NYSE:HDGE), tacking on a 17% gain.

Please note: I am not much of a day trader, and fancy my ideas as mid-term to long-term advice. As such, this only includes articles older than 60 days to give more recent advice time to prove (or disprove) my thesis.

And a final word of advice: I strongly advise you read every one of my articles — and everything you find on sites like InvestorPlace.com, Seeking Alpha, TheStreet, Motley Fool and others — with great skepticism and an independent point of view. I strive to deliver high–quality advice, as do my peers, but never invest just because some idiot with a blog told you to.

Otherwise, you might wind up on the losing end of my next Sears trade. And trust me, there will be another.

After all, failures are part of being an active investor. Hopefully by sharing my own successes and failures on this site, you learn a thing or two about risks and opportunities in the market.

Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at editor@investorplace.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/08/my-best-and-worst-investment-calls-so-far-in-2012/.

©2014 InvestorPlace Media, LLC

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