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An Early Review of InvestorPlace’s 2012 Picks

How are we doing? Sometimes right on the money. Sometimes not

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Investing is far from a one-and-done game. A good stock Monday just as easily could look like a dummy stock Tuesday, so every pick you make deserves an occasional review — even the long-term ones.

While we’re only just a couple of months into 2012, several calls made by the InvestorPlace writers have shown a great deal of motion — some good, and some bad. In the spirit of disclosure, the writers have taken another look at a few of their stock picks and options plays discussed in the early part of this year, and review where those calls stand today.

InvestorPlace Editor Jeff Reeves: Expensive Stocks, SHLD

“Wonder of wonders, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 24% since this call.” Reeves was talking about his article “5 $200-Plus Stocks Worth Every Cent,” in which he lauded the virtues of AAPL, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW). PCLN and MA have recorded double-digit gains, ISRG is up 8% and GWW is up 2%, pacing the Dow. Also, his pick for our Ten Best Stocks for 2012 contest, Alcoa (NYSE:AA), is up 11%.

On the negative side, though, a short squeeze sent Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) up 120% since his Jan. 12 article about stocks Wall Street fat cats expect to crash.

InvestorPlace Assistant Editor Kyle Woodley:
Discover, Ralph Lauren, Joe’s Jeans

While the call was made in December, the clock didn’t start ticking on Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) until the start of this year. The basic premise? Credit card stocks as a whole have a world of growth potential. And while competitors Visa (NYSE:V), MasterCard and American Express (NYSE:AXP) all look attractive, Discover showed a great combination of earnings growth, improved products and a bargain-basement valuation.

I projected a potential return of 50% in 2012, and at 26% gains so far, we’re halfway there. Ralph Lauren’s (NYSE:RL) growth story also continued, up 13% since my late-January article.

A stock I thought was best to avoid because of its risky nature has gained significantly in the short term. Joe’s Jeans (NASDAQ:JOEZ) is up almost 50% and currently above the $1 mark it needs to continue trading on the Nasdaq.

Jim Woods: Energy ETFs

“In early February, I said investors should make sure they don’t ignore the potential upside in energy funds. Well, thanks to rising oil and gasoline prices, there was renewed focus on the industry. In my article, ‘5 Energy ETFs With Potential,’ I said investors should look at the following ETFs: Select Sector Energy SPDR (NYSE:XLE), Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSE:OIH), Alerian MLP ETF (NYSE:AMLP), Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSE:TAN) and United States Oil Fund (NYSE:USO).

“Since the article was published on Feb. 9, two of these funds — XLE (-0.15%) and AMLP (+1.12%) — were essentially flat. OIH was down 2.67%, though USO surged almost 7%. Unfortunately, the gains in the fossil fuel energy segment were more than offset by the big tumble in solar stocks, as TAN sank some 26%.

“The results here show that while there is upside in energy funds when the price of oil surges, not all energy segments are created equal — and not all turned out to have very much upside potential.”

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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