12 get-rich sectors for a hot 2014 bull market

December 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips


By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Happy Holidays. Yes, start celebrating the “Spirit of ‘14.” Wall Street has glad tidings for investors everywhere … USA Today’s carolers are singing the good news: “Economy hotter than expected.” We give thanks for the 100%-plus bull rally since 2009 … next, a round of “Joy to the World” and the “Hallelujah Chorus” from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

This rally has legs, can keep rolling into 2014 and beyond … Fears of a big bad bear are dissipating … The Wall Street Journal says a leading permabear Scrooge turned bullish, joining the carolers … and the new Fed chairwoman promises to play Santa, keeping the easy-money gravy train pumping up the market …


Getty Images

Home Depot employee Gordon Prescott moves a tree for a customer at a Home Depot store Colma, Calif.. Home Depot sells more Christmas trees than any other retailer in the world and expects to sell over 2 million trees this year.

And there’s so much rocking with a hearty ho-ho-ho … “U.S. stocks could gain another 18%” in 2014,” according to insider data analyzed by MarketWatch’s Jonathan Burton. Yes, we’re singing “Auld Lang Syne” for the bull market roaring ahead, warmed by the scent of eggnog and cinnamon, turkey stuffing and cranberry sauce, and a Douglas fir Christmas tree loaded with memories of past family gatherings … and bright hope this year’s 22% returns just keep bubbling in 2014, like the best Dom Perignon money can buy. Yes, the spirits are so bright, it may even be time to plan an early retirement.

And to help, we’ve been developing a forward-looking 12-sector investment approach for years, based on Jared Diamond’s classic, “Collapse.” He analyzed 12 macroeconomic areas that over the centuries define how societies succeed or not, how the winners do it. So here’s a holiday update, just in case you take a break from all the parties, gift wrapping, football games, television specials and trips over the woods to grandma’s house. Take a break to tweak your portfolio, scanning for hidden gems, searching for investment opportunities coming in New Year Day 2014:

1. Energy: oil, coal, natural gas, fossil fuels at the peak

OK, so you’re not a cash-rich nation or superrich billionaire. Still, you can check out energy mutual funds at Vanguard

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 , Fidelity

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 and Pimco

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 . They manage hundreds of billions in oil and natural gas equities, bonds and commodity funds. Pimco’s Bill Gross predicts a “significant break” in the world’s “growth pattern,” even betting we’re past the “peak oil” tipping point. His “new normal” strategy accounts for a decline in consumer shopping as economies grow slower and “corporate profits will be static.” But with population exploding, every investor’s portfolio needs energy stocks and funds.

2. Alternatives: biofuels, wind, nuclear at 20%

In his classic, “The Quest,” Daniel Yergin, the world’s leading energy expert, says alternative energies will remain a niche market for decades. Fossil fuels will be 80% of the total in 2050. The Foreign Policy journal echoes Yergin’s forecast in “The 7 Myths About Alternative Energy.” Biofuels, solar, wind and nuclear many not be the “major ticket.” But with the global economies in excess of $80 trillion annually. And with America spending over a trillion annually on total energy usage, 20% on alternatives may grow even faster as fossil fuel production costs increase. Check out Guiness Atkinson Alternative Energy

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 , Waddell Reed Energy

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 and Firsthand Alternative Energy

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 . Also 19 solar, wind and biofuel stocks to watch.

3. Solar power: space rockets and asteroid-mining robots

We know sunlight has limits, that we could reach the max use by midcentury. But enlightened minds are already investing heavily in innovative alternatives, such as fuel cells and batteries. When the Mars Rover project shut down, Silicon Valley billionaires privatized the Mars engineering team tasked to build new rockets and robots to explore and mine 10,000 asteroids for energy resources potentially worth trillions. Investors can stay on top of the Planetary Resources venture into space. 16 lithium-battery and smart-meter-cell stocks to watch.

4. Food: buy hot commodities, become a gentleman farmer

Back on Earth, huge opportunities: “If you want to become rich, become a farmer,” says Jim Rogers in “Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World’s Best Market.” He cofounded Quantum Fund with George Soros. The UN, IMF and World Bank estimate over one billion of the planet’s seven billion people are poor, undernourished, surviving on two dollars a day. Mostly subsistence farmers. Monsanto

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 and other agriculture giants have a huge stake in the future of farming, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, and genetically engineered seeds. Money manager Jeremy Grantham says the planet can’t feed the three billion more projected. Others focus on commercial opportunities. Rogers admits commodities are correcting now, but the boom’s still hot.

5. Water: the new gold for 21st century investors

Buffett says buy what you know. Well, buy water. It’s everywhere, essential for drinking, industry, agriculture, transportation. Business media call water the “new gold.” Water generated over a half trillion dollars in revenue worldwide in 2010. As world population accelerates from 7 billion today to 10 billion by 2050, as more than one billion “lack access to clean drinking water,” it will soon “trade like oil futures.” For many, water is more valuable than fuel. Consider bottled water companies,

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  soft-drinks

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 , purification, desalination. Buy water.

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VGENX

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FSENX

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PCRIX

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GAAEX

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WEGAX

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ALTEX

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MON

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PEP

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KO

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