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Turning Mayhem Into Money

By Jim Pearce on January 19, 2016

The stock market mayhem that has erupted since China’s devalued its currency at the start of this year has caused many investors to freeze up, paralyzed by anxiety over exactly how much longer it may continue. That’s a perfectly natural human response to stress, but it also interferes with assessing the market in rational terms. When it eventually subsides we kick ourselves for not taking advantage of the temporary drop in share prices that amplify future returns. For that reason, we are using this issue of Smart Tech Investor to highlight four stocks that we feel possess very strong fundamentals from a long term perspective that are also attractively priced in the current market environment.

In fact, this month’s In Focus article is our annual “One Tech Stock to Own in [this year]” recommendation. Since we have already featured a holding from our Investments Portfolio in 2014 (Apple) and another from our Next Wave Portfolio in 2015 (FireEye), this year I have asked Dr. Joe Duarte to pick his favorite holding from our Medical Profits Portfolio as our one to go with in 2016. With the anticipated surge in type-2 Diabetes over the next decade, Novo Nordisk can’t help but benefit as demand for its treatments should skyrocket not just in the U.S. but also in the fast growing middle-class populations of China and India.

In his Sector Spotlight article Rob DeFrancesco takes a fresh look at Qualcomm, a company which has taken a pounding over the past year due primarily to concerns over its recent execution challenges in China. In this type of market it’s impossible to say exactly where the bottom is for any stock, but at current share price levels we think most of the downside risk has already been realized in this one.

Rob also recaps two of his Next Wave holdings for our Portfolio Update feature. If do not yet own Zendesk or Varonis Systems, then now may be the time to begin building a position in them while the stock market struggles to identify the next generation of tech sector winners.

Our point is simple: Don’t wait until panic over China’s currency devaluation has subsided and the stock market recovers 10 – 20% before taking action, like many amateur investors do. Instead, use this interlude of heightened volatility to acquire companies with excellent long term growth prospects that are getting punished indiscriminately along with the rest of the market. 

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