My heart goes out to all those affected in the natural disaster in Sendai and Fukushima Prefecture. As I write this, my brother is stuck in Taiwan, unable to get to his home in Tokyo. Right now the human and property damage is being assessed, and that is what the world is watching. But keep in mind that Japan is a resilient country, and has maintained a stiff upper lip in the face of ruin time and again, from World War II, to the deflationary spiral.
I foresee this pattern continuing here, in the aftermath of the earthquake. Right now of course, investors are quite busy looking at the momentary hit taken by automakers like Honda Motor Co (HMC) and hardware manufactures like SanDisk Corp (SNDK) whose plants shut down, and the re-insurers like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) who likely have exposure in Japan. But once the tears are dry, and people are accounted for, these Japanese will roll up their sleeves and rebuild, as they’ve done before.
With that in mind, I thought I’d use HiddenLevers to find some investment ideas based on that macro view. The first thing that came to mind was to find investments that would take advantage of higher US auto sales, or maybe some change in consumer electronics, or be inversely correlated to the yen. Now I can do all that with the Macro Trend Screener. But then I figured out a much more direct route. I chose the S&P 500 lever, and just limited my search to Japan investments.
Booya! With our super accurate industry groupings, it was so easy to find companies that should benefit from the recovery:
Hitachi Limited ADR (HIT) for farm & construction machinery
Nidec CP ADS (NJ) for industrial electric equipment
Kubota CP (KUB) for diversified machinery (This even closed positive today)
Charts created using Hidden Levers app
Now timing on these will be essential. Surely they may go down with all things Japan at the beginning. But who does the Japanese government need to rebuild the north east? For all our fundamentals lovers, try starting with Macro and see how much faster it is to get to the plays that you want.