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WSJ's 2010 Predictions

Brent Arends from the WSJ wrote a great piece on what to look for in the coming decade.  The discussion on analysts' ratings is needed, even if he's preaching to the choir on that one.

The money quotes:

"As I noted last month, the most popular investments 10 years ago were technology stocks, and probably the least popular was gold. The results weren't even close: Tech collapsed, and gold soared.

"What is unpopular today? If you look at analysts' recommendations, very little. According to Thomson Reuters, just six stocks in the S&P 500 are so out of fashion that even the average analyst following them has them as an "underperform." What are these dirty half-dozen? Step forward, infamous insurer American International Group, real estate investment trust Apartment Investment & Management, Eastman Kodak, Jack Daniel's distiller Brown-Forman , chocolate maker Hershey and retailer Sears Holdings .

"This is not a recommended buy list, and should not be treated as one. Some of these stocks are super high-risk. (The only ones that might allow me to sleep at nights are Hershey and Brown-Forman; both seem to be solid companies in solid industries, but you need to do your homework.) It will be interesting to see whether these justify their unpopularity and fare worse than, say, a simple index fund over the next year, or decade."  


"By far the most popular assets with money managers are emerging-market equities and commodities. The degree of bullishness on emerging markets is particularly worrying: It has reached levels comparable to those seen at the market peaks in 2007. Money managers have also invested heavily in energy and materials companies, and in technology stocks.

"As for the unloved? The least-popular sectors in the stock market right now are banks, utilities and consumer-discretionary stocks. Among global markets, investors are generally least interested in Japan and the U.S."