Signs of Life for Golf Game and Growth Stocks

Whether it’s the glow of Apple’s recent ascension to all time highs or the upcoming Facebook IPO, growth stocks are currently finding more buyers than so-called value stocks. Over the last few weeks it has been noteworthy to see investors and traders buying higher valued technology and consumer discretionary stocks. Whether this trend is temporary or illusionary is up to debate but the trend is taking place. On top of this movement, my first golf outing of 2012 brought a “birdie” on my first hole on a nice 66 degree day. Taken together I think it might be a sign that we should ponder for a minute.

Last week was interesting from the standpoint of bulls versus bears. Concerned about Greece and other global concerns, investors sold off global stock markets pretty harshly on Tuesday, declining 1 ½ to 2 percent after a favorable advance year-to-date. Surprisingly, most markets bounced back through week’s end and finished with the S&P rising 0.1%, for the fourth straight week of gains. The most interesting point to me was what investors came back to buy on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Yes, it was the growth stocks that were leading the indexes higher.

While I have no idea what stocks will do this week, several of our companies held investor meetings over the past several weeks and I have been impressed by the discipline and guidance provided by the top companies. It would not surprise me if this market continues to move higher, climbing the so-called “Wall of Worry.” As my former colleague and money flow analyst Laszlo Birinyi often comments, “It is always easier to talk and write more eloquently about the problems and concerns of the market.” Rather than opining about macro-economics or technical resistance levels, Birinyi watches what investors are buying and how aggressive they are in buying their positions. When investors are buying stocks despite Greece and China concerns that tells him they are committed buyers. That is what is happening today.

From a portfolio standpoint, I believe it is important to have both growth and income producing value stocks. Value stocks alone will not outperform inflation over the next several years in my opinion. In order to achieve capital appreciation it is necessary to forge our way back into the best domestic and emerging market growth stocks on a selective basis. While investing in growth stocks has not been popular over the last three years, sometimes we need to heed the words from one of my golf buddies, “Go For It, God Hates A Coward.”

Have a great week,

Roger N. Steed
March 12, 2012

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