One of the investment strategies discussed in the mainstream these days is to add exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to your portfolio. It is said that when you do just that, your portfolio has lower risks and you are well diversified.
For investors who are not as advanced, when it comes to investing; this investment strategy makes sense. For those who are advanced, they shouldn’t fall for this investment strategy; they may be better off going the other way—buying individual stocks instead.
Let me explain…
Between March of 2009—when the bull market run started—until February of this year, if you bought the most famous ETF for your portfolio—that is SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca/SPY), which tracks the S&P 500—your returns would be more than 185%. Plus, there would be dividends. Including dividends, your returns would be just over 200%.
But, saying the very least, you could have done better.
If instead of buying the SPY at the time when markets were presenting investors with an opportunity of a lifetime you bought a company from the S&P 500 like General Electric Company (NYSE/GE), your profits would be upwards of 300%. This is including the dividends you would have received.
With all this said, let me make one thing very clear; I am not opposed to adding ETFs to a portfolio. Rather, I believe investors can get better portfolio returns if they are confident enough in making their investment decisions and buying individual companies instead of sticking to indexed investing.
In 2009, stock markets were very uncertain. With companies like GE, there were fears that it may go bankrupt. Buying at that time wouldn’t have made sense; or at least it would have been much more difficult to press that “buy” button.
It all boils down to this: when stock markets are uncertain, advanced investors should hunt to buy great companies that are selling for massive discounts for no apparent reason, adding these to their portfolio at a discount. In 2009, we saw something like this happen.
So where can those investors who are hunting for profitable individual stocks for their portfolio still find opportunities that could make similar returns as they did when the bull run on key stock indices started?
As it stands, there are two sectors that present a very similar opportunity to that of 2009. I am talking about the companies looking for or producing gold and uranium. Some of the well-known companies in these sectors have come under massive selling pressures due to the decline in commodity prices.
The gold and uranium sectors are thought to be very uncertain in the current economic environment, where key stock indices as a whole continue to increase. With this said, keep this in mind: in the times of most uncertainty comes the greatest opportunity. Gold and uranium sectors are presenting investors with this opportunity of a lifetime. Those who know the sector well and how companies operate could see their portfolio grow immensely over the next few years.