4 Profit Waves That Powered 2013: Green Stocks Won, Gold Lost

Rudy Martin

Green and gold aren’t just team colors in this week’s many college football games. I’m talking about last year’s dominant investment trends.

At least one of them may have eluded most investors.

The good news is, many of the trends that took shape in the dear departed — and profitable for most equity investors — year of 2013 still have plenty of life in them.

While most analysts took New Year’s Day off, I was busy compiling year-end data for you and uncovering four dominant trends that will help guide us into the New Year and, I believe, through it.

Other publications won’t have some of these numbers until next week …

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4 Profit Waves That Powered 2013

I use ETFs as a proxy to examine market behavior. Because the 1,500-plus U.S. ETFs slice-and-dice the market in so many ways, they offer unique opportunities to uncover helpful patterns.

The table below shows you the best and worst ETF performances of 2013.

To give us a better sense of market behavior, I omitted all leveraged and inverse ETFs from the tables.

As I scanned these lists, four trends jumped out at me.

Trend # 1: Green investments are coming into their own. The top four ETF winners and five of the top 10 represent the alternative energy segment. (My Global Trend Trader readers already know this, since I added TAN to our model earlier this fall.)

Trend # 2: Social media is here to stay. If you think stocks like Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) are shooting stars that will soon burn out, think again.

Social media is now an entire industry — and a booming one. That’s why the PowerShares Nasdaq Internet (PNQI) and Global X Social Media (SOCL) ETFs are both among 2013’s top 10.

Trend # 3: Volatility doesn’t pay off in this bull market. Those first four names on the loser list all play with the "V" word: volatility.

The VIX stock market volatility index generally goes up when investors turn fearful. The last year had some scary days, but not enough to give the bears any profits.

Trend # 4: Gold is leading nowhere but down. The six next-worst ETF performers were all gold and silver mining portfolios. Even the big-name gold stocks had a rough year. Newmont Mining (NEM) was the worst S&P 500 stock of the year.

Will these patterns continue into 2014? Momentum does matter, but history never repeats itself perfectly. Other trends are on the way. I’ll call them when I see them.

Happy New Year, and Happy Trading!


P.S. If you like this ETF data, I also compiled some interesting data on 2013 international ETF performance as well as ETF money flows. I intent to share it with Global Trend Tradersubscribers in a special update later today. You can join them with a special no-risk trial offer. Just click here for immediate access.

Your thoughts on “4 Profit Waves That Powered 2013: Green Stocks Won, Gold Lost”

  1. Good article, and I couldn’t be happier to see alternate energy leading the pack! Always a happy coincidence when something you believe strongly in as a personal matter also turns out to be a great investment!

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