September 18, 2017, 4:30 pm EST              Invest Alongside Billionaires For $297/Qtr

BR caricatureAs I said on Friday, people continue to look for what could bust the economy from here, and are missing out on what looks like the early stages of a boom.

We constantly hear about how the fundamentals don’t support the move in stocks.  Yet, we’ve looked at plenty of fundamental reasons to believe that view (the gloom view) just doesn’t match the facts.

Remember, the two primary sources that carry the megahorn to feed the public’s appetite for market information both live in economic depression, relative to the pre-crisis days.  That’s 1) traditional media, and 2) Wall Street.

As we know, the traditional media business, has been made more and more obsolete. And both the media, and Wall Street, continue to suffer from what I call “bubble bias.”  Not the bubble of excess, but the bubble surrounding them that prevents them from understanding the real world and the real economy.

As I’ve said before, the Wall Street bubble for a very long time was a fat and happy one. But the for the past ten years, they came to the realization that Wall Street cash cow wasn’t going to return to the glory days.  And their buddies weren’t getting their jobs back.  And they’ve had market and economic crash goggles on ever since. Every data point they look at, every news item they see, every chart they study, seems to be viewed through the lens of “crash goggles.” Their bubble has been and continues to be dark.

Also, when we hear all of the messaging, we have to remember that many of the “veterans” on the trading and the news desks have no career or real-world experience prior to the great recession.  Those in the low to mid 30s only know the horrors of the financial crisis and the global central bank sponsored economic world that we continue to live in today. What is viewed as a black swan event for the average person, is viewed as a high probability event for them. And why shouldn’t it?  They’ve seen the near collapse of the global economy and all of the calamity that has followed. Everything else looks quite possible!   

Still, as I’ve said, if you awoke today from a decade-long slumber, and I told you that unemployment was under 5%, inflation was ultra-low, gas was $2.60, mortgage rates were under 4%, you could finance a new car for 2% and the stock market was at record highs, you would probably say, 1) that makes sense (for stocks), and 2) things must be going really well!  Add to that, what we discussed on Friday:  household net worth is at record highs, credit growth is at record highs and credit worthiness is at record highs.

We had nearly all of the same conditions a year ago.  And I wrote precisely the same thing in one of my August Pro Perspective pieces.  Stocks are up 17% since.

And now we can add to this mix:  We have fiscal stimulus, which I think (for the reasons we’ve discussed over past weeks) is coming closer to fruition.

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These days everyone is familiar with big-brand activism, led by billionaires Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman.

Icahn has often made a splash in the media in the past year, using his influence and voice to push for change in big companies. And it works. He has made a huge impact for shareholders in Apple and Netflix. But even though both Icahn and Ackman continue to produce tremendous returns, they have limitations on what activist campaigns they can pursue.

They have size constraints, too. Both run multi-billion dollar portfolios, which all but rules out their ability to participate in smaller company investments. And that’s where smaller funds have an advantage.

One of the best, smaller, and lesser-known activist hedge funds we follow in The Billionaires Portfolio is Becker Drapkin. Becker Drapkin is a $300 million small cap activist hedge fund with an outstanding record of selecting big winners. Their average activist campaign (i.e. stock investment) has returned 130%.

Below are the top four stocks in Becker Drapkin’s portfolio. In each case, the fund owns 5% or more of the stock, which gives them a controlling interest in the company. Plus, one of the biggest determinants of success in an activist campaign is the board seat, and Becker Drapkin has at least one seat on the board of directors at each of these companies.

1) Emcore (EMKR)- This is one of Becker Drapkin’ biggest positions. They own 10% of Emcore, with board seats.

2) Fuel Systems (FSYS)- Becker Drapkin owns more than 9% of FSYS, and has board seats.

3) Comverse (CNSI) – Becker Drapkin has more than 10% of their fund’s assets in this stock, with a board seat.

4) Intevac (IVAC)- Becker Drapkin owns more than 9% of this stock, and has board representation as well. helps average investors invest alongside Wall Street billionaires. By selecting the best ideas from the best billionaire investors and hedge funds, our exited stock investment recommendations have averaged a 31% gain since 2012, beating even Carl Icahn’s record for the same period.

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