July 2, 5:00 pm EST

As we head in to the holiday week, markets will likely go quiet until we get Friday’s jobs number.

We’re now into the second half of the year.  After stocks got out to a huge start in January (up 7% in just the first 18 trading days of the year), we’ve since had a textbook correction of about 12%.  And we currently sit up only 1% in the S&P 500 for the year.  And the Dow is still down, -1.8%.

But we have this chart on the Dow that looks very intriguing…

The DJIA is trading perfectly into the trendline that represents this post Trump-election rally.

Given that technical backdrop, the underperformance of the Dow relative to small caps and tech stocks, and a 16 P/E, the blue-chip American companies are a bargain in a world of sub-3% ten-year yields.

This sets up a second half, where money aggressively moves back toward the blue chips.

Remember, as we worked through the price correction in stocks for the first half, we were awaiting Q1 earnings to show the early signs of fiscal stimulus working on the economy.  We got it.  We had big positive surprises on an earnings season that was already projected to do nearly 20% earnings growth.

Now, as we enter the second half, we should start to see the positive surprises in the economic data.

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Stocks are sliding more aggressively today.  Wall Street and the media always have a need to assign a reason when stocks move lower.  There have been plenty of negatives and uncertainties over the past seven months — none of which put a dent in a very strong opening half for stocks.

​But markets don’t go straight up.  Trends have retracements.  Bull markets have corrections.  And despite what many people think, you don’t need a specific event to turn markets.  Price can many times be the catalyst.

If we look across markets, it’s safe to say it doesn’t look like a market that is pricing in nuclear war.  Gold is higher, but still under the highs of a month ago.  The 10 year yield is 2.21%.  Two weeks ago, it was 2.22%.  That doesn’t look like global capital is fleeing all parts of the world to find the safest parking place.

​Now, on the topic of North Korea, the media has found a new topic to obsess about– and to obsessively denounce the administration’s approach.  With that, let’s take a look at the Trump geopolitical strategy of calling a spade a spade.

​As we know, Mexico was the target heading into the election.  Trump’s tough talk against illegal immigration and drug trafficking drew plenty of scrutiny.  People feared the protectionist threats, especially the potential of alienating the U.S. from its third biggest trading partner.  We’re still trading with Mexico.  And the U.S. is doing better.  So is Mexico.  Mexican stocks are up 11% this year.  The Mexican currency is up 13% this year.

​China has been a target for Trump.  He’s been tough on China’s currency manipulation and, hence, the lopsided trade that contributed heavily to the credit crisis. Despite all of the predictions, a trade war hasn’t erupted.  In fact, China has appreciated its currency by 5% this year.  That’s a huge signal of compliance.  That’s among the fastest pace of currency appreciation since they abandoned the peg against the dollar more than 12 years ago (which was China’s concession to threats of a 30% trade tariff that was threatened by two senators, Schumer and Graham, back in 2005). And even in the face of a stronger currency (which drags on exports, a key driver of the economy), stocks are up 5% in China through the first seven months of the year.

​Bottom line:  It’s fair to say, the tough talk has been working.  There has been compromise and compliance.  So now Trump has stepped up the pressure on North Korea, and he has been pressuring China, to take the side of the rest of the world, and help with the North Korea situation – and through China is how the North Korea threat will likely get resolved.

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BR caricatureWith some global stock barometers hitting new highs this morning, there is one spot that might benefit the most from this recently coordinated central bank promotion of a higher interest environment to come.  It’s Japanese stocks.

First, a little background:  Remember, in early 2016, the BOJ shocked markets when it cut its benchmark rate below zero. Counter to their desires, it shook global markets, including Japanese stocks (which they desperately wanted and needed higher). And it sent capital flowing into the yen (somewhat as a flight to safety), driving the value of the yen higher and undoing a lot of the work the BOJ had done through the first three years of its QE program. And that move to negative territory by Japan sent global yields on a mass slide.

By June, $12 trillion worth of global government bond yields were negative. That put borrowers in position to earn money by borrowing (mainly you are paying governments to park money in the “safety” of government bonds).

The move to negative yields, sponsored by Japan (the world’s third largest economy), began souring global sentiment and building in a mindset that a deflationary spiral was coming and may not be leaving, ever—for example, the world was Japan.

And then the second piece of the move by Japan came in September. It was a very important move, but widely under-valued by the media and Wall Street. It was a move that countered the negative rate mistake.

By pegging its ten-year yield at zero, Japan put a floor under global yields and opened itself to the opportunity to doing unlimited QE.  They had the license to buy JGBs in unlimited amounts to maintain its zero target, in a scenario where Japan’s ten-year bond yield rises above zero.  And that has been the case since the election.

The upward pressure on global interest rates since the election has put Japan in the unlimited QE zone — gobbling up JGBs to push yields back down toward zero — constantly leaning against the tide of upward pressure. That became exacerbated late last month when Draghi tipped that QE had done the job there and implied that a Fed-like normalization was in the future.

So, with the Bank of Japan fighting a tide of upward pressure on yields with unlimited QE, it should serve as a booster rocket for Japanese stocks, which still sit below the 2015 highs, and are about half of all-time record highs — even as its major economic counterparts are trading at or near all-time record highs.


November 21, 2016, 6:30pm EST

Stocks hit new record highs again in the U.S. today.  This continues the tear from the lows of election night.  But if we ignore the wild swing of that night, in an illiquid market, stocks are only up a whopping 1.2% from the highs of last month — and just 8% for the year. That’s in line with the long term average annual return for the S&P 500.

And while yields have ripped higher since November 8th, we still have a 10 year yield of just 2.32%. Mortgages are under 4%.  Car loans are still practically free money.   That’s off of “world ending” type of levels, but very far from levels of an economy and markets that are running away (i.e. you haven’t missed the boat – far from it).

Despite this, we’re starting to see experts come out of the wood works telling us that the economy has been in great shape for a while.  That’s what this is about – what’s with all the fuss?  Not true.

Remember, it was just eight months ago that the world was edging toward the cliff again, as the oil price bust was threatening to unleash another global financial crisis.  And that risk wasn’t emerging because the economy was in great shape.  It was because the economy was incredibly fragile — fueled by the central banks ability to produce stability, which produced confidence, which produced some spending, hiring and investment, which produced meager growth.  But given that global economic stability was completely predicated on central banks defending against shocks to the system, not on demand, that environment of stability was highly vulnerable.

Now, of course, we finally have policies and initiatives coming down the pike that will promote demand (not just stability).   If have perspective on where markets stand, instead of how far they’ve come from the trough of election night, we’re sitting at levels that scream of opportunity as we head into a new pro-growth government.

When the economic crisis was in the early stages of unraveling, the most thorough study on past debt crises (by Reinhart and Rogoff) found that delevering periods (the time after the bust) took about as long as the leveraging period (the bubble building period before the bust).  With that, it was thought that the deleveraging period would take about 10 years.  History gave us the playbook, in hand, from very early on in the crisis.

With that in mind, the peak in the housing market was June of 2006.  That would put 10 years at this past June.  The first real event, in the unraveling of it all, was the bust of two hedge funds at Bear Stearns in mid 2007.  That would put the 10 year mark at seven months out or so.

That argues that we’re not in the late stages of an economic growth cycle that was just unfortunately weak (as some say), but that we should just be entering a new growth phase and turning the final page on the debt crisis.  And that would argue that asset prices are not just very cheap now, but will be for quite some time as a decade long (or two) prosperity gap closes.

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The Fed met today—and they made no change to policy. As we all know, their words will be parsed endlessly. But the fact is, the Fed, at this point, is a side show. It’s two other central banks (BOJ and ECB), and likely policy makers in China that will dictate what stocks do, what commodities do and what the global economy does for the next year (or few).

With that, the real event is tomorrow night. The Bank of Japan will decide on their next move. And the BOJ holds many, if not all of the cards for the U.S. stock market and the global economy. Today we’re going to talk about why that’s the case.

As we said yesterday, the consensus view is that the BOJ will do nothing this week. That sets up for a surprise, which Japanese policymakers like and want. It gives their policy actions more potency.

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We talked yesterday about the role central banks have played in the long and slow global recovery. To put it simply, central banks have manufactured the global economic recovery. Without the intervention, there would have been a global economic collapse and blood in the streets, still. It was all led by the Fed. They slashed interest rates to zero. They rolled out the unprecedented bond buying program that pinned down mortgage rates (putting a bottom in the housing market), and helped to recapitalize the big banks that were drowning in defaulted debt, withering deposits and an evaporation of loan demand. They opened up currency swap lines (access to U.S. dollars) with global central banks so that those central banks could fend off collapse in their respective banking sectors.

Most importantly, with all of the intervention, and after spending and committing trillions of dollars in guarantees, backstops and bailouts, the Fed clearly communicated to the public, by their actions, that they would not let another shock event destabilize the world economy. Europe was next to step up, to do the same.

When the weak members of the European Monetary Union were spiraling toward default, which would have destroyed the euro and Europe all together, the leading euro zone nations stepped in with a bailout package.

Still, a year later, bigger trouble was brewing, as big countries like Italy and Spain were on the precipice of default. That’s when the European Central Bank (ECB) went “all–in”, effectively guaranteeing the debt of Italy and Spain by saying they would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro (and the euro zone).

Those were the magic words: “whatever it takes.”

That statement meant that the central bank would buy the debt of those countries, if need be, to keep them solvent, for as much and as long as needed…”whatever it takes.” That was the line in the sand. If you bought European stocks that day, you’ve doubled your money will little–to–no pain.

Similarly, Japan read from Draghi’s script a few months ago (late September of 2015) when global stocks were falling sharply and threatening to destabilize the world again. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe was in New York, and in a prepared speech, said they would do “whatever it takes” to return Japan to robust sustainable growth. Once again, the magic words put a bottom in global stocks and led to a sharp rebound.

“Whatever it takes” means, if need be, they print more money, they will support government debt markets, they will outright buy stocks, they will devalue currencies, they will do whatever it takes to promote growth and to prevent a shock that would derail the global economy. Why? Because they know the alternative scenario/the negative scenario is catastrophic.

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Not surprisingly, in the past six days, with global stocks in turmoil, Draghi stepped in again. This time, he conjured up some new magic words. He said there are no limits to what the ECB can buy (as part of their QE program). Guess who followed his lead? The head of the BOJ sat in front of a camera the next day and said the exact same thing. This tells me stocks are fair game. We already know that’s the case for the BOJ. They are already outright buying stocks. But it also tells me commodities are fair game. And high yield corporate debt. Anything that is threatening to destabilize global markets and threatening to knock the global economic recovery off path—it’s fair game for the ECB and BOJ to put a floor under (i.e. by buying up assets with freshly printed currency).

What does it all mean? It means the ECB and the BOJ are now at the wheel. They relieved pressure from the Fed, allowing the Fed to begin the path of removing the emergency policies (albeit very slowly) of the past nine years. The Fed only makes this move because they believe the U.S. economy is robust enough to handle it. And, more importantly, they only start this path because they know that two other major central banks in the world will continue to provide fuel for the global economy and defend against shocks through their aggressive policies.

Now, within this monetary policy dominated world, where everyone is all–in, the policy actions have simply kept the global economy alive and breathing, they have done nothing to address the major structural problems the world is enduring: Massive debt and slow–to–no growth.

What’s the solution? There hasn’t been one. Until Japan unveiled their massive stimulus program in 2013. The potential solution: A massive devaluation of the Japanese yen.

Japan, unlike many other major central banks (including the Fed), has all of the right ingredients to achieve its inflation goal via the printing press—it has the biggest debt load in the world (which can be inflated away by yen printing), it has persistent deflation (which can be reversed by printing), and it has decades of economic stagnation (which can be reversed with hyper easy money and improvements in the global economy).

In short, they can do all of the things that other powerful central banks/economies can’t do—and it can result in a huge benefit not just in Japan but for fueling a recovery in the global economy (as capital pours out of Japan). In a world with few antidotes to the structural economic problems, this is a potential solution for everyone. So perhaps the most important ingredient for a successful campaign in Japan°they have the full support/hope/wishes of the major global economic powers (US, Europe, UK).

The Bank of Japan is targeting to run their aggressive QE program at full tilt until they can produce a target of 2% inflation in their economy. Their latest inflation data is closer to zero than 1% (still very far from 2%). So they still have a lot of work to do. They completed two years of their big, bold plan—and two years was the timeline they projected to achieve their goal. Clearly, they haven’t met the inflation goal. And they have since, as we’ve said, committed to do whatever it takes to do it, and for as long as it takes. With that, we expect more expansion to their QE program (possibly this week). And, importantly, a huge part of their success is (and will be) dependent upon higher Japanese stocks, and a weaker yen. They have explicitly said so. It’s part of their game plan.

Japan’s Prime Minister Abe was elected on his aggressive plan to end deflation. That was, and is, his priority. He hand-selected the Bank of Japan governor to carry out his plan.

Here’s the quick and dirty summary: With free–falling oil and depressed commodity prices threatening widespread defaults across the energy sector, which would soon be followed by sovereign debt defaults from oil producing nations (like Russia), don’t be surprised if we see the BOJ (and maybe the ECB) step in and gobble up dirt cheap commodities as a policy initiative. It would put a floor under stocks, commodities, and promote stability and growth.

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The legendary billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, lost 12.3% in 2015. That was his worst year since 2008.

Meanwhile, the average hedge fund lost 3%. The average mutual fund lost 2.7%. And stocks broadly finished the year down too (before dividends), for the first time since 2008. Even most of the biggest and best known professional investors had a bad 2015. Still, one of the lesser known, but one of the best in the world, defied the gravity of stocks and posted an 8.3% gain for the year.

It was billionaire Andreas Halvorsen. He runs Viking Global, the ninth largest hedge fund in the world at $31 billion in assets under management.

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Halvorsen started his fund in 1999, after training under the legendary billionaire investor Julian Robertson. He’s a former Norwegian Navy Seal and a Stanford MBA.

Halvorsen extracted more than $2.5 billion from the markets in 2015, as a stock investor, in one of the more difficult stock picking environments in a long time. And last year was not an anomaly. Viking has one of the best track records of any hedge fund over the past 16 years. Since inception in 1999, the fund has returned 23% annualized (before fees) vs. a 4% annualized return for the S&P 500.

Halvorsen’s stock picking abilities have produced returns at a factor of 3.5 times better than Buffett’s since he’s been at the helm of Viking. And he’s done it with much smaller drawdowns. In fact, Viking has only had two losing years since 1999. The fund lost 0.9% in 2003 and lost just 0.9% in 2008, a year when almost all stock investors were crushed. Buffett lost 31.5% that year.

The following are Viking’s top positions: Allergan (AGN), Walgreen’s (WBA), Google/Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN) and Broadcom (BRCM).

In addition, in Halvorsen’s most recent investor letter, he said his fund had doubled down (added more) on a very controversial stock in their portfolio. At Billionaire’s Portfolio we curate a portfolio of the best stock picks of the world’s best billionaire investors – our subscribers follow along. To find out what stock Viking Global is adding to after a big decline, subscribe today.

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The S&P 500 is now more than 200% higher than at its crisis-induced 2009 lows. Despite the powerful recovery in stocks, the rally has had few believers. All along the way, skeptics have pointed to threats in Europe, domestic debt issues, central bank meddling, political stalemates, perceived asset bubbles — you name it. As it relates to stocks, they’ve all been dead wrong.

The truth is, global central banks are in control. They have been coordinating since 2009 to save the worldwide economy from an apocalyptic spiral. Because the crisis was global, and the structural problems remain highly intertwined globally, the only hope toward achieving a return to sustainable growth was through a coordinated effort to restore stability and confidence. And with that backdrop, they had to create incentives for people to take risk again. It has worked! With the Fed moving closer to exiting emergency policies, this past year, the QE baton has been passed from the Fed to the ECB and the BOJ.

Pioneer Activist Investor Has a 1,700% Price Target On His Sole Holding

As part of the massive QE programs in Europe and Japan, the Bank of Japan has been outright buying stocks and the ECB might be next. After doubling the value of the Nikkei with his economic stimulus program, the architect of Abenomics, Prime Minister Abe, has said they are only “half way to its goals.” With the tail-winds of central bank influence to continue (Reason #1 to buy stocks). Here are three more simple reasons you should be buying, not selling, stocks:

1) History

If we applied the long-run annualized return for stocks (8%) to the pre-crisis highs of 1,576 on the S&P 500, we get 3,150 by the end of next year, when the Fed is expected to begin the slow process toward normalizing rates. That’s nearly 52% higher than current levels. Below you can see the table of the S&P 500, projecting this “normal” growth rate to stocks.

2) Valuation
In addition to the above, consider this: The P/E on next year’s S&P 500 earnings estimate is just 16.2, in line with the long-term average (16). But we are not just in a low-interest-rate environment, we are in the mother of all low-interest-rate environments (ZERO). With that, when the 10-year yield runs on the low side, historically, the P/E on the S&P 500 runs closer to 20, if not north of it. If we multiply next year’s consensus earnings estimate for the S&P 500 of $126.77 by 20 (where stocks to be valued in low rate environments), we get 2,535 for the S&P 500 by next year — 23% higher.

3) Recession Risk

For those who argue the economy is fragile, the bond market disagrees with you. The yield curve may be the best predictor of recessions historically. Yield curve inversions (where short rates move above longer-term rates) have preceded each of the last seven recessions. Based on this analysis, the below chart from the Cleveland Fed shows the current recession risk at 3.66% — virtually nil.

What about the impact on stocks of a rate hiking cycle? Historically, through the past six rate hiking cycles stocks have performed well, contrary to popular belief. Still, there is an important distinction this time: The Fed moving away from emergency policies is a celebratory event for stocks and the economy. After nine years of crisis, and a near global apocalypse, the Fed thinks the economy is robust enough take down the “high alert” flag.

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This morning, the European Central Bank primed global stocks by telegraphing more action (more stimulus) to respond to the recent shake up in global economic activity and sentiment.

It had to happen. In the grand scheme of things, the ECB’s sentiment manipulation this morning was the bare minimum of what had to be done.

The global central banks (led by the Fed) have spent, committed and promised trillions of dollars to manufacture the tepid recovery that’s underway, in hopes that they can bridge their way to the point where economies begin to organically grow again. That bridge has not yet reached the point of organic growth. And it’s not even that close. With that said, the recent collapse in oil prices, and the threat to an implosion of the energy sector was getting narrowly close to undoing what the central banks have done to this point. And, not only is another downturn unpalatable, but it’s apocalyptic. The bullets have all been fired. Fiscal and monetary policy would have no shot to ward off another global destabilization.

The plan for the continuation of the global central bank-led (and manufactured) economic recovery has been clear. And the evolution, where the U.S. economy began leading global growth, while Europe and Japan were just embarking on big and bold stimulus is likely the reason Bernanke felt comfortable enough to exit. Think about it, the Fed hands off of the QE baton to the ECB (Europe) and the BOJ (Japan). Meanwhile, the Fed can make the first step in moving away from emergency policies. Europe and Japan have all of the ingredients to execute on their big QE promises to continue providing fuel for global growth and stability (they need a weaker currency).

The Fed’s exit from emergency policies shows their confidence in the economic recovery. And the ECB and BOJ can “print away”, suppressing global market interest rates (which helps the Fed), fueling higher global stock prices (which helps everyone), and fueling capital flows into the U.S. to further bolster U.S. recovery.

The question is often asked, when referring to QE, “what is the transmission mechanism?”

Here’s the answer: 1) Stability – QE assures people that the central bank(s) are there, acting, and ready to do more, if needed, to defend against any further shocks to the global economy and financial system. That creates stability. And with that stability backdrop, major central banks promote incentives for people to borrow again, to spend again, to hire again. 2) Risk-Taking – Ultra-low interest rates and a stable environment promotes the rebirth of housing activity, and encourages investors to reach further out on the risk curve for more return. That means more demand for stocks, and higher stock prices. Higher stocks and higher housing prices create paper wealth. Paper wealth gives people comfort to borrow again, to spend again and to hire again.

That has been the recipe. And it has worked! The key ingredients continue to be higher stocks and higher housing prices (even if at a modest growth rate).

Central Banks Need You To Buy Stocks

With the ECB doubling down on their commitment to do “whatever it takes” and with the architect of the massive
QE program in Japan, Prime Minister Abe, uttering those same words in the past month, the pressure valve on the Fed has been released and should clear the path for the Fed to make its first move on interest rates in nine years this coming December.

When we consider where we’ve been (fighting back from what was potentially the Great Apocalypse of economic crises), and how the economy is performing now, the fact that the Fed thinks the economy is robust enough to remove emergency policies is, indeed, a time for celebration.

And with that, there are plenty of reasons to buy stocks, not just because central banks need you to. But frankly, most people don’t seem to understand this central bank dynamic anyway. And that’s precisely why sentiment has been gloomy on stocks for the entire recovery, dating back to the 2009 bottom.

Given this negative sentiment, with respect to the economic outlook and the outlook for stocks, it’s not surprising that the declines in stocks along the way have been sharper and more slippery because of this pervasive fear in the investment community. Along the way that has created great buying opportunities. This recent decline is no different. Often market sentiment tends to over emphasize events. And it tends to be wrong (contrarian). Nonetheless, when events pass, as we’ve seen along the way, regardless of the outcome, the fog lifts, and the underlying fundamentals return to dictate performance.

From a valuation standpoint, when rates are “low,” historically, the P/E ratio of the stock market tends to run north of 20. And, of course, we are not just in a low interest rate environment; we are in the mother of all low interest rate environments, even with the Fed ready to begin moving. North of 20 is precisely where the valuation on stocks has gone in the past year. Now, based on next year’s earnings estimate, the market is valued at just 15x. A move to 20x earnings would mean an S&P 500 around 2,600 by next year. That’s 30% higher than current levels.

Why would a low rate environment tend to mean higher valuations for stocks?

Economics are about incentives, and when rates are ultra-low, people are incentivized to switch out of bonds and into stocks, to seek higher yield/higher returns. When we think about the direct implications of this incentive dynamic, we look no further than the amount of cash that big funds are holding, and where that might find a home.

Historically, one of the most predictive indicators of stock market bottoms is how much cash fund managers are holding. Right now, cash is at levels only seen during the 2008-2009 Great Recession period. Fund managers are holding 5.5% of their portfolio in cash and their allocation to stocks are at the lowest levels since 2012. Furthermore, 35% of all funds are now overweight cash.

When you see fund managers so pessimistic on stocks, while holding so much cash, it has historically been a signal for a huge move in stocks. These managers are paid to invest, and cash has always been the dry powder that’s fueled every rally in stocks throughout history. When fund managers are not holding cash and are fully invested, they have no powder left to buy stocks. The only way they can buy a stock is to sell another stock, which usually occurs at market tops.

The last two times fund managers held this much cash while being so underweight stocks was 2009 and 2012.

What happened? A huge rally! Between 2009 and 2011, the S&P rose 41%. Between 2012 and 2014, the S&P 500 rose 46%.

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March 10, 2015

The magic formula for investing is “risking a little, to make a lot.” When you do this, and spread your risk, you only have to be right a handful of times to make outsized returns.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at two stocks that are among the most widely traded in the world, Facebook and Apple.

The average consensus analyst target price target on Facebook is $90. That’s only 12% higher than current levels. By purchasing Facebook today you are risking a lot to make a 12% potential return. Facebook is trading at 75 times trailing earnings and 37 times forward earnings. High P/E stocks tend to underperform in rising interest rate environments. And that’s precisely where we are headed in the coming months.

What about Apple?

The average consensus analyst price target on Apple is $140, just 10% higher than Apple’s current share price. At best, buying Apple today you will get a potential 10% return. Apple trades at 18 times trailing earnings, and 15 times next year’s earnings estimate. While it’s a stock that is far more fairly valued than Facebook, a 10% upside doesn’t compensate for the downside risk.

So, while Apple and Facebook are the darlings of the stock market, neither offer a potential reward great enough to compensate for the risk to your capital.

On the other hand, here is an example of a stock that does: Chicago Bridge & Iron, symbol CBI.

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company is a Warren Buffett-owned stock. It has an average consensus analyst target price of $72. That’s more than 52% higher than its current share price. The stock trades for just 9 times trailing earnings, and 7 times forward earnings. A low P/E ratio is what Buffett calls a “margin of safety” — it gives him limited downside with potential for big upside. Buffett owns more than 8% of Chicago Bridge and Iron.

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Yesterday, billionaire hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein, of the activist hedge fund Jana Partners, said that Hertz ($HTZ), the largest rental car company in the U.S. should triple in price. Rosenstein is taking a page from Icahn on two fronts: 1) Using the media to promote his message, and 2) calling for a stock buyback.

Rosenstein’s fund owns more than 8% of Hertz. And Carl Icahn owns 10% as well. Altogether, hedge funds own more than 50% of the Hertz, even as the stock has dropped nearly 25% over the past six months. Rosenstein said Hertz will be able to buy back as much as 25% of their stock, which should juice earnings and cause the stock to triple in price over the next year.

With two of the best billionaire activists in the world controlling almost 20% of Hertz, this stock is a must own stock for investors in 2015. You can see in the chart below, the stock has based just above $20. Icahn owns most of his stake above $28.

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