The Best And Worst Investments Of 2013: How Did You Fare?

Todays top stocks to buyUnless you were one of those rogue investors who decided to try your luck at anything other than US stocks, it wasn’t hard to make a tidy profit this year.  Let’s take a look at some of the best (and worst) investments you could’ve made in 2013…

It was a banner year for American stocks.

All the big exchanges hit record highs this year, with some still breaking new territory as we speak.

As we approach the holiday shopping season, it looks like nine out of every ten stocks on the S&P 500 are expected to end the year firmly in the black.

All in all, investors in US equities enjoyed healthy returns for the bulk of 2013.

Of course, it hasn’t been all roses for everybody.  Let’s hope that most of you are coming out of 2013 relatively unscathed. You see, while certain asset classes rewarded investors well, others haven’t performed and will end the year on a sour note.

For example, only two out of five US bond funds broke even, and after a strong early rally that was carried over from 2012, emerging market equities slumped.

And who could forget about the plight of gold and other precious metal stocks…

Bloomberg compiled a list of the winners and losers of the year that was.

Below are some of the more notable mentions on Bloomberg’s list.  The stocks highlighted were tracked from December 31, 2012 to December 2, 2013.  For a full recap, click here.

1) Best US Large-Cap Stock ~ Federal National Mortgage Association/Fannie Mae (OTCBB:FNMA)

Loss/Gain: +1,010%

Catalyst: Borrowing for mortgages rebounded in 2013 as home sales increased. It lost 98% of its value during the recession.

 

2) Worst US Large-Cap Stock ~ Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)

Loss/Gain: -47.2%

Catalyst: Gold prices slumped and the world’s second largest miner was unsuccessful in maintaining margins even when it slashed its workforce by a third

 

3) Best International Stock ~ Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. (CH:000625)

Loss/Gain: +280.5%

Catalyst: As Ford’s primary partner in China, Chinese sales of vehicles soared in 2013. Revenues in Q3 rose 33% year over year while adjusted EPS spiked 400%.

 

4) Worst International Stock ~ MMX Mineracao e Metalicos SA (BZ:MMXM3)

Loss/Gain: -85.4%

Catalyst: Founder Eike Batista’s oil company OGX filed for bankruptcy in October, and the fallout rippled into his other assets. An iron ore glut is also expected to bring prices further down into 2014, making it more difficult for MMXM3 to service its mounting debts.

 

5) Best Equity Mutual Fund ~ Fidelity Select Biotechnology Portfolio (FBIOX)

Loss/Gain: +64.0%

Catalyst: The industry saw major M&A activity this year with big pharma aggressively looking for new drug products to patent and market. FBIOX is also a big holder of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) whose stock doubled this year.

 

6) Worst Equity Mutual Fund ~ Fidelity Advisor Gold Fund (FGDAX)

Loss/Gain: -49.1%

Catalyst: No surprise, with gold out of favor, all of FGDAX’ top holdings were in the red. FGDAX investors saw the value of their portfolio fall nearly twice as fast as bullion prices.

 

7) Best Commodity ~ Natural Gas (NYMEX Natural Gas)

Loss/Gain: +18.1%

Catalyst: After a stronger handle on the supply glut which pulled prices down the last few years, demand and price have rebounded dramatically. Also, forecasters are predicting colder weather this winter in the US.

 

8) Worst Commodity ~ Corn (CBOT Corn)

Loss/Gain: -41.2%

Catalyst: A bumper harvest from US farms benefited consumers but hurt prices and revenues for producers. Then last month, China began blocking US corn imports, citing certain varieties are GMO crops.

 

9) Best ETF ~ Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEARCA:TAN)

Loss/Gain: +144.8%

Catalyst: After crashing in 2011 due to oversupply, solar stocks are on a comeback.  Diminished inventories and new affordable technologies are boosting demand.

 

10) Worst ETF ~ ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (NYSEARCA:VIXY)

Loss/Gain: -63.9%

Catalyst: An ETF designed to profit from stock market volatility, it suffered significant losses when growing confidence in the economic recovery was reinforced by solid gains in equities.

 

11) Best US IPO ~ Aratana Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:PETX)

Loss/Gain: +175.9%

Catalyst: Even though PETX went public on June 26 and has yet to generate any revenues, it’s been hard to hate a stock whose mission is to provide medication to ailing dogs and cats. A drug that’s designed to alleviate pain in dogs with osteoarthritis shows a lot of promise.

 

12) Worst US IPO ~ Tremor Video (NYSE:TRMR)

Loss/Gain: -60.6%

Catalyst: Tremor’s stock tanked on November 8th after its Q4 projections had investors concerned. Lower sales due to a shift in online advertising trends along with a pending lawsuit over inferior mobile browsing capabilities are set to drag Tremor down even further.

To date, more than $77 billion in IPOs were announced this year, making it the busiest year since 2010.

It’s unknown whether 2014 could repeat 2013’s record-breaking performance.

However, with questions of interest rates, quantitative easing and employment numbers continuing to hover over the US economy, there’s a good chance that we could see more of the same — at least until the Fed decides to change its tact.

Yours in profits,
Todays top stocks to buy
John Holt
for Top Stock Millionaire
Follow me on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter

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