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The Alchemist (01/02/2008)
By Al Thomas

BEST BUYS FOR 2008

Everyone seems to want to put his neck on the block to predict what stocks to buy for the coming year. I rarely do this, but this year this chicken will take a chance too.

If you are looking for that one in a million or rather one in 10,000 stocks that will run from $2.00 to $250 then stop wasting your time reading this column. In my decades of trading I have never been that lucky.

Notice I said lucky. So called analysis won't find it and if any newsletter does happen to stumble upon a 100%, 200%, 300% winner it wasn't through great market analysis because if it was they would be doing it every year. Don't let them BS you about how smart they were.

Finding any stock that will go against a major trend is more luck than knowledge. Go back to 2000 and see what the mavens were touting investors to buy then. Enron? Almost without exception every one was a loser. The best stocks (and there are no best stocks) will drop during a bear market.

When their favorite picks don't perform they brag that their portfolio did not go down as much as the S&P500 Index.

What hogwash! They still lost money.

From 2000 to 2003 if you had your money under your mattress you would have been about 40% ahead.

Why am I talking about 2000? Because another 2000 is breathing down our necks right now. I have some excellent company in with my opinion. 2008 to ???? is going to make 1929 look like a "walk in the park" according to one of England's leading economists. They don't tell you the whole truth on CNBC-TV because their advertisers might cancel.

Investors don't like being in cash. They want their money "working". Of course, working and losing money is not what they had in mind.

There is, in this writer's opinion, only one safe place to be invested for the next 5 years. It will appreciate by a huge amount and protect against inflation as well. That's GOLD.

Brokers will tell you gold is no good because there is no return. There isn't any for him because he won't be making any commission. Gold will protect against real inflation, not the phony number of "CORE" inflation the government publishes.

Core inflation is accurate provided you don't eat, buy gasoline or heat/air condition your home.

OK, I have fooled around long enough with the facts of what to expect this year so here is the only safe place to have money invested "for the long term" as brokers say: GOLD.

In the form of GLD, gold stocks in GDX and some gold coins, but don't buy until about March 1 and buy in increments.

Plan on holding for about 2 to 5 years. The market may have bottomed by then. The smart investors will be the only ones with money to snap up those cheap shares.

Al Thomas' best selling book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter and receive his market letter at www.mutualfundmagic.com to discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

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