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Building a Successful Portfolio for 2022

Investors need a clear blueprint to take full advantage of even a positive market environment in 2022. Sheraz Mian will make sure you're getting the most out of the New...

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Stocks have done exceptionally well lately, with the S&P 500 index up almost +27% in 2021 and returning in excess of +110% from the March 2020 pandemic lows. But many investors didn't enjoy such strong returns in their own portfolios.

Why is that?

The simple answer is that they were in the wrong stocks because most investors typically invest without a clear roadmap. The rising tide of a broad rally will produce plenty of green arrows in most portfolios. But that is not enough to come out ahead of the market, which should be the goal of every investor.

As we look ahead to the investment environment in the New Year, we can reasonably expect many of the outgoing year’s successful strategies to still remain valid, at least through the first few months. But we will need to be flexible and agile as the New Year will also bring its share of challenges that will require a different approach.

Thus now is exactly the time to make those decisions to put your portfolio on a sound footing for the year ahead. I hope the ideas in this article will help you do just that.

This May Not Be For You

If you are someone who has a consistent stock-selection system that helped you come out ahead of the market in 2021 and the preceding years, then you probably don't need our advice. Feel free to stop reading at this stage.

With the rest of you, I would like to share the investment process that we rely on here at Zacks, which makes use of 5 different factors to build a winning portfolio. Each one of these factors individually will help you pick good stocks. But putting all of them together gives you a significant edge over others in stock market investing.

This process lies at the heart of our Zacks Top 10 Stocks which has produced strong returns in recent years. The portfolio beat the market by more than 7 percentage points in 2021, returning +36.9% vs. the +29.5% for the S&P 500 index.¹ In past years, the portfolio returned +93.1% in 2020, +25.9% in 2019, +13.95% in 2018 and has maintained an annual average return of +26.8% since its inception in 2012. And now, Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 is about to be made available.

A random selection of good stocks, without an overarching outlook for the market, will not give you the desired results. The portfolio is essentially the execution of your outlook for the market. For the Top 10 Stocks for 2022, we started with the market outlook and then used these factors to build the portfolio.

More . . .


Countdown Begins: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022

Position your portfolio for outperformance in 2022 with our most powerful long-term recommendations. From a universe of 4,400 stocks, just 10 have been handpicked as Zacks’ best buy-and-hold stocks for the year.

Since Zacks Director of Research Sheraz Mian took personal charge of Top 10 Stocks back in 2012, the portfolios have nearly tripled the very bullish S&P 500 with an overall gain of +962.5%

These elite stocks will be released on Monday, January 3 at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Be First to See Them >>


The 5 Elements of the Zacks Method for Investing

1) Valuation - There is plenty of empirical evidence showing that stocks with low valuations will outperform the market over the long haul. It's not easy to find 'cheap' stocks after the market's impressive run, but we look for companies that are trading at reasonable Price-to-Earnings [P/E] and Price-to-Book [P/B] multiples relative to their peers and their own history. We say ‘reasonable’ instead of ‘low’ for valuation multiples because this analysis has to be done in the context of prevailing and expected interest rates.

2) Management Effectiveness - It is very important to get a sense for how effective the company's management is in utilizing the resources available to them. This can be done a number of different ways, but our research shows that Return on Equity [ROE] does a good job of capturing this attribute. So we seek out companies generating ROEs that are superior to their industry peers.

3) Recent Analyst Upgrades - Our research also clearly shows that stocks that have recently received a recommendation upgrade from brokerage analysts will continue to outpace the market. Most of that benefit is felt in the short run. However, quite often a stock that receives one upgrade is likely to get more in the future, which keeps pushing the stock higher.

4) Best Industries - Even the best looking stock will underperform the market if it's in an out-of-favor industry. That is why we overweight stocks from the best industries and sectors. And there is no better guide to choosing the right groups than the Zacks Industry Rank, which focuses on the earnings estimate revisions for all the stocks in the industry.

5) Timeliness - There is no better timeliness indicator than the Zacks Rank, which has produced annual returns of +25.3% since 1988 for Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks. We look for stocks with a Zacks Rank of 1 and 2, but will consider Zacks Rank #3 stocks if they show the potential for upgrade. These signals tell us that now is a good time to get into the stock.

Zacks has long been known for harnessing the power of earnings estimate revisions to foretell stock prices. No surprise then that the last two factors make use of this powerful driver.

Where to Find This Lucrative Information?

The first three of these elements are free and widely available from and other investment websites. If you just concentrated on these elements, you would be much better off than you are now.

The last two elements are proprietary to Zacks Investment Research and only available through our premium subscription services. Adding these two elements to the free ones above will put an almost unfair advantage in your hands.

The best way to tap into all 5 elements right now is through our diverse, long-term portfolio, Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022.

I hand-selected these stocks to outperform the market and continue the Top 10’s record of double-digit returns during each of the last four years. In fact, this stock-selection process has stood the test of time, producing strong returns in good times and bad. Since 2012, the annual portfolios have returned +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. And Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021 has lived up to the tradition of beating the market handily.²

You're invited to be among the first investors to see Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 when the portfolio is released at 11:00 a.m. ET on Monday, January 3.

And please note, the best way to tap into this long-term investing opportunity is to get in on the ground floor. These picks are time sensitive and the sooner you invest, the more you figure to gain.

The New Year brings a host of challenges and opportunities for the investing public. But rest assured that the stocks we have picked for 2022 fully take into account what lies ahead.

Get access to Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 now >>

Happy Investing,

Sheraz Mian

Sheraz Mian is the Director of Research. He determines which valuable data to use to assess winning stocks and funds. He is a contributor for Zacks Equity Research and Earnings Analysis, and is also the Editor of Zacks Top 10 Stocks.

¹ As of 12/23/2021

² The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all selections made by Zacks Investment Research's newsletter editors and may represent the partial close of a position.


- Zacks

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