My top 10 investment and disinvestment areas for 2014

I am relatively new to the world of personal investments and these are just based on my personal gut-feel:

  1. Oil and Gas companies – but only if they also have – or acquire – fracking reserves. I am staying away from those ¬†gas producers who are overly dependent on “conventional” natural gas and have not embraced shale gas. If the economic recovery (globally) is confirned by Q2 then the “blue chip” oil companies become attractive again.
  2. I shall get out of wind and solar energy developers. Subsidies are declining and developers and plant operators are going to be hard pushed to retain their advantages. On the other hand manufacturers of unconventional energy equipment (off-shore wind, fuel cells, batteries, geothermal ….) and who are really spending their own money on R & D (as opposed to spending government grants) are attractive in the long term.
  3. Even with a solid economic recovery, there will be a time lag before the demand for special steels and other metals picks up. Metals and mining may becoming interesting again but only at the end of the year. Australian mining becomes attractive if the “green” burdens are lifted.
  4. Cement and bulk steels will respond first and manufacturers well established in Asia and Africa seem particularly interesting. I like cement in India for the second half of 2014.
  5. Rare earths will remain in short supply and economic recovery will give prices which justify development of new mines and new resources. Investing in China has its own risk profile though. Japanese rare earth development companies could be of interest.
  6. Big Pharma’s evergreen and predatory patenting will come under further attack not only from India and China but also from Indonesia and Africa. The whole IPR model is flawed which makes for uncertainty. I shall avoid new investment but hold what I have.
  7. Social media monopoly positions will be weakened and new media will grow. I haven’t the faintest idea of how to pick any winners from the newcomers here. There has to be a backlash against intrusive advertising and I think this will cap revenue growth.
  8. There is a battle brewing between tablets and mobile devices. A single device which is as small as a mobile and which can expand to the size of a large tablet (perhaps even as large as a desk-top through glasses) would be a winner.
  9. Large retailers are due for a boom in the second half of 2014 and especially those with positions in the developing world.
  10. There are going to be new winners from Africa and Brazil but I don’t know how to pick them and therefore must wait and see.

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