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10 Contrarian Ideas for the Summer

Editor's note: John Lounsbury is a new contributor to who will provide business news commentary and tips about how to invest off the news. Lounsbury runs a private business offering financial planning and investment advice for families. He previously served as a licensed representative for MONY Securities from 1992 to 2000 and spent 34 years with IBM, including 25 years in R&D management.

Real contrarians are brave people. The successful ones are brave at the right time. Stepping in front of a speeding train is much more foolish than brave. So if you are a contrarian and want to be successful, you must be able to discern the difference between a real speeding train and an illusion. We're here to help with that. Here are 10 potentially great contrarian moves for the next few months, using exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.

1. Sell Gold

The chart below shows the trading range of the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) over the past two years. Gold has twice failed at $1,000 resistance, and an ideal put on a short position would be near $1,000. The closing price on Friday was about 6% below that level at $941.50. Selling gold may not be so contrarian. It was just reported that the analyst consensus year-end price for gold is $918, down 2.5% from Friday's close.

If I were to make this trade, I would look for an entry above $960. If gold continues to rally above $960, I would try to follow it higher before shorting. If gold surges through $1,000 in the coming weeks, before I put on the position, I would call off the entire idea until I thought I could see a possible top. Note that picking tops in gold has been very tricky; recent downward reversals have been violent.


This could be the mother of all wipeouts if you make a decision to short gold and we finally get the big rally well above $1,000, as some have been predicting for almost two years. Such a rally could occur if the recent optimism about the economy and recovery turns 180 degrees and falls sharply this summer, with increasing doubts raised about the solvency of the U.S. and other developed countries. Just the opposite occurrence, a strong recovery with concurrent increasing fears of inflation, could also ignite a massive gold rally.
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