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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be invested in the right sectors at the right time. It is just as important to be out of the wrong sectors at the right time.
2012 has been a good year for equity investors so far. The
S&P 500 is up about 13% year to date. The tech-heavy
Nasdaq is up almost 18%. Sitting on the sidelines of the U.S. stock market has obviously not been a good place to be.
I know all the
doom and gloom pundits and newsletter writers have you scared to death. The crash of the dollar is just around the corner and inflation will run wild! While that scenario may play out at some time in the future, sorry Peter Schiff, it has not been a money-making strategy for several years now.
Emerging markets have performed very poorly in 2012. As a group, they are down about 2.2% for the year. Natural resources and commodities have also been a poor place in which to be invested in 2012. The "sell everything and buy gold" mantra may be good for precious metal coin sales, but it has not done much for your 401(k) over the last year.
I have seen many 401(k) plans from a variety of companies over the years. They range from a full palette of Fidelity funds, to a very narrow range of about a dozen funds that cover the various basic asset classes. Some companies, like
Qualcomm(QCOM - Get Report) are now allowing participants to invest in individual stocks.
It is hard for me to give advice that fits all 401(k) participants. A lot of it depends upon your age and your tolerance for risk. However, I do have a pretty good handle on the best places to generally be invested in right now. I also have a good feel for the areas to avoid currently.
The medical and biotech sectors, in general, have by far been two of the best places to be invested in this year. With Obamacare looming, many health care related and drug-related companies will benefit from a lot more folks being in the system.