NEW YORK (
) -- With one quarter under our belts already, it's time to revisit my
. As is typical, some are going my way while others are not.
That's OK. There are still three quarters to go. Although I'm not a big fan of making such predictions in the first place, I do believe it is important to follow up on them, taking the good with the bad.
1. Fiscal cliff a nonevent in the short term
: I believe that I nailed this one, for what it's worth, which is not much. A deal was made, as usual, and the sky did not fall. Even the dreaded "sequester" has failed to bring the pain that was promised and that perhaps was hoped for by some of our elected officials. We'll have to see how that plays out in the coming months, however. There are threats of airport closures and job furloughs on the horizon, but so far, there are several politicians with egg on their face.
2. Still bullish on gold and silver
: Year to date, with gold down about 4.5% and silver down 9.5%, it may be difficult to see $2,000 gold and $40 silver over the next nine months. The economy is getting so much better, and the uncertainty is waning, right? I'm certainly not convinced, and all of the money-printing that's being done by the
tells me that metals will move higher, eventually. Interestingly, I saw that a reputable metals dealer is paying $1.10 over the spot price for "junk" silver (silver coins minted prior to 1965 with no numismatic value). Typically, dealers pay less than spot, so this tells me that there may be a lot of demand here, at least among silver hoarders.
3. Restaurant stocks struggle
: Too early with this call, at least through the first quarter. Following are the top 10 restaurant names by market cap are up an average of 14% so far this year. Those restaurant stocks are
Chipotle Mexican Grill
. I had been a restaurant bull for much of the past four years but became concerned about rising input costs. Apparently, they haven't been much of a factor -- yet.
4. Farmland, timber, water and other tangible assets should do well
: So far so good here. In the agriculture and land space,
is up about 25% year to date,
has risen 15%, and
has gained 7%.
has done little year to date and is flat. Timber-related names have done even better, with
Plum Creek Timber
up an average of 15.2% year to date.
All in all, there were some good calls and some bad -- at least so far. I'll revisit these again at the end of the second quarter.
At the time of publication, Heller held long positions in ALCO, LMNR and PICO
Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.
Jon is also the founder of the
, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.