Sometimes things are not as bad as they seem. There is often a silver lining. The markets have been disastrous lately but this is not the end of civilization as we know it. The market cannot fall forever, and there are reasons companies are valued the way they are. Yes, there will be some pain ahead and we have already experienced some lately, but I think now is an opportunity to pick your spots to buy low so you can sell high later. I'm not recommending to put it all on the line right now. That's not prudent, but I do think that there are opportunities out there if you have some money that you are willing to risk for the potential reward. If you cannot afford to lose any money, your thinking is probably very different than mine in this column. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to lose money. I hate to lose money. But, if I lost a small amount on this investment, I won't be heading to the poorhouse. I am willing to take on the risk associated with this market. Now, back to that silver lining. I will use an example from the NFL this season since I think it illustrates my point perfectly. The Tennessee Titans lost their franchise quarterback, Vince Young , to a knee injury earlier in the year. Throw in concerns about Young's mental state and his commitment to pro football, and the Titans had the possibility to fall into oblivion. With the season just getting started, they could have fallen off the deep end.
Instead, the Titans turned to their backup quarterback Kerry Collins, who has been around the league for a number of years and is experienced. The Titans are now the only undefeated team in the American Football Conference and lead their division, which includes the Indianapolis Colts. They held tight at a time that they could have fallen apart and are now in a good position going forward. Today, I think I have a strong investment idea -- Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY) is down right now, but don't count it out. Sanofi-Aventis engages in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of health care products worldwide. The company hit a 52-week low earlier today when it fell all the way down to $29.09. It was recently trading at around $29.50. In the last year, the stock has shed more than 32%. Additionally, its metrics all look solid to me, and while the company recently announced some layoffs, that should not be a detriment at all. It has revenue of $38.68 billion and has $1.36 billion in the bank. Its operating cash flow checks in at $9.38 billion. Its return on equity is 11.29% and its forward price-to-earnings ratio is 6.60. This shows me that Wall Street's confidence in this stock is not where it should be. That shows me I can pick up some shares on the cheap. I am willing to make a small purchase of some shares of SNY to gain exposure to some potential upside. Keep moving the chains!