Clean Water: Half of the hospital beds in the world are filled right this second by people suffering from diseases related to unclean water. While the world's population has doubled since 1950, our use of water has tripled. And how much more water is there to drink? Zero change. Consequently, ever-larger portions of the planet are using water that is deemed unsafe by current U.S. standards. Stock Pick No. 6: Idexx Laboratories ( IDXX) has a growing division that detects biological contaminants in water. This is not only a clean-water play but also a terrorism play. Additionally, the company has products that help diagnose illness in animals. So they are good to cats.

Auto Safety: The last time I drove, many, many people suffered. I'm sorry. Last year there were more than 1 million auto-related deaths. That number is only increasing as people all over the world participate in the rural-to-urban move taking place in all emerging economies. Stock Pick No. 7: Autoliv ( ALV) has with a 7% dividend and is the leader in auto safety. It holds the patents on airbags, seatbelts, etc. The U.S. mandates that all of these products be put in cars, and other countries are only beginning to follow suit. When they do, they go to Autoliv.

Consolation prizes:
  • Chocolate: Stock Pick No. 8: Hershey (HSY)
  • See better: Stock Pick No. 9: Luxottica (LUX)
  • Avoid a pandemic: Stock Pick No. 10: Genzyme (GENZ)

I really don't like to worry. In markets like this that go up or down 5% a day, it's too stressful to be starting at a quote screen. But if you know that you are in investments with solid balance sheets that are helping solve the world's ills -- particularly as those ills get ever greater due to demographics -- then you can rest easy at night.

Sweet dreams.


Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider Cynosure, Cutera and Intersections to be small-cap stocks. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.
At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund was long Goldman Sachs and Autoliv, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of Stockpickr LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the Financial Times and the author of Trade Like a Hedge Fund, Trade Like Warren Buffett and SuperCa$h. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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