NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bets on airlines, biotech and China internet paid off well for billionaire investors in 2014. David Tepper made millions on American Airlines (AAL) , Seth Klarman did well with Idenix (IDIX) , and both Chase Coleman and George Soros hit the nail on the head with Vipshop (VIPS) .
Which stocks, sectors and strategies will prove the biggest moneymakers in the year ahead? Where will billionaires be investing in 2015? A few predictions.
Oil prices are plunging, and by the looks of it, they haven't bottomed out yet. Crude oil hit a new five-year low yesterday in the wake of OPEC's slashed production estimate. Bank of America has predicted prices could go as low as $50 per barrel in 2015, and some have suggested it could even hit $40.
Translation: a tough outlook for energy stocks, many of which have already plummeted.
Billionaires have found themselves among the collateral damage -- especially Carl Icahn and Leon Cooperman. Icahn picks Transocean (RIG) , Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Talisman Energy (TLM) have tumbled in recent months, and in an October interview with CNBC, Cooperman called Omega's 15% energy allocation one of his "mistakes this year."
There is, of course, a flip side to all of this, tied to inflation, equity valuations and, most importantly, consumer spending.
Credit card giants MasterCard (MA) , Visa (V) and American Express (AXP) have been garnering the attention of billionaire investors already this year, including George Soros, Ray Dalio and, of course, Warren Buffett. Strong earnings reports indicate the companies are gaining momentum, and as consumer spending (and, in turn, credit card use) rises, that will likely continue.
Auto stocks may also come into view, including those which struggled in 2014, including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) . But billionaires may be hesitant in light of the regulatory and strategic implications falling oil prices have on the auto industry. Where they may look instead? E-commerce (hello, eBay (EBAY) ) and consumer discretionary. And even though energy stocks are declining, billionaires may take advantage of discount deals.