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Nine Stocks for 2009

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Ones to watch in the coming year.

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Oil prices have fallen over $100 a barrel over the last few months, and many have already forgotten about gas at $4 a gallon. Yet I continue to keep my eyes trained on 2 of my favorite alternative energy plays. Fuel Systems Solutions (FSYS) manufactures alternative-fuel components used in engines for the industrial, transportation and power-generation industries. Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) is engaged in the design, manufacturing and sale of photovoltaic products for alternative energy markets - and is my favorite play on alternative energy.

There will always be an asset bubble somewhere. Whether it's the tulip craze centuries ago, or internet stocks and real-estate prices more recently, people will always be in search of the next big idea. The next bandwagon may just be for those who facilitate life-settlement transactions worldwide, and my way of playing this trend will be to invest in Life Partners Holdings (LPHI), the architect of such life settlements.

We'll all die some day, and LPHI is finding a way to capitalize on this foolproof trend. It buys existing life insurance policies from people who are terminally ill or elderly and in need of cash. The price of the policy is negotiated at a discount on the face value, and LPHI is then paid in full under the policy upon that person's death.

ETF's have come a long way in helping the individual investor play certain trends, and a couple I've been watching include Proshares Ultra Financials (UYG) and Ishares Xinhua China (FXI). Our government has made it clear that they don't plan on allowing our financial system to fail, so I'll use UYG as my way to play Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and the rest of the financials. FXI is my vehicle of choice to play a potential bottom in China.

The market is an ever-changing beast that gives and takes at will. Based on my experience and all of the technical information available, I believe these 9 ideas will make money as we cross the threshold into 2009.

But remember - it's impossible for me or anyone out there to see into the future. If one of these ideas strikes your fancy, invest - but make sure you have an exit plan in place, especially on the downside. Holding onto a losing position is what ultimately trips up both the professional and novice investor, so consider making managing your loses a New Year's resolution you plan to keep.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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