Top Picks for 2018 from the Smart Money

Here are the top picks for 2018 from a few
of the best stock-pickers working today.

Many of us like to compare our performance to the rest of the crowd, or at least to some benchmark like the Dow or the S&P. It gives us a rough idea of how we are doing in the intensely competitive quest for Alpha. 

Depending on the outcome of this comparison, you will either feel validated or deflated. Where some get into trouble is when they take this to an extreme, and start to deviate from their investment plan. 

It usually happens after they have fallen behind their benchmark, and a little voice tells them that they must do something to catch up. Catching up usually means taking bigger risks. This sometimes works, but usually it just makes matters worse.

Another way that obsessing over your results can hurt is by taking your focus away from the only benchmark that matters - your own goals and objectives. Are you ahead of schedule, or have you fallen behind? If you have fallen behind, ask yourself what's causing it. Is it a bad patch in the market? Hanging on to a losing position and hoping to get back to even?

These are good questions to ask, and they will help you make adjustments to your strategy if necessary. Swinging for the fences, or doubling down on a loser are not the answer. Making a few carefully considered adjustments to your plan is a much better way to go.

With that in mind, here some of the top picks for 2018 from some heavy-hitters. You will also see how these folks fared with their 2017 picks.

William Priest (up 77.9% in 2017)
CEO, CIO Epoch Investment Partners
Price on 1/5/2018
SBUXStarbux59.61
OLEDUnivesal Display179.3
AMATApplied Materials54.6
MLMMartin Marietta Materials227.33
METMetLife51.84
Mario Gabelli (up 40.1% in 2017)
CEO GAMCO Investors
Price on 1/5/2018
MSGMadison Square Garden212.87
BATRALiberty Braves22.27
MGMMGM Resorts33.89
ZBHZimmer Biomet125.98
CNHICNH Industrial14.05
GCPGCP Applied Technology33.6
PCARPaccar75.1
TXTTextron58.5
ENREnergizer Holdings51.59
Abby Joseph Cohen (up 37.1% in 2017)
Sr. Investment Strategist, Goldman Sachs
Price on 1/5/2018
OXYOccidental Petroleum74.55
ABBVAbbVie101.11
MDLZMondelez International43.23
Scott Black (up 27.1% in 2017)
President, Delphi Management
Price on 1/5/2018
LRCXLam Research196.4
HCLPHi-Crush Partners11.4
GTNGray Television16.1
ARCCAres Capital15.79
HOFTHooker Furniture40.75
Henry Ellenbogen (up 19.1% in 2017)
CIO T. Rowe Price
Price on 1/5/2018
EFXEquifax122.83
MTNVail Resorts207.27
BFAMBright Horizons Family95.75
SERVServiceMaster Global52.4
SHOPShopify110.58
GRUBGrubhub72.97

Jeffrey Gundlach (up 17.2% in 2017)
CEO, CIO DoubleLine Capital
Price on 1/5/2018
XLEEnergy Sector SPDR74.97
NTGTortoise MLP18.78
BKLNPowershares Sr Loans23.1
EWZiShares MSCI Brazil42.84
DXJWisdomTree Japan Hedged61.63
Oscar Schafer (up 16.4% in 2017)
Chairman, Rivulet Capital
Price on 1/5/2018
CNKCinemark Holdings34.17
ORLYO'Reilly Automotovie260.28
COMMCommScope Holdings38.1
EVTCEvertec14.35
ANIPANI Pharmaceuticals69.41

About the Author

Former head of equity trading, Northern Trust Bank, Chicago. Teacher, trainer, mentor, market historian, and perpetual student of all things related to the stock market and excellence in investing.