Global expert Keith Fitz-Gerald is willing to take a contrarian stance by recommending two Russian stocks amidst the crisis in the Ukraine. The editor of Strike Force looks at stocks that he likens to the Google and Twitter of Russia.
Steve Halpern: We are here today with Keith Fitz-Gerald, chief investment strategist of Money Map Report and editor of the Strike Force Newsletter. How are you doing today, Keith?
Keith Fitz-Gerald: I’m doing great, it’s great to be back, and thank you for having me.
Steve Halpern: You’re well-known as both a global stock expert as well as a very independent thinker, often willing to take positions which are contrary to the consensus. Before we talk about some specific situations, could you expand a little on contrary investing in general, and perhaps explain the psychology involved when buying when others are fearful.
Keith Fitz-Gerald: I’d be happy to. Most people think about contrarian investing incorrectly. They assume that it’s simply going away from the herd or doing something differently.
In reality, if you look at how the all-time greats practice it, and I mean guys like the legendary Jim Rogers, or Mark Mobius, or Sir John Templeton, they hunted for value.
What they wanted was to find businesses with cash flows and opportunity that others didn’t yet see, so, really, their notion of contrarian investing, as I practice it, is to hunt for unrecognized opportunity in the middle of chaos that sends investors running the other way out of fear when, in fact, they should be wading in because that’s where the biggest returns come from.
Steve Halpern: Emotionally, that’s difficult to do. You’ll recognize that, correct?
Keith Fitz-Gerald: Oh, yes. Emotionally, it’s very, very trying, and this assumes, of course, that you have the balance of your portfolio appropriately allocated and properly protected, because you don’t want to take unnecessary risks and you never want to try and catch a falling knife.
But if you have an opportunity that is unloved, unrecognized, and yet, still has tremendous promise, it’s a great opportunity to wade into the market, and let me give you an example:
Sir John Templeton, in 1939, borrowed $10,000, and he bought shares in every single company on the New York stock exchange that was trading under, I think it was $1, at the time. He made money on 100 out of 104 companies that he purchased and quadrupled his money.
He understood that war—while unpleasant, and the world was going to be plunged into chaos for maybe even years—would ultimately produce solid rebound. I’m betting the same thing is happening in parts of the world today.
Steve Halpern: Now, a good example of your contrarian style is your willingness to look beyond the headlines and take a bullish stance on select Russian equities. In your latest newsletter, you called this an opportunity to capitalize on the chaos, could you expand on that?