Why Investors Should Be Ready to Buy, Not Sell

08/27/2015 9:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Matt McCall

Founder and President, Penn Financial Group

A correction is a normal occurrence in a bull market and often times a buying opportunity, so Matt McCall, of Penn Financial Group, outlines the two ways that investors can look at buying into a correction and he offers a pair of stocks to consider.

The correction in the US stock market has sent stocks across all sectors to levels not seen in months. The 10% pullback in the S&P 500 (SPX) (SPY) is the first correction since 2011 and was more than overdue. That being said, it has not made it any easier on investors as the value of portfolios plummet.

The majority of investors that take it upon themselves to manage their portfolio will underperform the market. This fact is not because they are not intelligent investors, but because they let their emotions drive their decision-making process. While a correction is a normal occurrence in a bull market and often times a buying opportunity, most investors will sell at the bottom of the correction.

To help investors that are able to see through the smoke, think about this fact. Since the end of 1945, there have been 111 declines in the S&P 500 of at least 5%. Only 11 of them (or 10%) turned into bear markets, which are defined as a decline of 20% or more. This suggests a correction is what the market is experiencing now and investors should be ready to buy, not sell in the coming days.

There are two ways to look at buying into a correction. First would be to buy the laggards that got crushed and are on deep discount. The second is to look at buying the stocks that have shown relative strength during the sell-off in anticipation they will be the leaders to new highs when the market rebounds. The two stocks highlighted below are in the latter camp and have not breached their 50-day moving averages during the correction.

BioTelemetry, Inc. (BEAT) is a diagnostic and research company that provides cardiac monitoring, monitoring devices, and cardiac lab services. The $381 million company is making money and has not only remained above its 50-day moving average, it hit a new multi-year high on Tuesday. The company sees earnings per share growing from $0.10 last year to $0.55 next year and by 2017 they will be above $1.00 per share. The niche sector of cardiac health should continue to see high demand as the aging of the baby boomer population requires more testing and lab services.

Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (FIX) is in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) sector by providing installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement services. The stock has also remained above its 50-day moving average even though it has pulled back 10% from the all time high it set earlier this month. The company is expected to make $1.03 this year, a gain of 64% over 2014 and earnings per share are expected to jump another 31% in 2016. The high growth stock is a play on the robust construction market that has reported strong numbers throughout the market correction.

Matt McCall, Founder and President, Penn Financial Group

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