The 10 Best Stocks for 2012

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak Image Jim Jubak Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

MoneyShow's Jim Jubak is on vacation this week, so we decided to take a second look at some of his biggest stories of 2012. And we'll start with the very first: his Christmastime look at the year ahead.

Picking a best-stocks list is particularly challenging for 2012. It’s almost like 2012 will be two separate years.

The first half of the year, as I wrote December 13 in "How to Save Your Portfolio from 2012," will look a lot like the last half of 2011—head-spinning volatility and a full calendar of negative news will overwhelm any good news from individual companies. Even good stocks will go down on the negative big-picture news in the first half of 2012, much as they did in the second half of 2011.

The second half of the year will be much different. The global economy may not be racing along like the Empire Builder, gaining speed east down the Continental Divide out of Essex Junction, Montana, but the big uncertainties for the year will be behind us.

We’ll know how fast China and Brazil are growing, how deep the Eurozone recession will be, and how well US economic growth is holding up. I think growth and modest risk will be back in favor, and you’ll want to be in the shares of individual companies—and in individual stock markets—with more growth in their fortunes. (For more on the road ahead, read also "The 3 Big Crises of 2012.")

So if the two halves of 2012 are going to be so different, why not focus on two best stocks for 2012?