There are signs that the economic recovery plans are kicking in. Credit is once more available for housing and other purchases. The Obama stimulus plan is coming on stream. Banks seem to be back on the hale and hearty list. For many now seems to be the time to strike and get in early on rebounding investments. So what do I advise?

PROPERTY. I have been flogging “short sale” and foreclosure low priced rental units. “Short sale” is a term invented to describe properties sold for less than the value of their mortgage balance with the bank taking the loss. I can sell you one of these for as little as $40,000 for a unit that has a gross monthly income of $800. That means $9600 for the year less taxes and insurance of maybe $3500 or a net of $6100 or 15%.

SECURITIZED DEBT. The bad boys of the recession are back and selling very well. The easiest way to get in on the action here is to buy Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You should also look for products from the TAFL program of the Federal Reserve Bank.

SILVER. Funny, lots of people like to hold gold in their investment portfolio. And commodities should do well over the balance of the year. I prefer silver. While gold doubled in value over the last five years, silver trebled in value.

STOCKS. Put your money in financial shares - banks, lenders, investment groups. They took the biggest hit during the recession and promise the biggest gains in the come back.

ANYTHING GREEN. The corporate world has glommed onto the environmental movement and sees “green” to be made in being “green.” Check energy technologies, no matter how far fetched, since all will get development funds. Recycling companies loom large. Another good choice is transportation that provides more efficient use of fuel, e.g. railways.

BIOTECHNOLOGY. With stem cell research now open for Federal funding and cloning waiting in the wings any group engaged in this research should see a renewal of interest.

EDUCATION. Private education led by online universities is booming. Start your own school or put your money into one.

Maybe a bit early for the faint of heart but definitely the time for the steely nerved investor.

Leo Cecchini
May 2009