Top picks 2012: Fidelity growth funds
Mega caps, junk bonds and emerging markets offer hedged play on economic recovery.
If 2011 was a slim-pickings picnic, many are saying 2012 will be nothing more than the ants. Not me. I know the macro issues we’ll have to invest through: ongoing eurozone crisis, escalating U.S. class warfare rhetoric, another Arab Spring. But don't forget that 2011 also taught us that even though one major piece of the global economy was broken, our own economy was able to maintain growth, albeit slow.
And emerging economies continued to grow even as their markets were thrown out with the eurozone bathwater. I see the same themes in 2012 -- with a bit more risk of missing upside economic and market surprises.
For strong balance sheets, recession-tested management, and dividend yields giving bonds of most types a run for their money, I like the mega-cap apex of the U.S. marketplace best.
My preference in the mega-cap active management space is Fidelity Mega Cap Stock (FGRTX), run by the savvy Matt Fruhan. He is relatively new to this fund, which he took over in April 2009, but had a good track record previously running Fidelity Large Cap Stock.
The fund's top holdings: Pepsi, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, GE, Chevron, JP Morgan Chase, Exxon, Wells Fargo and Apple.
To counterbalance the risk of a stock misstep, I also like a chicken-hearted way to play my stock market and the recovery themes: junk bonds. Compared to stocks, there's a risk advantage to them. Compared to bond yields, ditto. My actively managed fund pick: Fidelity High Income (SPHIX).
For a safety-minded contrarian, global growth play, I like Fidelity's newest offering: Fidelity Total Emerging Market (FTEMX), the first truly balanced emerging market fund. Run by one of the most experienced and expert managers, John Carlson, it is a good way to address risk and returns in the ever-volatile but also ever-growing emerging markets.
My 2012 Fidelity Investor Portfolio Picks: FGRTX (50%), SPHIX (30%), FTEMX (20%).
For the sector investor, I like the Fidelity Select Consumer Staples (FDFAX), in tandem with the financing behind discretionary spending via Fidelity Select Consumer Finance (FSVLX).
Both no-loads, one owns recession-tamers like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, CVS and other necessary sundries, while the other is a more lionhearted stake in 2012's consumer gambit; it owns Discover, Visa, Capital One, Mastercard and more.
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It's the second-biggest shopping season of the year, although the total amount spent is expected to drop from last year.
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