Turnaround Investing Blog

George Putnam, one of the country's leading turnaround and distressed investing professionals, shares his timely insight on the economy and turnaround investing opportunities.

Emerging Markets/International Stocks

A Reader Asks, "With so much turmoil and uncertainty in the U.S. economy, and even more fear of collapse overseas, do you ever recommend just getting out of the stock market all together and hunkering down with something safer like bonds?"

I never recommend getting out of the stock market entirely--or even making major changes to your allocation to stocks. The stock market is so unpredictable that if you bail out, the risk is very high that you will miss a significant upturn. Moreover, even if you make the right call to get out of the market, you then have to muster the courage to get back in. For example, I have a couple of friends who are very proud of the fact that they got out of stocks before the market crash in October 1987. The problem is that they’ve never gotten back into stocks and they’ve missed out on the huge run since then--the S&P 500 is currently nearly 400% from its pre-crash 1987 high. I strongly believe that the only way to participate in the long-term gains that stocks provide is to put as much money in the market as you can while still being able to sleep at night, and then leave it there.

Moreover, it is important to note that bonds are not as safe as they seem, especially right now. If interest rates go up--and they can’t go much further down--bond values will fall. And depending on the type of bond, the value could fall a lot. I’m not saying you shouldn’t own any bonds. I believe every investor should hold a mix of stock and bonds--and other assets--that is appropriate for their risk tolerance and their long- and short-term financial needs.

(Question submitted by Marvin S.)

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IBM: Not Yet Time to Swing at this Pitch

IBM’s stock underperformance since IBM’s current CEO took the helm in 2012 has been stark, with the shares declining 23% while the S&P500 Index has more than doubled. One big problem: revenue growth rate is zero, at best. Without revenue growth, what’s left to entice investors? The real driver of value at IBM – free cash flow that is used to repurchase shares. Can IBM borrow its way to shareholder prosperity as its cash flows shrink? What to do with IBM shares? Wait for a better pitch in the form of a catalyst or much lower valuation. Read More.

Comparing Stocks Vs. Bonds

While the common stock of a turnaround candidate usually has the greatest upside potential, other classes of securities, such as bonds or preferred stock, may offer attractive profit possibilities with less risk. Many turnaround companies have only one class of securities available to investors but where there are different classes to choose from, it can pay to do a little extra analysis of the various options.

Read More.

Turnaround Letter Stock Pick Named Top Performer of 2017


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What Last Year's Top Stock Pickers Are Buying in 2018


This Forbes write-up follows up on the recent Top Stock Tips report--naming The Turnaround Letter's Crocs recommendation the top performer of 2017: With 90% gains, CROX beat out 100 other investment ideas included in the report; and the stock continues to have value investing appeal, according to Putnam.


George notes, "We see additional upside for the stock in 2018 as management's efforts continue to bear fruit, though the gains will likely be more muted than we saw in 2017."