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In the video below, Fool analyst Austin Smith takes a look at three winners from 2012.
At the very top of Austin's list: banks, tech, and Fools.
Banks were the most hated sector of the market in early 2012. Then, they soared. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) was up 100% in 2012. Citigroup, up 40%. Wells Fargo, up 23% and JPMorgan Chase, up 30%.
This came after headwinds from the London Whale, lawsuits, consumer protection, the fiscal cliff, and Dodd-Frank, Austin says.
Tech also fared well. The Nasdaq 100 was up 15%, almost double the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) for the year.
The index has a market-cap weighting like the Dow, but can count Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) in its midst. It also has rockstar stocks like Sirius XM, eBay, Amazon.com, and priceline.com, which all had a great year.
Lastly, Fools -- those who took the reins of their own investments -- were also winners, Austin says. Hedge funds underperformed again last year, up only an average 6% in 2012. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of both large-cap and small-cap managers underperformed their respective indexes.
What happened in 2012 is not guaranteed to repeat in 2013. But Austin sees all three of these trends continuing through the year ahead.
Apple has been a longtime selection of Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner, helping lead his stock picks to gains of more than 125% in our Stock Advisor service since it launched in 2002. David has managed to trounce the market by always being on the lookout for revolutionary stocks and recommending them before Wall Street catches on to their disruptive potential. If you're interested in how David discovers his winners, click here to get instant access to a personal tour behind David's Supernova service.