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When the stock market goes on a tear like it has over the past six months, many investors make a crucial mistake. Instead of asking where they should put their money now, too many are left pondering, "Should I even invest in the first place?"
Don't fall into this trap. Just because the market is up 23% since last September doesn't mean it won't keep going up. Of course, it doesn't mean it won't suddenly plunge, either. The fact of the matter is simply that we can't predict the future.
The wisest approach is to discipline yourself to a regular investing schedule. Starting this summer, I've publicly called out one company each month that I'd be putting my Roth IRA money behind. Though the timeline has been short, the results speak for themselves: The overall portfolio is up 26.5%, and it is beating the market by 14.7 percentage points.
This month I'm looking for excellent companies that have missed out on the market's meteoric rise. My five candidates are all worthy of your consideration -- as is the special free report I'm offering at the end. Read ahead to find out why.
1-Year EPS Growth
6-Month Price Change
|Heckmann (NYSE: HEK )||NM||NM||(13.8%)|
|Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO )||78%*||16*||(3.7%)|
|Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK )||26%||13||(33.5%)|
|Ancestry.com (Nasdaq: ACOM )||72%||17||(7.3%)|
|Balchem (Nasdaq: BCPC )||14%||22||(24.6%)|
Source: E*Trade; Google Finance; Yahoo! Finance. All numbers as of March 23 market close. NM = not meaningful because of negative earnings. *Not including one-time charge from the state of Delaware.
This is one of the only pure plays on an integral part of the hydraulic fracturing process: wastewater disposal. The use of water is integral in freeing up natural gas, but many are concerned about what happens to the water once the gas is gone. Chemicals used pose a serious health threat, and there's growing concern about proper disposal.
Heckmann, which is currently building out pipelines to help make the water disposal process more efficient, is an excellent choice for those looking for periphery exposure to the natural gas boom.
One of last year's highest fliers, Travelzoo has definitely had its wings clipped as of late. It probably doesn't help that a $20 million settlement with the state of Delaware has made earnings look all wacky.
But what's really tugging at the stock's price is its business model. With Groupon's disappointing earnings and news that LivingSocial isn't profitable either, investors have been rightly worried that the couponing model doesn't have the legs it needs to be a long-term business. Travelzoo differentiates itself, however, by only focusing on a few high-quality deals per week in each city it serves.
I've actually owned this stock for quite a while, seeing it go from my purchase price of around $46 to beyond $115. Alas, though this maker of both Teva sandals and Ugg boots has been hawking its products at a record pace, it seems to have lost favor with the market.
Besides a growing inventory, analysts are concerned about costs. The all-natural sheepskin that the company uses for Uggs boots isn't cheap, and with some worried that sales are slowing, they're driving the price down. But make no mistake about it: This is a quality company with a growing international presence.
Apparently, Wall Street doesn't think there are many people who want to rediscover their roots. Shares of genealogy website Ancestry.com are down more than 50% since last May. It probably doesn't help that its latest earnings reported that the cost of acquiring a subscriber jumped by 15%, while the revenue per subscriber actually went down.
But the company is too tempting to overlook. A new service providing customers with gene sequencing data, as well as the fact that it has no -- zip, zero, zilch -- competitors is enough to keep me interested in adding the company to my portfolio.
This company prepares specialty chemicals used in the food, health-care, and industrials arena. The company's latest earnings release revealed that neither revenue nor earnings were even able to keep pace with the rate of inflation last quarter.
Though such results rightly draw investors' ire, I think the market's reaction to this aberration was a bit overdone, and long-term prospects for the company look rosier given today's price.
What will my decision be?
You'll have to tune in on Friday to find out which one of these five underappreciated stocks I pick. In the meantime, I'm willing to offer you access to one of our special free reports with five more ideas for you: "5 Stocks The Motley Fool Owns -- and You Should, Too." Inside, you'll get the names of these five companies we've put our money behind, along with the reasoning behind each purchase. Get your copy today, absolutely free!