Lombardi: Stock Market Commentary & Forecasts, Financial & Economic Analysis Since 1986

What Can the Rich Do for You?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
By for Profit Confidential

I like to poke a little fun at my well-off family and friends from time to time. Whenever we host any social gathering involving gift giving — a birthday party, housewarming party, holiday party — the rich side of the room almost always comes up with lackluster loot. In contrast, I receive the best gifts from friends with limited earning power. I couldn’t quite explain why that is, until my uncle clarified a few things by saying, “You don’t get to be me by spending money on other people.”

Well, perhaps my uncle is a cynic, but he may also have a point. It may be true that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a whole lot of everything else. Like my uncle said, “I don’t think being rich can actually rub off on those lower on the food chain.” But, the good thing about the world today is that the most valuable thing — information — is, for the most part, free! So, let’s follow their money and see what the rich can do for us.

Let’s start with cloud nine. I don’t think my dad has ever traveled in anything economy in his life, although — and not for the lack of trying — he still can’t afford buying his own private jet. But the 8.7 million high-net-worth individuals worldwide can. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and try to figure out how to buy a jet, but you could investigate builders of business aircrafts, such as General Dynamics Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, or Textron Incorporated.

Also, while traveling high in the sky, the rich rarely travel light.

They like to pack their Gucci shoes, designer clothes, Tiffany jewelry, Bulgari and Rolex watches, and Estée Lauder cosmetics in their Louis Vuitton luggage. While ladies are powdering their noses before those obscenely expensive private jets land, their men like to phone their bankers and brokers, trying to find ways to make even more money. Whom are they calling? Well, leaving Europeans on the sidelines for now, the rich like to talk to brand names only, such as JPMorgan Chase & Company, The Goldman Sachs Group, Incorporated, or Merrill Lynch & Company, Incorporated.

Any of these stocks could give your portfolio that rich “sparkle.” I know it’s a far cry from actually being rich, but it is also much better than nothing. All of the stocks I mentioned here are trading close to their 52-week highs and have attractive fundamental and technical pictures.

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