) Vice Chairman Byron Wien published is always highly anticipated
list of yearly surprises on Wednesday, a tradition Wien started in
1986 when he was the Chief U.S. Investment Strategist at Morgan
Some of the predictions, such as the calls that Iran will
proceed with uranium enrichment and that "Republicans make a major
effort to become leaders in immigration policy," are broad in
stroke and do not represent investable ideas. Some of Wien's other
predictions can be easily played by investors with
representing perhaps the best way of doing so. Here are a few
Market Vectors China ETF (NYSE:
) With no shortage of China ETFs tracking familiar U.S.-listed
Chinese large-caps, the Market Vectors China ETF often gets
overlooked. However, investors will want to give PEK serious
consideration if Wien's prediction regarding China comes to
"The new leaders in China seem determined to implement reforms
to root out corruption, to keep the economy growing at 7% or better
and to begin to develop improved health care and retirement
programs. The Shanghai Composite finally comes alive and the "A"
shares are up more than 20% in 2013,"
That would be excellent news for PEK because, through the use of
swaps and other derivatives, PEK is offers exposure to China's A
shares market. Investors are already embracing PEK as the
ETF went from around $11.9 million in assets under
management in November
to $33.2 million by the end of last year.
Teucrium Corn ETF (NYSE:
) CORN certainly had its moments in 2012 as a savage Midwest
drought sent the fund surging from around $36 in June to near $53
in August. While CORN closed below $44 on Wednesday, a return to
old highs and a move to new ones may not be out of the question if
Wien's call is correct. The investing legend sees corn surging back
to $8 per bushel this year and wheat heading to $9 per bushel.
SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:
) In 2012, gold futures rose for the twelfth consecutive year, but
naysayers would argue that the bulk of the yellow metal's gain were
accrued in anticipation of the third quantitative easing
announcement. Those naysayers might also be apt to say even with
the benefit of the QE3 announcement, gold was unable to reclaim its
highs in the $1,900 per ounce range. Wien sees that happening this
"Although inflation remains tame, the price of gold reaches
$1,900 an ounce as central bankers everywhere continue to debase
their currencies and the financial markets prove treacherous," he
WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSE:
) With Japanese equities soaring and the yen plunging in the wake
of Shinzo Abe's victory as Japan's newest prime minister, DXJ has
gone from unheralded to
a household name among Japan ETFs
Wien had this to say about Japan: "The Japanese economy remains
lackluster and the yen declines to 100 against the dollar. The
Nikkei 225 continues the strong advance that began in November and
trades above 12,000 as exports improve and investors return to the
stocks of the world's third largest economy."
With a gain of almost 13.4 percent in the past month, DXJ is
clearly participating in investors' reborn bullishness toward
Japanese stocks. What is important to remember about DXJ is that it
does not need Japan's domestic economy to be strong to move higher.
That is because the index tracked by the ETF uses a screening
feature to weed out Japanese firms that are highly dependent on
their home nation for the bulk of their revenue. If Wien is correct
in his Japan outlook, DXJ could prove to be one of this year's
best-performing developed market ETFs.
For more on ETFs, click
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