After a rough start, top investment officers are looking for gradual improvement as 2008 goes on. Harbor Advisory's Jack DeGan is among them, and he won't sugar-coat the current situation.
"We're still very defensive," DeGan told CNBC. "I think it's going to be very difficult for the consumer to do well in this environment."
He predicts disappointments in earnings and projections to be reported this week, but calls for investors who have been defensive to start moving back into the market between now and the end of the year.
Unlike some strategists, DeGan suggests financials for the short term, but says long-term investors should wait for even lower prices.
"I would rather be late on financials, miss the bottom, but be more certain the bottom is in, than try to be early," he said.
Getting specific, DeGan picks Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi-Cola, and Allegheny Energy.
- Video: Watch the entire DeGan interview (4 mins, 30 secs)
"These are all businesses that have proven track records, great management, strong balance sheets, and are very defensive,' he said.
Disclosure:Neither DeGan nor his family owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi-Cola, or Allegheny Energy, but they are investment banking clients of his firm.