Investment strategies you'd be foolish to ignore: Pros

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

It's not just April Fools' Day, but also the first day of a new trading quarter.

In honor of the occasion, we reached out to some of Wall Street's best and brightest for their thoughts on what the most compelling market opportunities are. Each was asked to fill in the blank on the following statement:

"You'd be a fool to NOT be investing in ___???_____."

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The answers provided covered a wide array of asset classes and ideas, and we've picked out a few of the more interesting responses.

"You'd be a fool to not be investing in U.S.-BASED MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES," said Destination Wealth Management founder and CEO Michael Yoshikami.

"The United States has a competitive advantage because the economy is lumbering forward in a recovery, while the rest of the world struggles to find its footing," said Yoshikami. He believes that buying American companies with sales exposure to emerging markets will help investors capture the growth story without the usual risk of direct investment in emerging markets.

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"You'd be a fool to not be investing in TECHNOLOGY STOCKS," said Seaport Securities Managing Director Jason Weisberg. From his booth down on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Weisberg said that "innovation never gets old," and that investors should stay the course in holding tech stocks. He also said he's optimistic about the broader market and earnings for the second quarter, as bad weather and cabin fever have Americans looking to go out and spend some of their hard-earned cash.

"You'd be a fool to not be investing in FINANCIAL STOCKS," said Cowen & Co.'s head of equity sales trading, David Seaburg. Financials will be helped along by higher interest rates, which helps expand profit margins for bank lending activity. Seaburg also thinks that as the economy improves, the number of loans being made will increase, and the number of defaults will decrease.

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Speaking of financials, BMO senior equity derivatives trader Max Breier said that "You'd be a fool to not be investing in DISCOUNT BROKERAGE STOCKS." He said that retail brokerage account sizes are growing, as are trading volumes and revenues. Add that to rising interest rates and a return of volatility to the markets, and you get a catalyst for more trading activity.

"You'd be a fool to not be investing in shares of GULFPORT ENERGY ," said Wunderlich Securities' chief market strategist, Art Hogan. He and Wunderlich analyst Jason Wangler believe this midcap oil and gas company is poised to outperform given its leading position in the Utica shale formation in Ohio and its intention to drill actively in the region this year. Wunderlich Securities has a "buy" rating on Gulfport Energy with an $85 price target.

When it comes to investing on economic themes, many investors turn to the commodity markets.

RBC Capital Markets precious metals strategist George Gero is looking at less valuable metals for his trade. "You'd be a fool to not be investing in COPPER," said Gero. He's said that the rebuilding effort in places hurt by inclement weather along with a rebound in the auto market will help the copper trade. Gero notes that the average car has about 40 pounds worth of copper in it. An improvement in the housing market will also help bolster demand for copper as well.

On that bigger picture, macroinvesting front, it might pay to stay right here at home. "You'd be a fool to not be investing in the US DOLLAR," said Bessemer Trust Chief Investment Officer Rebecca Patterson who helps oversee $95 billion in client assets. She believes that economic fundamentals and the threat of higher interest rates makes the dollar a compelling trade. Patterson specifically likes the dollar's prospects against both the Japanese yen and Canadian dollar.

However, if you believe that we could be stuck in a lower rate environment for the foreseeable future, "You'd be a fool to not be investing in HIGH-YIELD CREDIT FUNDS," said Babson Capital President Cliff Noreen, who helps oversee $193 billion in assets. He's looking at less liquid areas in fixed income for extra return and believes that funds targeting high yield can help in that battle. Noreen's firm employs these types of strategies on behalf of clients, and manages both mutual and closed-end fund offerings and said that "in today's very low rate environment, investors have to think outside the box and fight for every basis point of return."

And despite the fact that Treasury bond prices remain abnormally high (and thus rates abnormally low), Schwab Center for Financial Research Managing Director Randy Frederick can still make an investment case for buying U.S. government bonds. "You'd be a fool to not be investing in TREASURIES ," said Frederick. Why? Because as Muhammed Ali once said, "It's not bragging if you can back it up."