• Dagen McDowell filled in for Neil Cavuto and was joined by: Gregg Hymowitz, founder of Entrust Capital; Charles Payne, CEO of Wall Street Strategies; Jim Rogers, president of JimRogers.com and Ben Stein, economist.

    Smart Money in 2003

    Stocks were down a staggering amount across the board the last three years: the Dow was down 27 percent and the Nasdaq down 67 percent.  But will that pain turn to gain in 2003?

    Charles Payne says this is the year to get back into stocks. He thinks the market will move sideways for first half, then rally the second half of the year.  Gregg agrees and says history shows that you make money if you if you stay in the equity market for the long term. Jim Rogers says the bear market is not over and that sometime during this year, there is going to be a big collapse in stocks. Ben Stein says the market won't have a rally until we see a substantial rally in earnings, and that there is no sign of that, yet.

    Ben says the smart money for investors in 2003 will be to pay off more of your mortgage. 

    Charles says the smart money in 2003 is to buy United Parcel Service (UPS), which he owns.  But Gregg Hymowitz says rivals DHL and FedEx are taking some of UPS's market share. He thinks UPS may be a good short.

    Gregg's advice in 2003 is to sell U.S. Treasuries, because he thinks bonds will fall and stocks will rise this year.

    Jim agrees that bonds will fall and that means commodities are going to go through the roof.  His smart money pick for 2003 are raw materials like rice, which he owns.  Ben says that's a very risky buy for most ordinary people.  But Jim says rice is a lot less riskier than buying stocks.

    More for Your Money: Retire Rich!

    The average 401(k) plan was not A-OK last year, sinking nearly 20 percent before you add in the contributions that were made during the year. Is it time for you to change your retirement plan to get more for your money?

    Ben Stein says the only way we are going to get an adequate retirement savings is if we save more. Everyone agreed saving more is the best way to boost your retirement plan.  Gregg also says not to make drastic changes to your plan, to stay the course and you will profit in the long run.

    Ben recommends buying ‘exchanged traded funds’ like the Dow Diamonds Trust (DIA) instead of mutual funds.  He says ETFs are a good way to invest in the whole market and are less expensive than funds. But Jim says ETFs for the U.S. market are too expensive right now.  He recommends and owns the MSCI Austria Index (EWO), because he thinks the Austrian market will be the best performer in Europe over the next decade. 

    Charles does not like investing in mutual funds because he says fund managers are not playing to win, but playing not to lose more than the overall market.  Jim agrees with Charles and says mutual funds are in big trouble in this country, because of the growing popularity of the less expensive ETFs.

    Dagen pointed out that ETFs are less expensive if you buy and hold them, but they do incur capital gains taxes just like stocks if you trade them often.  Whereas, mutual funds in a 401(k) do not incur capital gains when you buy or sell them.  She also says that if your employer matches a certain percent of your 401(k) contributions, you should at least contribute that amount in your plan.

    FOX on the Spot

    Charles Payne: Drug stocks rally on new FDA appointee

    Jim Rogers: China will make its currency convertible, which will hurt  the U.S. dollar

    Ben Stein: North Korea heats up conflict with U.S.

    Gregg Hymowitz: Stocks rise, bonds fall after quick fix to Iraq and North Korea conflicts

    Dagen McDowell: The New Year will ring in more arrests for corporate crooks