All successful people know that the easy way is rarely the “right” way … and that the right way is rarely easy.Think of a time when you tried taking a shortcut in life, business or investing. You probably didn’t wind up at the pot of gold like you envisioned, right?But I also know you’re constantly bombarded — in this new era of internet and social media — with lures down the “easy” path.It’s a troubling change from how things used to be.You probably grew up in the era when your best friend is the guy who told you the truth, not what he thought you wanted to hear.The era when mentors and apprenticeships took you from novice to expert on your chosen path to success.The era when doing the right thing filled you with pride and self-worth at the end of a long, hard day.I know I did … and it’s helped make me the investor I am today.My first best friend was my dad, and he boldly told me at a young age that “life owes you nothing.”That lesson led me to the first $1,000 I ever made — and the sweetest.My dad taught me how to mow the lawn. Not long after, I set out mowing lawns for my neighbors.$10 at a time … for 100 total jobs for three neighbors the summer I turned 13.God, what I’d give to go back to those simple times.Nowadays, I worry about a lot of the same things I’m sure you do…Inflation — holy cow!This bear market … in stocks and bonds, this time!The 2023 recession that everyone knows is coming.These are only a few of the concerns my colleagues grappled with at a company retreat we just had in Nicaragua.These worries are all real, whether you’re a multimillionaire investor or just starting out, and should be at the top of mind when you make any investment decision.But you also can’t let your worries ruin your wealth. You must act on facts, not fear.And I can show you exactly how to do that.Listen, if you’re tired of trying to find “signal” in the noise of the 24/7 media machine…Tired of worrying about inflation, the bear market and a looming recession…And tired of all constant false promises of the “easy” road to riches…You’re not alone. And more importantly, you’ve found the right place for people who think like you.Today, I’ll show you the path I took to build my own fortune — through systematic investing in only the top-quality stocks in the market.

Stock Returns, The “Green Zone” Way

I’ve been walking a path I call the “Green Zone way” for two decades now.And I’m proud to now share this path with tens of thousands of investors, business owners and savers…These are good-intentioned, hard-working, open-minded people who are 100% committed to living a successful life, even if they don’t have all the “answers” when it comes to navigating the economy and markets. (Here’s a little “secret”: No one has all the answers.)In fact, the Green Zone way isn’t about having … or pretending to have … all the answers. It’s built on a foundation of asking the right questions.If I could paint a picture for you…I believe the typical person who finds his or her way to my community is the person who asks good questions:

  • Am I really making progress or still just running a rat race?
  • Is there a better way that I haven’t yet tried?
  • Where do I start?
  • How do I build lasting wealth?
  • If I can’t trust what I read in the news … what should I do?
  • What truly drives stock returns?

As I said, asking the right questions is the foundation upon which the Green Zone community is built.Twenty years ago, I was asking all these questions and then some. I was so hungry for success, I could’ve “eaten a horse,” as my grandmother used to say!But asking these questions is what ultimately led to the Green Zone way and my own personal success in the markets.Particularly the question: “What truly drives stock returns?”I’ll tell you this … it’s not the news flow.Have you ever pulled up in the morning and seen a headline like:“Stocks Up on Fed Easing Expectations.”And then, when you checked again after lunch, the headline switched to something like:“Stocks Down on Inflation Concerns.”Of course you have … the media does this sort of thing day in and day out!They’re in the business of selling advertising — not telling you what you should actually do about the news flow they publish.I find it heartbreaking how so many good folks get suckered into that game … doing their best to “educate themselves” and be an informed market participant, only to watch their brokerage account get chopped to pieces.There is a better way.You get there by asking the right questions and learning what truly drives stock returns.

What Truly Drives Stock Returns

As soon as I figured out what truly drives stocks returns, I never saw the market the same way again.I learned how to unemotionally size up a stock’s momentum…I learned that — perhaps counterintuitively — smaller companies tend to outperform larger ones, and low-volatility stocks outperform high-volatility ones.I learned which valuation metrics are most predictive of future returns…I learned how to judge the quality of a company’s balance sheet and profitability.In short, I learned which factors actually drive market-beating stock returns.And I never again struggled the way I did in those early years when I mistakenly thought I could find all the “answers” in the news flow.This series of epiphanies ultimately led me to where I am today … and gave me the calling to build the data-driven stock rating model I now share with the 77,871 members of my “Green Zone” tribe.It’s called the Stock Power Ratings system. It essentially “X-rays” a company’s fundamentals and stock price movements to assign a rating between 0 and 100.It considers 75 individual metrics across six proven drivers of market-beating stock returns.And my research shows that stocks rated 80 or higher — which we call “Strong Bullish” — triple the performance of the market on average.Anyone with a subscription to Money & Markets can use it… And you can go here to start putting in your favorite tickers and see how they rank.Next week, I’ll give you a more proper introduction to my stock rating model.I’ll also tell you a funny story about the two hedge fund managers I first cut my teeth with … and why I suspect one of them is now divorced, while the other is likely swinging in the same hammock we had in the office way back when.I credit the hammock-swinging trader with my ability to put facts over fear … and wealth over worry.I think you’ll find the story eye-opening, to say the least.Until next time!To good profits,Adam O'Dell's SignatureAdam O’DellEditor, Money & Markets

P.S. This is one of the biggest stories on my radar right now.It involves the largest untapped energy source in the world.This source is worth trillions of dollars … and makes massive oil fields look tiny in comparison.We’re still in the early stages, but this breakthrough is set to turn the global energy market on its head.Click here for more information about this revolutionary new renewable tech (and the one company behind it all).

The Most Important Move You Can Make Before 2023

I don’t know how much help we’re going to get from the broader market in 2023.I expect this bear market to last another 6 to 12 months, so making money will be an exercise in following trading rules and identifying stocks that are bucking the trend and moving higher.But there’s also more to building wealth than trading. Before you can profitably trade, you need capital. And ideally, you’ll hold that capital in a tax-advantaged account like an IRA or a 401(k) so that you’ll be free to take short-term profits without fears of a nasty tax bill.The IRS just made it a lot easier to save in the new year. The maximum you can contribute to a 401(k) just got a $2,000 bump to $22,500. And if you’re 50 or older, you can set aside a whopping $30,000.This is just your salary deferral, by the way. If your employer offers matching, that could potentially be worth thousands more.And speaking of that…Banyan Edge is made up of some of the best traders I’ve ever met. But no one on this team can promise you an instant 100% return with no risk. We’re good … but we’re not that good!Yet that’s what you get when your employer offers 401(k) matching. It’s an instant 100% return with no risk. You can hold the balance in a money market or stable value fund. You don’t have to have anything to do with stocks. And yet you double your money the second the cash hits the account.Over the length of your relationship with us, we hope to earn you hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of percent in returns. But again, we can’t double your money in a heartbeat with no risk. Only your employer can do that if they offer 401(k) matching.And then there’s taxes.If you’re in the 22% tax bracket, you save a quick $22 in taxes for every $100 you contribute. Your 22% “return” on top of the 100% matching return gets you to a quick 122% return … in an instant … without taking any risk whatsoever.Your investment returns — the risky part — are really an afterthought at this point. You’re starting the game already up 122%, or potentially even more if you’re in a higher tax bracket.Follow our gurus. These guys know what they’re doing. But don’t neglect your humble retirement plan. And if at all even remotely possible, try to max it out for the full $22,500 or $30,000, depending on your age. Keep it in a money market fund within the 401(k) if you’re nervous about the market. We’ll figure out where to allocate it later!

Charles' signatureCharles SizemoreChief Editor, Banyan Edge Turn Your Images On