Our mission is quite simple. It's to use our decades of experience to sift through official corporate filings, publicly available information, and Wall Street research to come up with what we consider to be the two best investment ideas each month. One will always be a common stock. The second will be an event driven special situation. In months where a compelling special opportunity isn't available, subscribers will get two stock recommendations. This web site also offers a Model Covered Call Portfolio, which provides ideas that can be utilized to generate recurring current income. Twenty four specific recommendations a year, along with the portfolio, should prove to be a terrific investment for subscribers.
Our stock universe is the 2,000 largest publicly traded companies in the United States. The exclusion of very small companies means that we will undoubtedly miss some big winners, but the fragility of both the economy and the financial system dictate the exercise of maximum caution. Note, too, that current valuations afford us a plethora of opportunities in the large- and mid-capitalization arenas. Indeed, given a market that is still some 35% below the late 2007 highs, many high-quality equities that were too expensive are now worthy of consideration. Economic and financial realities have changed over the past few years. In this light, we will analyze and introduce the stocks of companies that we expect to prosper well into the future, almost irrespective of the domestic economy's vitality.
In the 10 years leading up to the recession that began towards the end of 2007, the U.S. economy, as measured by GDP (gross domestic product), expanded at a relatively subdued average annual rate of only 2.6%, ranging from 0.7% in 2001 to 4.4% in 1999. It's also important to note that this period includes years when the dot.com/telecom boom and the use of massive financial leverage in the housing and equity markets fueled vigorous consumer spending. Considering the federal government's astronomical budget deficit and debt load, the ongoing restructuring of the financial industry, and a consumer sector that also needs to get its own financial house in order, after sustaining huge hits to their net worth over the past few years, the domestic economy isn't likely to grow at a rapid rate in the coming several years. Absent this vigor, the U.S. stock market isn't likely perform particularly well either. To be sure, there will be periodic rallies, fueled by some better-than-expected news about one thing or another, but most will probably be followed by retreats, triggered by disappointing news about something else. The key to rebuilding investment portfolios and net worth will be astute stock picking. We're confident that we can help in this endeavor. Moreover, we can facilitate the recovery process by recommending specific strategies that will boost returns while at the same time reduce risk.