The year of the rat - couldn't come at a better time.

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yearofrat2.jpgThe Year of the Rat is often associated with "a time of hard work and renewal in many ways," and most would agree that is what we need this year. I believe we will see many positive things over the horizon -but first we have to get through some rough waters. That brings me to technology. I like Tech, but not Tech stocks right now. I know they look real tempting here and after Microsoft's announcement, Cisco's earnings call and disappointment in Google's results - the whole sector is down. Who would have thought you could buy Apple and Google at these prices a couple of months ago? These are not going to lead the momentum in the first half and after the Goldman Sachs tech conference later this month, watch out as all the tech investors (big funds) unload the rest of their positions and get in the early cycle recovery stocks (retail, banks, financial). Last November, Chambers said the next few quarters are going to be 'lumpy' and this week he gave guidance of just 10% growth for the current quarter. The growth in B2B this year will come from applications and services. Hardware-focused suppliers will continue to suffer declining margins and channel issues. Look at Motorola shedding its handset business. Dell is focused on growing their services to compete with HP and IBM. From the consumer perspective, Apple's MacWorld and introduction of their new iPod and iPhone failed to excite and it has fallen significantly over the past month. Content and social networking growth will continue to drive Web 2.0 adoption among consumers and will spill over into the enterprise. CBS and Facebook recently teamed up to offer NCAA March Madness coverage. CBS, like Microsoft, needs to figure out how to monetize these types of deals. They haven't sold any ads tied to this site yet. According to a Wall Street article, they only sold about $10 million last year related to their online digital advertising, TV is still king. This will be a good year for those who are resourceful and well prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that arise. The Rat is a courageous, clever and an adaptable "person" - just don't take the bait.