“Tom” said something that reinforced my belief that a bottom to this bear market is near. And it was music to a contrarian’s ear. What he said was: “The tone of our phone calls has completely changed. The emotion in the calls we get isn’t greed anymore, it is fear.”

Who is Tom? He works on a sales team that sells financial products, and he talks to investors all day long.

The old saying that the market likes to climb a wall of worry is going to come into play over the coming months. If the amount of fear in the market is any indication, that wall has reached new heights and the climb could be long and steady.

Because the climb will be long and steady, there is no need to dive head first into the market right now, but it is certainly time to start dipping your toe back in the water and scooping up extremely undervalued stocks. Two of my favorites are Chattem (CHTT) and AT&T (T). Both should do extremely well over the next year, regardless of what the rest of the market is doing. Even better, when the market starts going up, they will climb that wall along with it.

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Inspired by his high school economics teacher, Rick Pendergraft fell in love with the markets at an early age. He entered his first investing competition at 17, and opened his first brokerage account before he finished college. At the age of 23, on the third options trade he had ever placed, Rick turned $1,800 into $22,000 in less than a week, when the company he bought became the target of a takeover. He admits it was a stroke of luck, but it was a memorable education as to the leverage that options can provide. After a ten year career in banking, Rick decided to pursue trading full-time. To get his foot in the door, he started out in the sales department at Schaeffer's Investment Research. It was not long before his talent was recognized and he was invited to apprentice under Bernie Schaeffer, one of the top options traders in the world. Rick thrived in his new position and twice received the award for "Top Trader."Rick has developed a loyal following of readers who are grateful for his timely warnings and profitable advice. He is widely recognized as a market expert and has been frequently quoted by Reuters, BusinessWeek, Forbes, USA Today, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Rick's primary focus is on identifying short and intermediate term rising and falling trends in the major market sectors. His analysis is based on technical factors along with indicators of market sentimentRick lives near Delray Beach, FL with his wife and three children.