Being up 3.5 percent so far in 2015 is a huge win for Jamie Dlugosch.

It doesn’t sound like much for a portfolio. But, compared to so many others, he’s on top.

“To be up 3.5 percent at a time when [others] are down 15 percent is great,” he says. “2015 has been particularly difficult for not just individual investors, but professional investors.”

Dlugosch, a financial analyst, editor and former President and CEO of Al Frank Asset Management, says that with slow markets that are slow to recover, where single digit returns are the norm, the old ways of investing must go.

In 2015, most investors are seeing single-digit gains.

Dlugosch says if you’re looking to beat that next year, you’ve got to go beyond traditional investing.

How? Try his four can’t-miss tips:

  1. MANAGE YOUR FEAR.

“Minimize fear by maximizing your gains,” he says. “If you were paralyzed by fear in August to September, you missed October.”

For example, many get scared when some stocks plummet. Case in point: the Men’s Warehouse Inc. (NYSE: MW) drop earlier this year—an astonishing one-day drop.

But if that was all you saw, says Dlugosch, you missed the point. Instead, look for the opportunities in selling short.

  1. KNOW THY P/E GAP.

Instead of looking at the stock, or the market, look at the valuation.

“Markets are inefficient and will get pricing incorrect,” Dlugosch says. “Instead, brush up on your understanding of fundamentals and watch that gap.”

Jamie Dlugosch explains the P/E Gap.

“You don’t need to be more complicated than that,” he says. If it’s big, pick it up with a put. Then, when earnings come out and the stock sees that gap shrink, take some profits.

  1. WATCH THY CALENDAR.

Most positive returns happen October to April. The rest of the year, returns are generally slow.

“I’m not fond of generalities, but ‘Sell in May’ is a cliché that can put money in your bank” Dlugosch says.

Don’t sell everything in April and sit on the sidelines, but don’t go away. Stay engaged and informed.

“All waves, when you’re surfing, come to an end, and you have to wait for the next set,” he says.

Don’t forget to watch the calendar for earnings reports, as well. Again, stay very informed.

  1. DON’T FEAR SHORT-TERM SELLING

“When evaluations matter, they matter at both the long side and the short side,” he says.

Stocks can—and often do—go down. So, why not look for those as well as the ones that go up?

Dlugosch suggests put options here.

“The option market was created for people to hedge their portfolios,” he states.

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