Email of the day (2)
Comment of the Day

March 04 2011

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day (2)

On commodity shares:
"You mentioned today that commodity shares are a better way to invest than the commodities themselves. Can you or the collective advise some of the commodity companies you/they think have the best potential. Thanks again for the wonderful service. The calm way you can evaluate the situation at crisis time is invaluable."

David Fuller's view Thanks for the feedback. Regarding "calm", I've had lots of practice!

In markets, there always seems to be a crisis somewhere. People understandably recoil in fear on seeing a crisis because it is human nature to survive and protect. It may seem counterintuitive but a crisis is also an opportunity in markets, particularly if you always have some cash in reserve.

Think of the market as a ride on an elevator, the direction of which you monitor but not control. If the door of opportunity opens and people are panicking everywhere, the human instinct is to flee but that is probably the best buying opportunity. Conversely, when the door opens onto a raucous party in full swing, as an investor should you join the fray or head quietly for the exit? I would prefer to walk.

You mentioned yesterday's Audio comment on commodities. To elaborate, I have often pointed out that with the exception of monetary metals, commodities were never intended to be an asset class, so I only trade them but do not wish to hold long positions when price rises are contributing to inflationary pressures, let alone food riots. I also agree with Warren Buffett's point, detailed in the transcript posted yesterday.

To summarise, he defined buying a commodity as speculation because it did not return anything to you, and the hope was that someone else would pay you more for it. However in buying the commodity share, you hope that it will succeed in increasing profits, thereby enhancing the value of the company, which will be in a position to pay back some of that revenue in the form of dividends.

Regarding commodity (resources) shares, these remain a Fullermoney secular theme, frequently reviewed by Eoin.

Among agricultural-related shares we particularly like fertiliser companies Potash, Mosaic, Agrium and Yara International. The latter has pulled back to an interesting level if it can find support near the rising 200-day moving average and the January 2010 high. If you use the Search facility in the menu shown upper-left, you will find multiple entries for these shares. DuPont, while described as a global chemical and life sciences company, is very active in the agriculture industry and as a supplier for seeds has taken market share from Monsanto over the last year. Despite a very strong market performance it still yields 3%.

The miners have long been among Fullermoney's favourite resources shares and several of them are in my personal top-10 investment account. Since July 2010 I have been adding to my positions in uranium, and more recently, rare earths miners. While speculative in terms of valuations, the former are being transformed by the need for reliable, clean energy which will steadily increase the demand for uranium. Rare earths metals have become indispensable for many technology components, from consumer goods to windmills and missile guidance systems. (Please use the site Search facility - I suggest starting with single word searches - for previous items on these subjects.) Meanwhile, here are some recent links to commodity share coverage which you might have found:

Fertiliser shares
Gold shares
Mid-tier iron-ore companies
Copper miners
LNG pipelines

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