Email of the day (5)
Comment of the Day

February 07 2011

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day (5)

On choosing one investment for a 10-year lockup, before going to jail:
"I'd like to share with you some interesting investment ideas, heard last week. There was [a] Russia Forum here in Moscow, and one of its panels, "Global Investment Outlook: Where Is the Money and Want Are the Risks?" was moderated by Marc Faber. In the end, he asked his fellow panelists, "If tomorrow you were supposed to go to jail for 10 years and were allowed to make only one investment, which you would not be able to touch for this period, what would you choose?"

"The answers are below,

"Nouriel Roubini - basket of western multinational stocks which benefit from emerging markets, Nassim Taleb - land in his native Lebanon (every political party in Lebanon respects property rights, he added), Scott Minerd, CIO, Guggenheim Partners - art (unlike gold, art was never confiscated, Faber added; though I would add, if you don't have communists or Nazis coming to power), Maria Gordon, emerging markets equity portfolio manager, PIMCO - large high-return emerging market stocks, Russel Napier, strategist, CLSA - basket of Asian currencies, Hugh Hendry, CEO, Eclectica Asset Management - tobacco stocks, Faber himself - gold.

"While it can be said that, to some extent, some experts talked their books, combined, this seems to be quite a good portfolio, what do you think (let's consider Taleb's investment simply as land)?

"Could you please comment on their choice (we think of writing an article on this issue), do you consider investments above appropriate for 10-year period? What would be you personal choice?"

David Fuller's view I am amused by the fantasy of going to jail for 10 years, but Marc Faber does know the financial community better than most people.

It is certainly a diversified portfolio. Maria Gordon (large high-return emerging market stocks) and Nouriel Roubini (western multinational stocks which benefit from emerging markets) have chosen two of Fullermoney's secular equity themes. They would be my first choices, in that order.

Gold is also a Fullermoney secular theme, but will it do as well over the next 10 years, in percentage terms, as it has over the last decade? I doubt it, and it has no yield. I like the basket of Asian currencies but these are unlikely to outperform equities over the time period. Land depends on location and there are annual tax implications. Art performance over a decade is entirely dependent on one's ability to anticipate the next fashion trend. Tobacco stocks have yield but are otherwise a dreary choice.

Close to being on a par with my first two choices mentioned above, I would also cite industrial metals, nuclear energy and technology shares as suitable for the 10-year lockup.

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