How to Invest in the Globe's Booming Population
The long-term outlook appears strong for agricultural commodities, fossil fuels, and metals
As the world's population balloons rapidly over the next few decades, so will demand for oil, gas, food, and all sorts of infrastructure.
The urbanization and rise of the middle class in emerging markets like
Betting on commodities by buying futures contracts directly can be very risky.
So having a core position in a fund that invests broadly in commodity-related businesses with some side positions tied specifically to agriculture and energy is probably the smartest move for the retail investor, says
Two broad-based funds that experts like, the
Water is one natural resource that analysts see as particularly attractive for the long term. In 2010, the
Water isn't traded in futures like oil or natural gas, but as with those resources, there are ways to tap in. Investing in water is largely a "thematic" strategy that can include a diverse variety of companies and sectors, from utilities and infrastructure builders to firms that conduct wastewater treatment or desalination, the process of converting seawater into drinking water by removing salt. So finding the strongest companies and those poised for growth takes some work. Strategists see growth opportunities in national and regional utility companies like
For average investors, index or exchange-traded funds probably are the easiest way to get exposure.
One water fund in existence since 2007 is the Guggenheim S&P Global Water Index ETF, which consists of more than 40 infrastructure builders, water treatment organizations, and utility companies from across the world. The fund is up 10 percent over the past year. Other ETFs, like the
What about gold as a safeguard against a weakening currency and economy?
The price has broken records several times in 2011 and, as of late November, stood at more than
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