The latest news and articles from Financial Poise, plus a new free webinar every week.
Understanding the Cause Helps to Control the Effect
Health care providers often remind patients that treating the disease is more important than treating the symptoms. (Read a great article by Diane Roberts Stoler in Psychology Today about this). This, of course, is just one example of the relationship between cause and effect.
In last week’s Financial Poise Weekly, we discussed the effect that Russia’s war on Ukraine is already having on the global food supply and, consequently, investment outlooks in agriculture and food. (For an update on the state of the US Farm sector, and where the industry is heading, read David Onion’s article Challenges and Crisis in the US Farm Sector).
Wars, like most significant geopolitical events, have both short term and long term causes. In our article, we cited a prediction made in 2010 by Susan Payne, who, at the time, was CEO of agricultural investment firm Emergent Asset Management and is now CEO of Holistic Agricultural Investments Group Ltd: “We expect to see a resource war around 2020.”
Speaking of Russia, causation resembles a Matryoshka doll: just when you think you got to the root, there is another waiting to be discovered. In other words, most causes have causes of their own. A principal cause of increasing food prices? More and more food shortages. A principal cause of food shortages? An ever increasing world population.
Demographics Are Destiny
The French philosopher Auguste Comte is often quoted as having said, “Demography is destiny.” Long term investors must understand this. If you haven't read them, we commend you to 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World by Jennifer D. Sciubba, The Great Boom Ahead by Harry S. Dent (he has later books that cover the same ground, but read this one first), The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich (despite its predictions not having come true), Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (you can watch the television adaptation on YouTube), and The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman.
Our sister publication, DailyDAC, recently added a new element to its weekly Distressed Deal Data email service. In addition to curating opportunities to buy distressed businesses, assets, and real estate, the service now includes buy/sell/hold recommendations regarding publicly traded stocks that have suffered recent dramatic declines. You can preview several recent issues: April 27th, April 20th, April 13th.
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