17. We are badly designed to deal with this problem: regrettably we are not the efficient species of investment theory, but ill-informed, manipulated, full of inertia, and corruptible. Only once in a blue moon – like World War II – do we perform anywhere near our theoretical capabilities and this time the enemy is amorphous and delivers its attack very, very slowly. But the stakes globally are very high indeed. We must try harder.
18. The following comments on this topic are mine personally [Jeremy Grantham] and reflect my Foundation’s portfolio (and a total lack of career risk!). These comments are based on a time horizon of 10 years and beyond. The portfolio investment implications are that investors should expect resource stocks – those with resources in the ground – to outperform over the next several decades as real prices of the resources rise. Farming and forestry, though, are at the top of the list. Serious long-term investors should have a very substantial overweighting in a resource package. I suggest for long-term investors a resource position of at least 30%. Another relative beneficiary of resource pressure is the quality group of equities. Resources are a smaller fraction of final sales than average and higher profit margins make them more resilient to margin pressures.
19. Perhaps more importantly, the resource squeeze, coupled with other growth-reducing factors (to be discussed next quarter), is likely to reduce the return from the balance of the portfolio.
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