The Sector You Need to Own for the Next 50 Yearshttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/07/01/the-sector-you-need-to-own-for-the-next-50-years.aspx Jim Royal
July 1, 2011
Investors over the last few years have seen massive commodities volatility, especially in energy. Oil has roller-coastered from 2007, with sky-high prices followed by an immense plunge a year later, only to rise to more than $100 again. High energy prices hurt economic growth, as money gets siphoned from consumers' wallets and companies offset rising costs. Are you ready for the next huge oil spike?
But what hurts your portfolio one way could also help it in another. After all, those rising costs are going into someone's pocket, and by positioning yourself correctly, it could be yours. Below, I highlight three reasons why energy has to be a significant part of your portfolio for the next half-century and offer a few companies that could capitalize on rising energy. Plus, I'll give you access to a special free report on three more stocks that will profit from $100 oil.
1. Geopolitical turmoil
Any military conflict among large oil powers not only hurts the immediate production of oil, it also hurts the long-term supply, as my Foolish colleague Dan Dzombak shows. Many times these countries never return to their former production levels.
And there's plenty of turmoil besides that of the Mideast, with major producers such as Venezuela and Russia struggling with their own instabilities. Russia has taken steps against Royal Dutch Shell and BP (NYSE: BP ) in the past, and Venezuela offers risk to investors in Harvest Natural Resources (NYSE: HNR ) , among others. All this puts consistently available supply in some doubt (See Point 2.)
2. Global supply and demand
The U.S. consumes about 25% of the world's oil production, while China is the second largest consumer, using less than half what America does. But the numbers are much more striking on a per-capita basis. The U.S. uses 12 times as much oil per capita, meaning that demand for that Western lifestyle in China will support oil prices.
3. Commodities trading
On with the countdown ...
Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
Each of these companies is a blue chip, pays a solid dividend, and has huge expertise and global operations. You probably can't go wrong with owning any of them. But that global diversity could also be problematic as competition for scarce resources heats up and oil-producing nations sometimes want to keep resources for themselves. Huge state-run companies such as Petrobras (NYSE: PBR ) and CNOOC are often partially operated for the benefit of the state, rather than shareholders. Small-cap players operating in foreign locales, such as