I love James Bond. I also love that the film series has generated some investment ideas, which may seem odd if you think I'm talking about a tricked-out Aston Martin that fires missiles. I'm not.
In fact, the villain in Quantum of Solace offers a Foolish investment strategy in plain English. One of his goals is to control Bolivia's water supply. That's when it hit me: The villain goes to such great lengths to control fresh water because it's just like oil – the world doesn't have an endless supply. There are secular movements afoot that could restrict water supply going forward, such as population growth, with some estimates putting annual increases at 57 million.
So it occurred to me that I could become a super-villain super-investor if I could figure out how to profit from a world where water might become scarce.
Rubbing my hands together, I hunted for desalination providers. Consolidated Water Company
On the larger side, a French company called Veolia
As Fools know, sometimes it pays to invest in the companies that provide the nuts and bolts for other businesses. Somebody has to provide the technology for desalination plants to work, so that's why Energy Recovery
Purification technology is another big milestone for liquid-driven villains. Calgon Carbon Corporation
Even villains must diversify
For those not ready to make the pure-play leap into super-villainy, there are more diversified alternatives. Heck, even General Electric
The takeaway is that there are plenty of ways to take advantage of water scarcity. Small-cap loving Fools can find opportunity in this sector, while more conservative investors can scoop up diversified plays. If pressed, I'd personally go for Calgon. Purification of multiple liquids for consumption is built-in diversification, and I like the financials.
Of course, Fools should engage all the resources of Her Majesty's Secret Service when investigating companies with complex technologies like these. A lack of due diligence can derail even the most evil of plans.