Focus on Long-Term Food Trends, Not Short-Term Factors, Reese Says

One of the keys to successful investing is knowing the difference between long-term trends and short-term disruptions. That’s what Validea CEO John Reese says, and he says investors who can do that can take advantage of some opportunities in food-related stocks right now.

While food prices are down globally over the past year, the factors pushing them lower – Russia’s embargo of US products, China’s slowdown, bird flu fears, and the strengthening dollar – are all relatively short-term factors, Reese says in his latest Forbes.com column. Longer-term trends point toward higher food prices, however, he contends. Growing world population, increasing middle classes of emerging countries, stressed water supplies, and climate issues all should put upward pressure on food prices over the long run, he says, referencing some of the work that top strategist Jeremy Grantham has done on this issue.

“Grantham sees all of this leading to higher food prices over the long-term. While food companies’ profits depend on a number of factors, higher food prices should in general help food producers,” Reese says. “Investors, however, have been more focused on the shorter-term issues I mentioned above, causing many food-related stocks to fall in recent months. That should be creating long-term opportunities, and investors who can identify fundamentally sound food stocks have the chance to make some nice gains over the long haul.”

Reese examines a handful of food stocks that his Guru Strategies, investment models that are based on the approaches of Warren Buffett and other great investors, are high on right now, and which could benefit from the long-term food industry trends. Among them: Fresh Del Monte Produce.