Today, the global water industry is a $450 billion business. Consisting of the companies operating water and wastewater networks, the global water industry accounts for up to 2% of gross domestic product (GDP). This share stands ready to rise as the surging water demand in the future and the need to upgrade and replace the existing infrastructure boost consumption and investments in the sector and thus the sector's contribution to GDP.
From whatever perspective this market is analyzed, it may be concluded that the water industry looks poised for growth. Out of nearly 70% of all water present on the planet, only 1% is drinking freshwater available for human consumption. As the world's population is growing by about 80 million people each year, the United Nations... Read more
If the old adage “you can catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than a spoonful of vinegar” is true then it is evidenced in the world of high yield investments. Investment trusts and closed end investment funds often offer higher yields then traditional stocks and other safe haven investments in an effort to attract investors. This is because these investments also come with an elevated amount of risk, the extra income is the “honey” attracting investors. In order to successfully invest in high yield trusts an extra amount of due diligence is required. Knowing how and why a trust is making money can help you avoid potentially bad investments.
Real Estate Investment Trusts, which got a lot of attention during the US financial crisis, are another... Read more
The blue chip Dow stocks led last falls rally, beating out the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq by several percentage points. The safety and dividends offered by the worlds largest companies were an attractive haven for investors growing wary of impending global slowdown. When comparing the major indexes by dividend yield, it is easy to see why the Dow performed better than its counterparts. 100% of the Dow stocks pay a dividend with an average yield of around 3% and a range of 1-5%. Of the S&P 500, about 81% of stocks pay dividends with an average yield near 2% and the dividend yields are even lower on the Nasdaq.
... Read more
Investments in stocks of food retailers have long been considered investments in a countercyclical industry which fares well during the bad times. Now, however, trends seem to be changing despite strong inflation in retail food prices. Value-obsessed consumers are trimming their grocery purchases and seeking low prices amid the economic uncertainty and rising unemployment, which is fueling competition and hurting sales. The industry is seeing price wars that are squeezing margins across the board. Still, investments in the stocks of most food retailers represent good choices for the times of market turmoil. Especially attractive are high-yielding retailers that are capturing market share in the fast-growing emerging nations, the market's future food retail giants.
The... Read more
Opportunities to earn the most competitive return often exist in foreign markets. The simplest ways for investors to tap those markets is by investing in American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
Shares of many non-US domiciled companies trade on U.S. listed exchanges and the over-the-counter market through ADRs. ADRs, issued by U.S. depositary banks, are negotiable securities that represent ownership of the securities of a non-U.S. domiciled companies. While securities underlying the ADRs can be debt and money market instruments, in most cases they are equity instruments. These equities of foreign entities represented by ADRs are called American Depositary Shares (ADS). ADRs can represent one or more shares of foreign companies or a fraction of a share. They are denominated in the... Read more
The beverages industry has proven mostly recession-resilient, thriving even when cyclical sectors face major growth headwinds. Currently, the overall sector is expanding at a steady rate, with some segments of the industry, such as carbonated drinks, becoming mature industry sectors, while others, such as sports and health drinks as well as premium spirits, finding growth opportunities around the globe. In the coming years, the industry focus and growth will shift toward emerging markets, where improvements in the populations' spending power and the trend of Westernization will drive a strong demand. Premium brands stand to benefit from this evolving trend.
MarketLine, an information firm, forecasts that the world's... Read more
This summer is starting to look pretty hot for the key coffee industry players. Industry acquisitions and spin-offs are creating new pure-plays in the coffee sector. Single-serve coffee market is booming and new entrants in this market segment are intensifying competition that is likely to squeeze margins of the key market players. Increased competition that is promising to take over market share has caused a precipitous drop in the value of the shares of some steaming coffee plays, such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR).
As regards industry acquisitions and spin-offs, Sara Lee Corp. (NYSE: SLE), a diversified foods company, has completed a sale of the majority of its North American foodservice coffee operations to The... Read more
The pet industry has flourished despite the economic adversity. The industry has grown into a multibillion dollar market that is expanding at a robust pace. The market's potential is tremendous and equity investments in the sector promise to produce generous returns over time.
The pet industry growth is driven by the buoyant pet ownership trends. According to the American Pet Products Association, almost two thirds or some 72.9 million U.S. households now own a pet, which is a record high. Similar trends are observed in the continental Europe and United Kingdom. About 70 million European households own at least one pet. Separately, some 46% or 12 million UK households have a pet. Pet ownership in emerging markets has also reached all-time highs.
Intensely... Read more
Among dividend-paying stocks, there is a small group of companies, real estate trusts (REITs), or master limited partnerships (MLPs)/income trusts that pay dividends or make distributions on a monthly basis. This form of dividend distribution can be advantageous for some investors, especially retirees, as it helps them align better their monthly income flows with monthly expenses such as rent, mortgage, or regular bills. Dividend payments on a monthly basis also allow for monthly dividend reinvestments, which increases the compounding frequency and thus the growth in investor's income streams. However, the pool of companies, REITs, and MLPs paying dividends or making cash distributions monthly is very limited. It is confined to a small number of business entities that operate in a few... Read more
The old maxim by Benjamin Franklin says that “nothing is certain but death and taxes”. As death is certain, so, it seems, is the funeral business. However, today, the $21 billion business of death in the United States faces major challenges, as improved healthcare extends the lives of a progressively aging American population. Aside from the near-term weakness due to lower mortality rates, the funeral industry has become a fragmented and highly competitive business. Still, the industry has favorable long-term growth prospects, as the aging baby-boomers enter the old age life cycle.
The death industry in the United States has flourished despite the declining mortality rates and thus the slow growth in the number of deceased persons even with a fast population growth... Read more