3 ETFs To “FEED” Your Portfolio

grain pricesTony Sagami: “Are you talking to Jesus AGAIN, daddy?” I asked. While my Sunday school teacher said jealousy was wrong, as a young boy I was still very jealous of Jesus.

You see, my vegetable farmer father was a wonderful, kind, loving man who was extremely quiet. He loved his children dearly, but it wasn’t uncommon for him to go a day or two without speaking to us.

He was definitely a man of few words.

My father was also a deeply religious man and a big believer in prayer. I don’t recall him kneeling when he prayed. He would just tightly close his eyes, bow his head, and move his lips silently.

“Are you talking to Jesus AGAIN, daddy?”

“Yes, I am,” he said.

“What are you guys talking about?”

“I asked him to let my crops and children grow big and healthy,” he answered.

My father was a simple man with simple needs. He didn’t bother Jesus for material things. All he wanted a good harvest so he could take care of his family.

It sounds foolish now, but those prayers made me jealous of Jesus. I really thought my father spent more time talking to Jesus than he did to me.

Nonetheless, both his prayers were answered.

His three children are all successful professionals. My brother is a top executive at Nordstrom, my sister is one of the most respected occupational therapists in the country, and me … well, I like to think that I’ve done OK, too.

While there were some lean years on the farm and my father never made much money, we always had food to eat. I don’t know what it is like to sleep on an empty stomach, but I can imagine how desperate I would be to feed my children if we ever faced a food emergency.

Humans have faced food shortages and price spikes for centuries. As recently as 2008, a global crisis triggered riots in 30 different countries including Haiti, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, Senegal and Bangladesh.

Poor, urban residents of emerging markets can spend up to half of their income on food. When food prices jump, they can quickly run out of money to feed their families.

Food as an Investment

What investments will perform best over the next decade? Nobody knows for sure, but I absolutely believe natural resources/commodities will be high on the list.

Many people — including me — believe food will be one of the most lucrative long-term investments you can make. Here’s why.

The sad fact is a large part of the world’s population goes to bed hungry each night. Josette Sheean, the executive director of the United Nations Food Program, call it a “silent tsunami.”

More disturbing: The problem is getting worse, not better. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that 1.02 billion people are “undernourished.”


Oxfam International, a global humanitarian relief organization, is warning that the price of staple foods like corn and rice will more than double in the next 20 years. Growing demand is outpacing production capacity.

“The food system is buckling under intense pressure from climate change, ecological degradation, population growth, rising energy prices, rising demand for meat and dairy products, and competition for land from biofuels, industry, and urbanization. Feeding the world will get harder still.”

The food problem is only going to get worse. The United Nations expects world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050.

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