25 Investments For Doomsday

2/8/2012 2:16 PM ET

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

The market's chaos cowboys specialize in playing short-term stock moves based on long-term threats. Here's a look at 12 terrifying trends and investments that tap into them.

Plan now for "a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure" warns hedge fund guru Barton Biggs in his bestseller "Wealth, War and Wisdom." "Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food. . . . It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson."

Also think about apocalyptic films like "Mad Max" and "The Day After Tomorrow." Stock an arsenal with guns and ammo, Biggs recommends: "A few rounds over the approaching brigands heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage." Yes, that's how the "Final Days of Earth" look to the world's leading doomsday capitalist.

Biggs is no left-wing environmentalist. He joined Morgan Stanley about the same time I did. Stayed three decades. As Morgan's chief global strategist, Biggs made Institutional Investor magazine's All-America Research Team 10 times. SmartMoney called him the "premier prognosticator on the international scene and a mover of markets from Argentina to Hong Kong." Today he runs Traxis Partners, a successful hedge fund.

Biggs invests money for the super-rich, guiding them on how to invest today, as well as how to stockpile wealth and assets in preparation for a "breakdown of the civilized infrastructure." Biggs is a textbook doomsday capitalists, one of Wall Street's geniuses capable of seeing and predicting the future while outguessing a world of myopic short-term traders.

Do economics point to chaos?

Yet, Biggs sees the world much like anthropologist Jared Diamond, author of "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," the guy who tells us that "one of the disturbing facts of history is that so many civilizations collapse." That many "civilizations share a sharp curve of decline," beginning "only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power." Yes, around 2020.

So how can average Main Street investors build a winning portfolio? Start by thinking about Mad Max and Swiss Family Robinson, then add a positive spin to Diamond's 12-part analysis of the historical collapse of civilizations. Mix in the doomsday capitalist short-term strategy. But should you ignore future consequences because you know you won't be around later, or hope new solutions will emerge through new technologies?

/*

Well folks, if Biggs can successfully invest for super-rich clients who are preparing their well-stocked farming compounds for the "collapse of the civilization," you can, too.

Start by picking some blue-chip stocks that fit Diamond's 12-part "collapse equation." The author warns that throughout history politicians routinely fail to plan or act in time to avoid a collapse. But this time, maybe, just maybe, our profit-making capitalist giants will finally wake up to Adam Smith's vision and protect both their own self-interest and the public interest, thus reversing the historical trend into collapse.

Here are a dozen areas for further exploration:

1. Food

Stocks:Syngenta (SYT, news) and Monsanto (MON, news)

The United Nations calls the global food crisis a "silent tsunami." Two billion people, mostly poor, depend on fish and other wild foods for protein. Their supplies have "collapsed or are in steep decline," forcing use of costly animal proteins. The rise in food prices is making it worse for billions living below poverty levels.

In "The End of Plenty," National Geographic warns "synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation, supercharged by genetically engineered seeds" are failing. A joint World Bank/UN study concluded that the immense production increases brought about by science and technology the past 30 years have failed to improve food access for many of the world's poor. Modern techniques have led to farming that's "destructive of the soil, the environment and us," Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, tells Time magazine.

2. Farmland

Funds:Ceres Partners, Chess Capital Partners

Crop soils are "being carried away by water and wind erosion at rates between 10 to 40 times the rates of soil formation," Diamond warns in "Collapse." With forests, the soil-erosion rate is "between 500 and 10,000 times" the replacement rate, he estimates -- a trend accelerated by today's 100,000-acre megafires.

Ceres and Chess are hedge funds that own many small farms.

Additional stocks mentioned in this article: Kimberly-Clark (KMB, news), International Paper (IP, news) and DuPont (DD, news).

More from MarketWatch:

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23CommentsNewestOldestBestWorstControversial 12  GreatScott171 hour ago

Have to echo Northgalus2002 on this one.  Aside from dwindling resources (including money), and what with all the pollution and the chemical crap that gets dumped in or eventually makes its way to our oceans and our skies, not to mention the various international leaders who'd probably like to be remembered as the one(s) who destroyed the earth [hello? who's going to be left to remember you, you Omnipotent Destroyer?], I don't give this planet much more than the next few generations of us before it calls it quits.  For what we doeth to it it will most surely repay...

 

    3    1ReportSpamT. Weaver1 hour ago

And these people are listening to Jared Diamond WHY...?  The man isn't even reliable as an anthropologist, much less an expert on resources and economy.

    4    1ReportSpampoorman75701 hour agonorthgalus 2002 say's Wow, way to make my day!  All I will say is if civilization collapses and the only ones left alive are survivalists and gun nuts, I'll take my chances in the next world, thank you very much!I say why wait.    6    2ReportSpamNorthgalus20022 hours agoWow, way to make my day!  All I will say is if civilization collapses and the only ones left alive are survivalists and gun nuts, I'll take my chances in the next world, thank you very much!    12    6ReportSpamTarzan6462 hours agoThe second amendment protects your right to own guns. It says nothing about ammunition. Eventually, the progressives will clue in on this, and expect some day for there to be a special tax on ammunition, they will claim because lead is poisionous. A $20 or $50 tax PER BULLET, would effectively eliminate the reason for anyone to own a gun. If you own a gun, it might be a good idea to buy a couple of boxes of ammo each month, until you have a supply you are comfortable with.    14    4ReportSpamTarzan6462 hours agoIf you feel the need to invest in metals, buy pre-1965 dimes, quarters, and half dollars, Peace and Morgan dollars, and silver war nickels. Buy the "scrap" ones, not the nice collectible ones, you want to buy for silver content. Gold is touted as protecting your money, but silver will do the same, it's easier to buy, it's much cheaper, and in a worse case scenerio, no one will have change for a gold coin if you want to buy a loaf of bread. In the worse case scenerio, lead will be the most valuable metal. With ammo you can hunt, defend yourself, or even barter. Ammo, in this case, would be much more valuable than gold or silver.     15    1ReportSpamTarzan6463 hours agoWe will know when "doomsday" is imminent, because when the US government realizes the end is near, all street drugs will be made legal. A constantly doped up populace is easy to control. Those of you who are desperate for legal pot, so you can stay high all the time are idiots, willingly putting your own head on the chopping block.     9    9ReportSpamxuan hehe3 hours agoAnyone know any age dating site can be better ?age is nothing but just a number.My husband and me both think so ,He is almost 10year older than me .i met him via~~--Age'LessM​ing​​​​​​​​​​​le .COM~~ a nice place for younger women and oldermen, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other,maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends...i saw the ads on tv , i love it !=== hen it all comes down paper money and stocks will be worthless. Think internet gone,bank records gone ect. Gold and silver coins will still be worth something as they have been  for thousands of years. Guns and bullets will be worth a lot also. If you are really worried about all this ( I am ) then start stockpiling  staples that have long shelf life like beans,rice,spice's,s​​alt,pasta ect . All these things were coin of the realm long before we had stock markets.    3    10ReportSpamurlemmings3 hours agoCurse of Capitalism is coming home to roost. Capitalism is dead which is behind poverty, hunger, illiteracy, homelessness, joblessness, environmental destruction, all the other kinds of unethical and immoral dealings.The world will be better of without Capitalistic exploitation and blood sucking. Most of the Capitalistic institutions are controlled by the greedy zionists and their zionist supporters. There are limits of dissent in a society dedicated to the pursuit of profits...    10    57ReportSpamSmeado3 hours agoI'm with most of the people here. If you're really worried about a "doomsday" (and I'm not any time soon), ammunition is your best investment. You can get what you need, and protect what you have. Without it, every other investment is a gamble.    37    2ReportSpampoorman75704 hours agoWhen it all comes down paper money and stocks will be worthless. Think internet gone,bank records gone ect. Gold and silver coins will still be worth something as they have been  for thousands of years. Guns and bullets will be worth a lot also. If you are really worried about all this ( I am ) then start stockpiling  staples that have long shelf life like beans,rice,spice's,s​alt,pasta ect . All these things were coin of the realm long before we had stock markets.    32    1ReportSpamstayinginformed5 hours agoOverpopulation causes wars. The book War, Wealth and Wisdon is really well written and so true. The history details would be forgotten, classroom books are talking about battles, not about why and how it all happened and impacted people. I checked with my family and details in the book happened to my own grandparents (we learned about concentration camps, but not about Hitler stealing money from banks etc.). The problem is that the farmland already went up a lot, rich are always ahead (that is why they are rich). Last price I checked in our area was 2 million USD, so that is not price for working people. I hope that somebody in politics will have common sense and will have the courage to do what is necessary, but not popular. But also who will be sensitive enough to maintain balance. Not easy task for anyone. There is still too much ideology in politics and not enough common sense. My grandparents survived two World Wars, one better thanks to a farm. The article  and book is right. But now we have nuclear power, scary...And environment? Listen to some of our politicians - environment protection is "heretic" word. The garbage is really berried in the ocean? I see the map of the garbage dumps in ocean and I am shocked. How is our environment not important? It is so much cancer here and nobody is asking WHY? Should not that be a subject at elementary schools? Because the lack of knowledge about clean water and food is scary...Shortcuts are not healthy, just profitable for someone...    14    3ReportSpamold man 766 hours ago

@ oldlady63

You are right on the over population. I commented on that subject a few days ago. We shipped all manufacturing jobs over seas. The construction trade is down both for infrastructure and building. No matter how you look at it we have more people then work for them. What I found strange is no one wants' to talk about it.

    24    3ReportSpamFRED5236 hours agothe GREAT DEPRESSION continues ,there never was a recovery    24    5ReportSpamvictum of the times15 hours agoThey are just looking for schills!Money won't mean chit when TSHTF.Bullets will still have an effect on things,however!    15    1ReportSpamDirtygirl217 hours agoThe self fulfilling prophecy and, or history always repeats itself.    13    2ReportSpamdam tired of this18 hours ago

Buddyboy,

 

Not the sky, just the stock market.

    8    2ReportSpamBuddyboy_418 hours ago

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!  ZZZzzzz.

    12    1ReportSpamdam tired of this18 hours ago

Talk about a shyster sales pitch!  These are the stocks he's pitching to his rich clients or should I say dumping on his rich clients. 

 

Folks, If/when that doomsday scenario strikes, the last place you want your money is in the stock market:  Does anyone really think that the stock brokers are going to be sitting at their desks buying and selling stocks for their wealthy or not so wealthy clients?  More likely they'll be heading for the door, making sure they are one of the survivors.

    29    1ReportSpamFactsandLogic19 hours ago

So are we supposed to buy the stocks mentioned or not buy the stocks?  What the .....

What is the point of this article?

 

Of course none of this is new.  The end of the world, overpopulation, famine, and on and on and on have been predicted over and over again for decades or even centuries.  Naturally we are closer to the end of the world then ever before,  LOL!!!!

 

And if you think having a garden will save you or owning a gun will save you think again.  All one has to do is wait for you to tend your garden and end your life right there.  Resist you say?  Well how about burning your house down at 2 am.  There will always be someone more brutal than you.

 

So what was the ppoint agian?

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Well folks, if Biggs can successfully invest for super-rich clients who are preparing their well-stocked farming compounds for the "collapse of the civilization," you can, too.

Start by picking some blue-chip stocks that fit Diamond's 12-part "collapse equation." The author warns that throughout history politicians routinely fail to plan or act in time to avoid a collapse. But this time, maybe, just maybe, our profit-making capitalist giants will finally wake up to Adam Smith's vision and protect both their own self-interest and the public interest, thus reversing the historical trend into collapse.

Here are a dozen areas for further exploration:

Stocks:Syngenta (SYT, news) and Monsanto (MON, news)

The United Nations calls the global food crisis a "silent tsunami." Two billion people, mostly poor, depend on fish and other wild foods for protein. Their supplies have "collapsed or are in steep decline," forcing use of costly animal proteins. The rise in food prices is making it worse for billions living below poverty levels.

In "The End of Plenty," National Geographic warns "synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation, supercharged by genetically engineered seeds" are failing. A joint World Bank/UN study concluded that the immense production increases brought about by science and technology the past 30 years have failed to improve food access for many of the world's poor. Modern techniques have led to farming that's "destructive of the soil, the environment and us," Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, tells Time magazine.

Funds:Ceres Partners, Chess Capital Partners

Crop soils are "being carried away by water and wind erosion at rates between 10 to 40 times the rates of soil formation," Diamond warns in "Collapse." With forests, the soil-erosion rate is "between 500 and 10,000 times" the replacement rate, he estimates -- a trend accelerated by today's 100,000-acre megafires.

Ceres and Chess are hedge funds that own many small farms.

Additional stocks mentioned in this article: Kimberly-Clark (KMB, news), International Paper (IP, news) and DuPont (DD, news).

More from MarketWatch:

Sign in with your Windows Live ID, or create a new one.

Have to echo Northgalus2002 on this one.  Aside from dwindling resources (including money), and what with all the pollution and the chemical crap that gets dumped in or eventually makes its way to our oceans and our skies, not to mention the various international leaders who'd probably like to be remembered as the one(s) who destroyed the earth [hello? who's going to be left to remember you, you Omnipotent Destroyer?], I don't give this planet much more than the next few generations of us before it calls it quits.  For what we doeth to it it will most surely repay...

 

And these people are listening to Jared Diamond WHY...?  The man isn't even reliable as an anthropologist, much less an expert on resources and economy.

@ oldlady63

You are right on the over population. I commented on that subject a few days ago. We shipped all manufacturing jobs over seas. The construction trade is down both for infrastructure and building. No matter how you look at it we have more people then work for them. What I found strange is no one wants' to talk about it.

Buddyboy,

 

Not the sky, just the stock market.

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!  ZZZzzzz.

Talk about a shyster sales pitch!  These are the stocks he's pitching to his rich clients or should I say dumping on his rich clients. 

 

Folks, If/when that doomsday scenario strikes, the last place you want your money is in the stock market:  Does anyone really think that the stock brokers are going to be sitting at their desks buying and selling stocks for their wealthy or not so wealthy clients?  More likely they'll be heading for the door, making sure they are one of the survivors.

So are we supposed to buy the stocks mentioned or not buy the stocks?  What the .....

What is the point of this article?

 

Of course none of this is new.  The end of the world, overpopulation, famine, and on and on and on have been predicted over and over again for decades or even centuries.  Naturally we are closer to the end of the world then ever before,  LOL!!!!

 

And if you think having a garden will save you or owning a gun will save you think again.  All one has to do is wait for you to tend your garden and end your life right there.  Resist you say?  Well how about burning your house down at 2 am.  There will always be someone more brutal than you.

 

So what was the ppoint agian?

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Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Telekurs.

Japanese stock price data provided by Nomura Research Institute Ltd.; quotes delayed 20 minutes. Canadian fund data provided by CANNEX Financial Exchanges Ltd.

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