People get ready
Consider this: It took all of human history into the 20th century to reach a population of 2 billion. But in just the next 40 years, the world will add another 2 billion (for a total of 9 billion). To Jeremy Grantham, who oversees $110 billion at GMO, such a dramatic rise in the number of consumers means a world in which agriculture, as well as oil, metals, and other materials, is deeply strained. That shift is already evident in soaring commodity prices. "The locomotive is not only coming," he says, "it's whistling loudly." A recent GMO study concludes that commodities will continue their march upward for decades. In the short term, Grantham notes, grains could fall hard with better weather (after a historically bad year). And clearly it's best to avoid, say, the precious metals that are hitting all-time highs. Still, in the long run, he says, "fortunes will be made in raw-material ownership."

All prices as of 5/16/11. All price/earnings ratios, with one exception, are based on consensus analyst estimates for earnings over the next 12 months (the equivalent figure for the S&P 500 is 14.2). Such estimates were not available for Xstrata so those ratios were calculated based on estimated profits for 2011.
Last updated May 26 2011: 6:49 AM ET

They may not be the hottest stocks, but they are the most reliable. Here are five companies that give cash back to their investors. More

Prices have been manageable so far, but wait until jobs get back on track. Here are five companies that know how to hedge against inflation. More

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.