From 1900 through 2000, an investor that owned a tobacco index would have compounded wealth at 14.6% annually. Someone that invested in shipbuilders would have compounded wealth at 6.4%, over three full percentage points below the market at large over the course of the century. It’s a sector allocation that has profound consequences: A tobacco investor in 1900 would have turned $1,000 into $2 billion today. Someone that instead chose to hitch their fortunes to the shipbuilding industry would have turned $1,000 into $591,000 over the course of the past century. One investment approach would buy you the Dallas Cowboys and all of Jerry’s World included, the other would buy you an upper-middle class home after a century of patience.
This disparity came to my attention after I recently wrote about Carnival Cruise Lines. If you ever feel the need to own a ship, invest in Boeing or Lockheed Martin. … Read the rest of this article!