ARBOR OUTLOOK: New year newborns, life essentials and investments

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 05:04 PM.

So how is a report on the world’s population growth curve commensurate with an investment column?

First, let’s consider consumer staples. What will all these new global residents need? Among other things, they’ll need food, shelter and clothing, and personal care products, like diapers and toothpaste. They’ll need pet food, nail clippers, brushes and combs. They’ll need health care and education and transportation and computers and cell phones. And they’ll consume ever-increasing amounts of energy. In short, they’ll need all of life’s essentials, the same things that we utilized in raising our children and families along with new technologies. 

In our view, investing in the companies that produce or supply these needs may not be a bad idea.

This is the time of year when market prognosticators are plentiful, so here’s our two cents. For 2014, continue to look for U.S. multi-national corporations whose shares are still selling at reasonable prices.

Depending on your particular investment objectives, you may want to favor those companies that value their shareholders and prove it by increasing dividends paid each year. While the share price of utility companies generally do not shine in a rising interest rate environment, it is tough to beat those stable, get-paid-every-quarter dividends that can offer a bond-like equity in an environment where holding longer term debt may be a risky proposition.

Margaret R. McDowell, ChFC, AIF, a syndicated economic columnist, chartered financial consultant and accredited investment fiduciary, is the founder of Arbor Wealth Management, LLC, (850-608-6121 —, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm located near Sandestin.


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