Mega-trends in the path of human society open up opportunities for investors and present threats, not only to your wealth. History is littered with examples of societies or indeed civilizations which flourished and then perished or withered away.
There seems to be a competition developing amongst finance journalists, along with some economists and market analysts, to be the first to call a base to the current bear market phase on stock markets.
The ASX Materials Index, which is where the mining and energy companies can be found, has been supported by takeover action in the sector and a strong outlook for iron ore, coal and energy producers of all sorts.
Recent power-related cobalt supply constraints in central and southern Africa have combined with low inventory levels and a strong market for the metal to double the cobalt price, pushing it to $US50 a pound.
Given the strength of energy markets generally – with the price of crude oil almost doubling in the past 12 months and quadrupling over the past four years – it is remarkable and somewhat counterintuitive to note how poorly many oil and gas producers have