Big themes at Morningstar Investment Conference 2012

Several themes emerged at last week’s Morningstar Investment Conference:

  • Don’t panic 1: “It’s hard to imagine the Eurozone coming apart” (Michael Hasenstab, Franklin Templeton)
  • Don’t panic 2: “For China to experience a hard landing would require two unlikely near-term events… a massive overtightening error, and a banking crisis” (Michael Hasenstab, Franklin Templeton)
  • The best growth opportunities worldwide are the formerly biggest risks — emerging markets (Michael Hasenstab, Franklin Templeton; and Matthew McLennan, First Eagle, an anti-thematic investor who seeks royalty-like streams from emerging markets: Mexican television, Thai beverages, Korean confections)
  • Commodities, timber, farmland, fertilizer, food (“There will be rolling crises of resource availability in the next decades,” Jeremy Grantham, GMO)
  • Europe as a dangerous but possible value play (several)
  • Southeast Asia (several)



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