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Fisher Investments on Materials


The Fisher Investments on series is designed to provide individual investors, aspiring investment professionals, and students the tools necessary to understand and analyze investment opportunities—primarily for investing in global stocks. Each guide is an easily accessible primer to economic sectors, regions, or other components of the global stock market. While this guide focuses on the Materials sector, the basic investment methodology is applicable for analyzing any global sector, regardless of the current macroeconomic environment.

Following a top-down approach to investing, Fisher Investments on Materials can help you make more informed decisions within today's dynamic Materials sector. It skillfully addresses how to determine the better times to invest in Materials stocks, and which materials industries and sub-industries have the potential to perform well in various environments. The global Materials sector is complex, covering multiple sub-industries and countries—each with unique characteristics. Using the framework found here, you can discover how to identify these differences, spot opportunities, and avoid major pitfalls.

Divided into three comprehensive parts—Getting Started, Materials Details, and Thinking Like a Portfolio Manager—Fisher Investments on Materials:

  • Covers the entire Materials universe—from metals and mining to chemicals, construction materials, and paper

  • Discusses Materials' main drivers—basic materials prices—and provides eight simple questions to help you form an educated opinion on Materials stocks

  • Takes you through the fifteen sub-industries within the global Materials sector and reveals how they operate

  • Addresses issues unique to Materials stocks—from the importance of emerging markets demand to the effects of supply shortages

  • Delves into top-down investment methodology as well as individual security analysis

  • Outlines a five-step process to help differentiate firms in this field—designed to help you identify ones with the greatest probability of outperforming

Filled with in-depth insights and expert advice, Fisher Investments on Materials provides a framework for understanding this sector and its industries, to help you make profitable investment decisions—now and in the future. With this book as your guide, you'll gain a global perspective of the Materials sector and discover strategies to help achieve your investing goals.

Brad W. Pyles (San Francisco, California) is a capital markets analyst at Fisher Investments with a focus on Materials and macroeconomic strategy. He regularly presents to audiences at investing seminars and educational workshops across the country. He graduated from UCLA with a BA in Business Economics and a minor in Mathematics. Originally from Honolulu, he now resides in San Francisco with his wife, Tina.

Andrew S. Teufel (San Francisco, California) has been a member of Fisher Investments research staff since 1995 and is currently Co-President and Director of Research. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Bear Stearns as a corporate finance analyst. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and has lectured at the Haas School of Business on topics in investment management. Andrew has conducted hundreds of investment seminars and educational workshops throughout the US and the UK. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of




Part I. Getting Started in Materials.

Chapter 1. Materials Basics.

Materials 101.

Commodity Pricing Basics.

The Production Process.

Chapter 2. A Brief History of Materials.

The Industrial Revolution.

Structural Shifts in Metals Since the Industrial Revolution.

Industrialization of the Emerging Markets.

Chapter 3. Materials Sector Drivers.

Key Drivers.

Drivers at Work.

Case Study: Copper.

Part II. Next Steps: Materials Details.

Chapter 4. Materials Sector Breakdown.

Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS).

Global Materials Benchmarks.

Metals & Mining Industry.


Construction Materials.

Paper & Forest Products.

Containers & Packaging.

Chapter 5. Staying Current: Tracking Sector Fundamentals.

What to Watch.

Chapter 6. Case Study: The 2003 to 2007 Bull Market in Materials.

The Backdrop.

Demand Growth.

Supply Constraints.

The Growth of Mergers and Acquisitions.

Part III. Thinking Like a Portfolio Manager.

Chapter 7. The Top-Down Method.

Investing Is a Science.

The Top-Down Method.

Top-Down Deconstructed.

Managing Against a Materials Benchmark.

Chapter 8. Security Analysis.

Make Your Selection.

A Five-Step Process.

Important Questions to Ask.

Chapter 9. Materialize Your Portfolio: Investing Strategies.

Strategy 1: Adding Value at the Industry and Sub-industry Level.

Strategy 2: Adding Value at the Security Level.

Strategy 3: Adding Value in a Materials Sector Downturn.

Strategy 4: Investing In Commodities.

Appendix A: Materials Sector Resources.

Appendix B: Top 10 Materials Firms by Industry.



About the Authors.