Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A Guided Tour of the Market 10

Consumer Goods

The consumer goods sector is composed of industries such as food, beverages, household and personal products, and tobacco. Like anything large and old, it also moves slowly: Consumer goods markets typically grow no faster than the gross domestic product and sometimes even slower. Despite this slow growth, consumer goods stocks tend to be solidly profitable, fairly steady performers, which can make them excellent long-term holdings for your portfolio.

Consumer goods companies generate profits the old-fashioned way: They make products and sell them to customers, usually supermarkets, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, and convenience stores.

The handful of giant firms that dominate each consumer goods industry enjoy such massive economies of scale that it would be virtually impossible for a small new entrant to catch up.

The networks that manufacturers use to get their products on to shelves in the stores can be another competitive advantage that is very difficult for competitors to replicate.

Companies with brands that hold dominant market share are likely to stay in that position because shifts in share tend to be fairly small from year to year. Thus, whoever is number one right now is likely to remain in that position over the next several years.

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