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Tickers in this Article: MOS, AGU, MOO, ADM, MON, TSO
More and more investors continue to lose confidence in the equity markets. There's no denying that a fragile economy and rising unemployment will continue to pressure equity market returns. That's why the best investment returns come to the patient investor. IN PICTURES: World's Greatest Investors

History Doesn't Repeat Itself....
After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, travel activity came to a halt, so gasoline demand plummeted. At the time, Tesoro (NYSE: TSO) looked promising, as it was trading for $6-7 per share. By year end, Tesoro shares were trading hands around $2.

Tesoro was a great business that had earned 88 cents per share in 2000, and $1.05 in 2001. Because of a bad year in 2002, shares were unduly punished. Value investors should be comfortable with the fact that they will rarely buy at the bottom as long they know they are buying a discount to intrinsic value.

In 2004, Tesoro earned $2.38 and profits continued to rise for the next few years. At the end of 2005 shares were near $30. Ironically, two years later shares were over $60. (For more, see The 3 Most Timeless Investment Principles)

...But it Does Rhyme
Today, such patience will very likely be rewarded. Lots of businesses are trading for very cheap valuations, but it could take a few years for the price-value disconnect to play out. But over time, multifold returns could be the reward.

Look at fertilizer company Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) today. It now trades for a P/E near six and has one of the strongest balance sheets in the fertilizer space. Food is recession-proof, and over time the world will need more of it. Fertilizer makes that possible. Mosaic has an enviable net cash position of over $1 billion. Compare that to Agrium (NYSE:AGU) which has a net debt position of over $1.5 billion.

Like Tesoro, when the refining business improved, most refiners went along for the ride. That will likely be the case when Mr. Market realizes he's missing the big picture on the fertilizer companies. The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSE:MOO) is an alternative way for passive investors to own a piece of many of leading agriculture/fertilizer businesses like Mosaic, Monsanto (NYSE:MON), and Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) to name a few.

The Bottom Line
Equity markets past, present and future have always rewarded patience. Very few individuals are successful at trading. You don't need to have an above average IQ to earn above average results. You just need a little patience. (For further reading, see 10 Tips For The Successful Long-Term Investor and Advanced Financial Statement Analysis.)

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