Behind the Money

BEHIND THE MONEY: Energy, Ukraine Lost Decade Winners

Remember this great exchange from 'Seinfeld' when Newman and Kramer were playing the game 'Risk' on the subway?

Kramer:  Ha ha, the Ukraine.  Do you know what the Ukraine is?  It's a sitting duck.  A road apple, Newman.  The Ukraine is weak.  It's feeble.  I think it's time to put the hurt on the Ukraine.

Ukrainian:  I come from Ukraine.  You not say Ukraine weak.

Kramer:  Yeah, well we're playing a game here, pal.

Ukrainian:  Ukraine is game to you?!  Howbout I take your little board and smash

The Ukrainian pounds the game board, destroying it and sending army pieces flying.

The Ukraine was certainly not weak over the last decade, as the shares of its stock market surged almost 1500 percent, the biggest jump among the 73 country indices tracked by Bespoke Investment Group. The U.S., as will be documented tonight on CNBC tonight in "The Bubble Decade", clearly lost this game of risk, riding two bubbles (tech & housing) but ultimately losing a quarter of its value in the last ten years.

So if you weren't smart enough to put your 401k into the Ukraine on Dec. 31, 1999, what was your best allocation choices within our economy? Energy stocks in the S&P 500 doubled and raw materials shares climbed 25 percent. And while it certainly was a bumpy ride, consumer staples, health care and utilities ultimately finished in the green.

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

So if you weren't planning to try the difficult game of market timing, your best long-term investment 10 years ago was to bet on a commodity bull, driven by resource demand from China's transformative buildout, and then basically take a defensive posture on everything else. The bubble culprits certainly had their moments in the sun, but they ultimately lost you big money. Among major markets, "America's Hat" certainly showed us up as Canada's stock market climbed almost 40 percent because of its bountiful natural resources. 

Note: The great number-crunchers at Bespoke write a free blog if you want to check out their stuff.

--with reporting by Jennifer Dwork

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Trader disclosure: On December 10th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (WMT), (AAPL), (FLS); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (IWM), (SPY), (MDY); Finerman's Firm Is Short (UNG); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC), (BAC) Call Spread; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (EMM), (INTC), (PFE), (TKC), (BAC), (FXI), (GE), (POT); Seymour's Firm Owns (MTL); Najarian Owns (BRCD), ; Najarian Owns (PFE); Najarian Owns (TEVA); Najarian Owns (AAPL) Calls; Najarian Owns (DELL) Calls; Najarian Owns (FCX) CAlls Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC), Is Short (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (TXN), Is Short (TXN) Calls; Najarian Owns (RIMM) Call Spread

For Steve Cortes
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