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October 28, 2014

Enhancing Your Portfolio With Commodity Trading

commodity tradingPersonal investments can take many forms. Depending on the income of the investor, his appetite for risk, the expenses that he is responsible for and the rate of return that he expects, his investment portfolio will contain different instruments of financial saving. In general some common investment opportunities include real estate, shares and bonds, gold in physical form or tradable bonds, and mutual funds with a systematic investment plan or SIP. Of late people have begun venturing in to the field of commodity trading as a retail investment as well.

What does Commodity Trading involve?

Commodities in the field of Commodity Trading refer to food, energy or metal products which are an important aspect of industrial production. These key commodities are important for development and thus people invest in them using different options. The first is a Futures Contract wherein an investor agrees to buy or sell a specific commodity at a given price in the future at an agreed date. Futures contracts can be drawn up for commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, gold, silver, and even agricultural produce such as wheat, corn and rice.

The trouble with a Futures Contract is that it is very high risk and also rather expensive for a single retail investor. This is where commodity trading companies can help. As a retail investor you open up an account with a commodity pool operator and this person or partnership invests the money collected from individual investors in futures contracts and options. They keep you updated with account statements and annual reports. You ride out the contract with the partnership and split the profits or losses as generated.

Other Instruments to Invest in Commodities

While some investors are happy allowing an expert to handle their daily buying and selling, others wish for a more hands on approach. In this case stock options are a good investment plan. Commodity stocks are easier to buy than futures contracts. They also employ the broker pattern, so if you are already using a broker for company stocks, you will find it easier to add on a broker for commodity stocks. You can also hold on to them or sell them at will based on what changes you see in the market as you track them. Needless to say this option offers you greater control over your investment.

If monitoring commodity stocks on a daily basis is an activity that you would rather not do, you can consider investing in Commodity Exchange Traded Funds. These track the price of a single commodity and use an index of futures contracts. So while you are not directly investing in a futures contract you can still get the benefits associated with investing in one. Not all commodities have Exchange Traded Funds associated with them, so your investment options in commodities via this instrument will be somewhat limited.

You can also invest in mutual funds as an indirect means of commodity trading by investing in a mutual fund that invests in the stocks of companies that are involved in commodity trading. This will allow you to be recipient of the trickledown effect in the profits generated and will also guard you against sharp losses. All in all commodity trading is an investment worth considering in your portfolio.

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