Commodities are tangible assets that form the backbone of the global economy. These raw materials, from oil and gold to agricultural products and metals, are essential for daily life and business operations. Investing in commodities can be a way to diversify a portfolio and potentially profit from fluctuations in supply and demand.
Check out the list of Brokers you can trade Commodities on.
What are commodities?
Commodities are raw materials or agricultural products that are traded on exchanges. They are essential for the production of goods and services, and they play a crucial role in the global economy.
Commodities are typically standardized and interchangeable, meaning that one unit of a commodity is essentially the same as another unit of the same commodity. This makes them highly tradable and liquid.
4 Types of commodities
Energy: Energy commodities include oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity. They are essential for powering the world’s economies.
Metals: Metal commodities include gold, silver, copper, aluminum, and steel. They are used in a wide variety of products, from electronics to construction materials.
Agricultural: Agricultural commodities include grains, livestock, and softs. They are essential for feeding the world’s population.
Precious metals: Precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. They are used in jewelry, coinage, and investments.
How commodities are traded
Commodities are traded on exchanges, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Futures contracts are the most common way to trade commodities. A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell a commodity at a certain price on a certain date in the future.
Factors that affect commodity prices
Commodity prices are affected by a variety of factors, including supply and demand, weather conditions, political events, and economic conditions.
Key Points about Commodities:
Diverse Range: Commodities encompass a wide array of products, including energy (crude oil, natural gas), precious metals (gold, silver), industrial metals (copper, aluminum), agricultural goods (corn, wheat), and more.
Physical Assets: Unlike stocks or bonds, commodities are physical assets. They can be held in various forms, such as actual goods, futures contracts, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track commodity prices.
Supply and Demand: Prices of commodities are heavily influenced by the principles of supply and demand. Factors like weather conditions, geopolitical events, and economic trends can impact these markets.
Diversification: Investing in commodities can provide diversification benefits, as their performance may not be directly correlated with traditional financial assets like stocks and bonds.
Hedging: For some investors, commodities can serve as a hedge against inflation, as their prices often rise when the value of currency declines.
Benefits of investing in commodities
There are several potential benefits to investing in commodities:
Diversification: Commodities can help to diversify an investment portfolio, reducing overall risk.
Inflation protection: Commodities can help to protect investors from inflation, as their prices tend to rise in line with inflation.
Real returns: Commodities can provide real returns, meaning that their returns are not just offset by inflation.
Risks of investing in commodities
Investing in commodities also carries some risks:
Volatility: Commodity prices can be very volatile, and they can fluctuate significantly in a short period of time.
Liquidity risk: Some commodities can be illiquid, meaning that it can be difficult to buy or sell them at a fair price.
Basis risk: Basis risk is the risk that the futures price of a commodity will not be the same as the spot price of the commodity on the delivery date.
Overall, commodities can be a valuable part of a diversified investment portfolio. However, it is important to understand the risks involved before investing in commodities.
Check out the list of Brokers you can trade Commodities on.
Learn About Investing
To explore the world of commodity investing and discover how it can fit into your investment strategy, it’s important to learn more about the various commodities, the risks associated with them, and the different investment vehicles available.
Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting, understanding commodities and how to invest in them is a valuable step toward achieving your financial goals. Get started on your investment education today to make informed decisions.
Are you ready to master the world of trading and investing with the guidance of a former London Stock Exchange broker?
Take the leap towards financial success with this comprehensive course.
What You’ll Gain:
- Lifetime Access: Get full access to the course for a flat fee, with future content updates included at no extra cost.
- Real Professional Expertise: Learn from a seasoned broker with real-world experience and insights.
- Join a Thriving Community: Access private Discord groups with thousands of members, share knowledge, and grow together.
- Practical Skills: Learn to invest along the risk curve, value assets, analyze crypto projects, and understand the power of tokenomics and decentralized finance.
- Trade Like a Pro: Receive real-time portfolio updates and trade alerts to make informed decisions.
- Stay Ahead: Explore blockchain apps, master crypto wallet management, and discover the secrets of portfolio building.
Don’t wait! The course content grows over time, and so does its value. Lock in your access now before the price increases.
Kathleen Brooks is UK and EMEA research director and based in London. She uses both fundamental and technical methods in her analysis. Her philosophy of market analysis is to break things down to their most simple parts and build from there.
Kathleen has regularly contributed to Yahoo Finance, Reuters and often quoted in international publications such as Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.