Ultimate Guide To Coal Investing

Coal has been mined across the world since the Bronze Age, becoming an important commodity during Roman times, especially in what is today Great Britain. However, the true Golden Age of coal began with the start of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America in the late 1700′s and early 1800′s. Coal was cheaper than wood for fuel and nearly as abundant, helping to power steam engines across the continent and get the world’s economy going into the industrial age. After the steam engine, coal became an important fuel source for the modern electric utility company, which can trace its start back to the early 1880′s. Once again, coal was an abundant fuel source that was easy to burn and turn into electricity, ensuring that the mineral became one of the most popular ways for mankind to power their homes and businesses.

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Ultimate Guide To Zinc Investing

Zinc, also known as spelter, is a metallic element which is used all across modern communities. Aside from being an important industrial metal, the commodity is also an important mineral to the human body, as a zinc deficiency can cause major health problems. The metal is typically found with other base metals, like copper, and is also a founding component in the Earth’s crust. Estimates of zinc resources total to approximately 1.9 billion tonnes worldwide, making this important metal an abundant resource. In fact, zinc is the fourth most popular common metal in use, with a global annual production of around 10 million tonnes. As an investment, zinc has steadily gained popularity as a way to play global markets due to the fact that this metal is so commonly used in not only the industrial world, but other aspects essential to everyday life [see also Commodity Investing: Physical vs. Futures].

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Global X Debuts Fertilizer ETF (SOIL)

This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com. Global X notched another ETF industry first on Thursday, debuting a fund that focuses on companies globally that are engaged in some aspect of the fertilizer industry. The Global X Fertilizers/Potash ETF (SOIL) seeks to replicate the Solactive Global Fertilizers/Potash Index, a benchmark that includes about 29 companies from both developed and emerging markets.

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Ultimate Guide To Platinum Investing

Platinum is one of the rarest metals on earth, found in even smaller quantities than silver or gold. Though it receives less attention from investors than other precious metals, platinum is an interesting option because it is used widely in a number of industrial applications; most notably, this metal is a key component of automobiles. There are a number of different options for investing in platinum, including exchange-traded futures contracts, stocks of companies engaged in the extraction and sale of the metal, and both physically-backed and futures-based exchange-traded products.

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Top 25 Commodity Tweeples Worth A Follow On Twitter

Interest in commodities has skyrocketed in recent years, thanks no doubt in part to the impressive performances turned in by various natural resources. The last several months have highlighted the potential for this asset class to enhance returns of a portfolio, while heaps of academic evidence has suggested that commodities are capable of bringing valuable diversification benefits when added to stock-and-bond portfolios.

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Ultimate Guide To Copper Investing

Copper is one of the oldest metals, having been used as currency more than ten thousand years ago. Copper has also been instrumental in the development of human civilization, playing a key role in various developments throughout history. Copper’s widespread use has not diminished; it is still one of the most widely-used industrial metals, a key component of construction activity and other industrial uses around the globe. It has also become popular as an investable asset, acting as both a potential inflation hedge as well as an opportunity to profit from increased demand for raw materials from emerging markets. There are a number of different options for investing in copper, including exchange-traded futures contracts, stocks of companies engaged in the extraction and sale of the metal, and both physically-backed and futures-based ETFs and ETNs [see also Company Spotlight: Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX)].

Posted in Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Copper, Industrial Metals | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Soros Sells Gold ETFs, Bad News For Precious Metal Investors?

This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com Precious metal investors have been on a wild ride so far in 2011. After falling to start the year, gold took off from its level just above $1,300/oz., skyrocketing higher on inflation concerns and an increasingly weak dollar. The price eventually hit the $1,577 mark in early May before quickly selling off, falling by close to $100/oz. in a matter of weeks. While a stronger dollar and declining fears over inflation in some of the world’s key emerging markets has certainly played a role in gold’s short term demise, some believe that gold has hit a near term top and that this is just a speculative bubble popping.

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China Solar Power: Sunny Days Ahead For Solar ETFs?

This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com. After a rough 2010, alternative energy equities have been swinging back and forth all year long without establishing a clear trend. With 2011 being quite a busy year thus far, the only real attention that alternative energies have received has been quite negative, as many have called for the end of nuclear power after the tragedy that struck Japan. But now that the fears of nuclear power have slowly calmed, investors have looked to their rational side putting away unrealistic notions regarding the nuclear industry, especially given the numerous and devastating oil spills that the world has seen in the past two decades in contrast. Although most forms of alternative energy have stayed on the backburner for the majority of the year, news from China will bring solar power investments back into the limelight [see also Three Alternative Energy ETFs To Watch As Japan Drama Plays … See the full story here

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Ultimate Guide to Soybean Investing

Soybeans originated in Southeast Asia and Chinese farmers were the first to domesticate the plant and reap its rewards. The crop quickly became a staple in China, Japan, and Korea, while it wasn’t introduced in Europe until the 18th century. Soybeans quickly gained popularity and spread all over the world, reaching South America in the late 19th century. Today, Brazil and Argentina are top world producers of soybeans, while the United States leads the way in total production. Traditional uses include soy milk, tofu, and soy vegetable oil. Soybean meal is also a primary component of animal feed due to its valuable protein content and its relatively low-cost to produce. Interestingly enough, soybeans can produce roughly twice as much protein per acre as any other major vegetable or grain, making it incredibly appealing to producers and health-minded consumers.

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How Balanced Is Your Commodity ETF?

This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com As natural resource prices have climbed skyward, interest in exchange-traded products that offer exposure to commodities has accelerated as well. While some investors prefer to achieve targeted access through resource-specific funds–such as those focusing on corn (CORN), sugar (SGG), or copper (JJC)–the most popular commodity ETPs are those that include a variety of types of resources. And while these products are similar in that they employ a broad-based technique to delivering commodity exposure, they are far from identical.

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