This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com. Commodity ETPs can be extremely powerful tools for tapping into an asset class capable of providing both return enhancement and diversification benefits. With dozens of products available–there are more than 120 U.S.-listed commodity ETFs according to the ETF screener–picking the right fund for your investment objectives and risk tolerances can be challenging. Beyond the type of commodity included, there can be several attributes of commodity ETPs that shape the risk/return profile; below, we look at five factors to consider when trying to narrow down the universe and find the right commodity ETF (or ETN):
Natural gas is a gas that consists primarily of methane and is widely used as an energy source around the world. The natural resource is important for the creation of fertilizers, and is now used to power a wide variety of applications including automobiles. Supplies of natural gas are concentrated in a few regions of the world, and the fuel has historically been the source of political disputes in Eastern Europe and the Middle East as well as in the U.S. The place of natural gas in the domestic energy equation has been widely discussed in recent years, with many advocating for increased adoption as an alternative to crude oil products [see also The Guide To The Biggest Companies In Every Major Commodity Sector].
Wheat is one of the oldest, and arguably the most important crops in the world, primarily responsible for man’s movement to the cities in ancient times. The crop is relatively easy to grow, can flourish in a multitude of environments, and the crop tends to stay fresh for a long time, allowing food to be stored for a long-period. Today, wheat is one of the three most consumed grains in the world, second only to rice in terms of human consumption at just over 680 million tons a year [see also The Guide To The Biggest Companies In Every Major Commodity Sector].
Coffee beans are in fact the seeds of the coffee tree, but are referred to as beans because of their striking resemblance. The coffee plant itself is actually a fruit, and its end product is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In fact, the crop is so popular, that over 2.25 billion cups are consumed daily around the globe; that’s enough to give one cup to one third of the world’s population. The farming of coffee beans began nearly 3,000 years ago, and was first introduced to the Americas in the early 1700’s. The beans are typically handpicked once the fruit is ripe, and the processing and cultivation of this crop occurs all around the world. As an investment, coffee has become a popular go to source for investors to make a play on economic trends. With such a large global reach, news from any part … See the full story here
This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com The debate on our nation’s dependence on oil has been a major issue for quite some time now. Crude oil is a finite resource, and one that we will eventually run out of–though estimates of just how long that will take stretch across the board. But as the largest consumers of crude (roughly 7.3 million barrels per day) in the world, and with 51% of our oil coming from foreign nations, the U.S. will eventually be forced to face its addiction to crude head on. From here, many experts and analysts have their own opinions as to which resource would be the most environmentally friendly and cheapest alternative. While alternative sources of power such as wind and solar energy have been in the works for years, these industries face considerably hurdles still before becoming economically viable.
This article originally appeared on ETFdb.com Global X, the New York-based ETF behind a number of funds offering exposure to various subsets of the global food industry, announced the latest expansion to its product lineup today with the launch of the Global X Farming ETF (BARN). The product marks the 34th fund in total from the company and follows on the heels of several other food-focused ETFs from the company, including the Fertilizer/Potash ETF (SOIL), Food ETF (EATX), and Fishing Industry ETF (FISN). Add in the company’s Waste Management ETF (WSTE), and investors can now gain access to every aspect of the food cycle via exchange-traded products.