Aluminum appears on the period table of elements as part of the ordinary metals group. At one point, aluminum was considered a noble metal along with gold and silver: Napoleon III supposedly served his most prominent guests on aluminum plates. Today, aluminum is light and strong enough to be used in a variety of applications, yet inexpensive enough to be in every kitchen [for more aluminum news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Ever since markets crashed in 2008, investors have been slowly increasing their risk appetites, shifting towards more lucrative and risky asset classes such as commodities. Some investments in this category have flourished, while others haven’t fared so well. Natural gas is perhaps the first cringe-worthy commodity that comes to mind as investors witnessed its unprecedented free fall over the last few years. But with NG and some of the other big losers comes a potential buy in opportunity at rock bottom prices. Whether you’re looking for a bargain or simply want to avoid these bad-performing funds, we outline 3 of the worst performing commodity ETPs over the last three years. Note that this list is a bit modified in that we only chose one fund from each commodity type [see also 12 High-Yielding Commodities For 2012].
The six metals of the platinum group are some of the least abundant of Earth’s known elements, occurring in close association with one another, and where nickel and copper are found. Of the platinum group metals (known as “PGM”), platinum and palladium are found in the largest quantities and are the most economically significant. Less than ten significant PGM mining companies exist; South Africa is the largest producer, followed by Russia and North America.
The Federal Reserve’s stated mission is to provide “the nation with a safe, flexible, and stable monetary and financial system.” This has historically meant doing its best to keep inflation levels stable and low. It has achieved this goal for more than two decades now, but has decided to shift its focus a bit toward increasing the pace of economic growth. Other central banks across the globe have a similar stance, and this is worrying a number of market experts that it could eventually lead to high inflation. Gold is known as a solid inflation hedge, and could earn this reputation in 2013 if inflation picks up. Below are three well-known gold bugs and their bold predictions for investing in gold next year and beyond [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
CommodityHQ is excited to announce the introduction of our new heatmap tool. This new feature is 100% free and will allow investors to segment the commodity space to see which assets are underperforming as well as those that are ahead of the pack. Because the commodity world can be extremely volatile, it is often difficult to find an asset that has been consistently outperforming, or ones that are constant laggards. This new feature will erase that issue and is designed specifically with investors in mind.
There are three primary determinants of commodity prices: supply, demand and sentiment. In the near term, if supply exceeds consumption, commodity prices tend to fall. Sentiment, or the opinion of traders that either look to hedge commodity prices to try and smooth out production costs or speculate for profit, is another important indicator that is much more difficult to gauge. For the most part, excess supply conditions are driving prices of the below commodities lower. They happen to be the worst performers so far this year, which could be due in good part to negative sentiment because in a number of cases the price is well below what the fundamentals appear to support [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].