Stephen D. Simpson

Stephen D. Simpson, CFA is a former Wall St. sell-side analyst who currently spends most of his time writing about investments, business, and the economy. He has worked as an equity analyst for both sell-side and buy-side investment companies in both equities and fixed income, and been a freelance writer for ten years. Stephen's consulting work has focused primarily upon the healthcare sector, while he has also written extensively for publication on topics pertaining to investments, security analysis, and healthcare. Simpson operates the Kratisto Investing blog.

Posts By Stephen D.


A Brief 2000-Year History Of Copper Prices

We have previously talked about the historical use and value of gold and silver, and now we turn to copper. Right off the bat, copper is a very different metal. Like gold, it’s easy to work with for relatively simple tools and technologies, but unlike gold, copper was (and is) quite common and easy to find. Copper has been mined and used for at least 10,000 years and likely vied with meteoric iron as the metal most used in tools [for more copper news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Copper, Gold, Industrial Metals, Precious Metals, Silver | Leave a comment

Dow Commodity Highs: 2007 vs. 2013

With the Dow hitting all-time highs again, it’s worth looking back at the Dow Jones in 2007 and examining what has changed. In the intervening time, it has been a wild ride for commodities. Commodity prices soared in 2008 and 2009 as China rapidly industrialized, with oil moving from about $50 per barrel to over $145 per barrel and copper jumping from about $2.70 per pound to over $4.20 per pound [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Aluminum, Asset Allocation, Commodity Producers, Energy, Industrial Metals, Natural Gas, WTI | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Company Profile: Exxon Mobil

The global oil and gas industry is enormous, and serving the endless global appetite for oil and gas has propelled many companies into the realm of the mega-caps. Were they independent entities, the revenues of companies like Exxon Mobil (XOM), BP (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) would be such that they’d be among the 30-largest countries by GDP. Not surprisingly, that makes them highly significant stocks as well [for more oil and gas news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, commodityHQ.edu, Energy, Natural Gas, WTI | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Commodity Fund Profile: George Soros

It is impossible to write the history of hedge funds or American investors without including George Soros. Though Soros did not invent the hedge fund, he was among a very select group to show how a well-run fund employing significant leverage could generate outsized returns for prolonged periods of time. Due to a particular combination of success, aggression and willingness to speak to the press, Soros found his name tied to two major financial events of the 1990s and he became for many the epitome of a hedge fund manager [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Gold, Precious Metals | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How to Find The Best Gold ETF

Gold’s history as a store of value goes back before the time of written records, but it’s still an asset/investment class of significant importance in today’s market. As a relatively scarce metal, gold has always been held in esteem and investors (as well as merchants and normal citizens) have long used gold as a means of safeguarding buying power or offsetting the risks of inflation and financial turbulence [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Asset Allocation, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Gold, Precious Metals | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Brief, 2000 Year History Of Gold Prices

It really is no exaggeration to say that human beings have valued gold for as long as they’ve been able to get their hands on it. Burial sites going back to the 4th millennium BC include skillfully wrought gold artifacts, and weights of gold were used in commerce well before the Lydians started minting coins around 600 BC [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Commodity Futures, Gold, Precious Metals, Silver | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Brief 2000-Year History Of Silver Prices

Silver has always been the redheaded stepchild of gold throughout human history. While its beauty, scarcity and utility have certainly been appreciated since pre-history, silver just isn’t as rare as gold and has never been esteemed as highly. For much of history, though, silver has been money. While the average laborer (or peasant) probably never saw a single gold coin in their hands in their lifetime, silver money was a different story [for more silver ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Precious Metals, Silver | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A Deeper Look At Brazil’s Commodity Industry

Due to better governance practices and a commodity boom, Brazil’s economy has enjoyed incredible growth over the past 20 years. Brazil is now the largest economy in Latin America and the sixth or seventh largest economy depending upon the metric used. On the other hand, while Brazil’s GDP per capita has improved, it still ranks at a relatively low 64th in the world – meaning that it is a large economy, but not an especially wealthy one yet (at least not uniformly so). While Brazil has made a concerted effort to build up its manufacturing sector (and reduce the risk of being trapped as a commodity-driven economy), minerals, energy and agriculture are still very significant to the Brazilian economy, as well as the larger global economy [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Agriculture, Aluminum, Biofuels, Coal, Coffee, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Copper, Corn, Energy, Gold, Industrial Metals, Natural Gas, Precious Metals, Soybeans, Steel, Sugar, Wheat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

5 Of The Biggest Oil Finds In History

Oil makes the world go ’round, and finding more oil is one of the principal goals of multinational energy giants like Exxon Mobil (XOM), British Petroleum (BP) and Chevron (CVX). Unfortunately, it has become harder and harder to find fields that really move the needle for corporate or national reserve totals. Nevertheless, just because it is difficult does not mean it is impossible, and investors can look back to some notable successes in the history of the oil industry [for more crude oil news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Commodity Producers, Energy, WTI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Deeper Look At Iran’s Commodity Industry

Iran is quite possibly one of the best-known and least-known countries in the world for American investors. Tense, if not outright hostile, relations between Iran and many Western countries have kept it in the news, but relatively few investors seem to appreciate Iran’s size, demographics (it’s a very young country), and economic prospects. In recent years sanctions have had a massive impact on Iran’s economy, but it remains a major player within OPEC and in the global energy market [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Energy, Industrial Metals, Precious Metals | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment