Commodities may be the most fascinating of investments. No worries about quarterly earnings or a company cooking its books with commodities. But investors do have to be alert to a multitude of factors including the weather, geopolitics, and trends in supply and demand for a specific commodity. All of these factors can sometimes lead to a good amount of volatility in the price of a particular commodity.
There may be no words to adequately describe what a chocoholic feels as he or she indulges their taste for anything and everything chocolate. Now, thanks to advancements made in the investment markets, chocoholics and anyone else can make money from the global craze for chocolate through an investment in cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate.
The world of commodities was not accessible to most average investors just a few short years ago. But today, there are exchange-traded funds that allow investors to gain exposure to many commodities, both as an asset class and as a way to participate in the movements of an individual commodity, even rather obscure ones, without a futures account.
Sugar is another of the so-called breakfast commodities, along with coffee, cocoa and orange juice. Like the others, it also has a rich history. It is thought to have been first used by humans in Polynesia many centuries ago, but was not discovered by Europeans until the 11th century thanks to the Crusades. It was first brought to the Americas by Columbus in 1493 and soon thereafter it was found that the sugar cane plant grew extremely well in tropical environments [see also Jim Rogers Says: Buy Commodities Now, Or You’ll Hate Yourself Later].
If there is one economic item that unites Americans in frustration, it’s the rising price of gasoline. The fuel for our vehicles has become a necessity for many of us, so price hikes hit hard in the wallet, affecting purchases of other items. So why are gasoline prices on a long-term upward slope? Some Americans point the finger at greedy oil companies, but that is not the answer. Yes, refining margins do play a role in the price of gasoline, but there is one critical factor behind higher gasoline prices: the rising price of crude oil [for more commodity news subscribe to our free newsletter].