Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston is the director of ETFdb.com, as well as the co-founder of Commodity HQ. In 2009, after noticing a lack of free, useful analytical resources for ETF investors, Michael co-founded ETFdb.com and set out to build a site that could be used by investors of all types. Over the next several years, ETFdb has blossomed as the premier online database of exchange traded securities. In 2011, Michael saw a similar opportunity in the world of commodity investing, and the seeds for the launch of Commodity HQ were sown.

Michael is one of the most widely-followed authors in the ETF world, and he is regularly quoted in publications such as Barron’s and the Wall Street Journal. Michael is also a regular on the ETF and commodities conference circuit, having hosted panels at events such as Inside ETFs and Super Bowl of Indexing.

Michael graduated with a degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame, and has completed the exam portion of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. Michael lives in Chicago where he's an avid Cubs and Blackhawks fan.

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Posts By Michael


Forbes 400 Members Who Got Rich Off Of Commodities

The Forbes 400 is a list created by Forbes which lists the top 400 wealthiest Americans by net worth. The 2012 list is the 31st annual list from Forbes, which was released in September. Out of the top 400 wealthiest Americans, more than 10% of them became wealthy as a result of their stake in a commodity stock [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Brent Oil, Coal, Energy, Industrial Metals, Natural Gas, News and Current Events, Steel, WTI | 2 Comments

10 Copper Traders Worth Following on Twitter

Copper is one of the most vital commodities in the world, as its presence dominates the industrial world. Given its popularity in the practical world, it should come as no surprise to see the metal be a key trading instrument for a number of commodity investors. In order to make proper trades on the fast-paced copper industry, investors must stay on top of developing news and breaking trends. One of the best ways to keep updates on copper markets and trends is to utilize Twitter. It may be difficult for some to view Twitter as a viable source for trading info, but there are a number of professionals who aim their tweets at keeping their followers in-the-know. Below, we outline 10 must-follow copper Tweeple to give you the best information for your commodity trades [see also 13 Ways To Invest In Copper].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Copper, Industrial Metals | Tagged | Leave a comment

Five Must-Read Blogs for Copper Traders and Investors

Copper is arguably the most popular industrial metal as it appears in a number of products that we need to get through our every day lives. From a financial standpoint, many investors and traders like to made copper allocations to make speculative plays on the construction/industrial sector as well as the health of overall markets. Copper has its place in the practical world as a mainstay element, but in the financial world it is among the most popular commodities out there. For those looking to stay up to date on copper futures and the commodity’s overall environment, we outline five blogs to help give you a leg up on this hard asset [see also Warning: Ignore Bill Gross’ Hard Money Prediction At Your Own Risk].

Posted in Commodity Futures, Copper, Industrial Metals | Tagged | Leave a comment

10 Natural Gas and UNG Traders Worth Following on Twitter

Natural gas trading has grown to be one of the most dominant industries in the commodity world. With violent daily movements and consistent volatility, natural gas futures and the ultra-popular United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) have become ideal instruments for active investors. In order to make proper trades on the fast-paced natural gas industry, investors must stay on top of developing news and breaking trends. One of the best ways to keep updates on natural gas markets and trends is to utilize Twitter. It may be difficult for some to view Twitter as a viable source for trading info, but there are a number of professionals who aim their tweets at keeping their followers in-the-know. Below, we outline 10 must-follow natural gas Tweeple to give you the best information for your commodity trades [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Natural Gas].

Posted in Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Energy, Natural Gas | Tagged | Leave a comment

Seven Platinum Traders Worth Following on Twitter

Trading platinum has become a lucrative opportunity for investors as this precious metal has quickly become one of the most popular assets in the world. With its heavy use in the industrial world as well as its relatively volatile supply chain, platinum makes for an ideal trading instrument (although it can certainly be used as a part of a long-term strategy) for those who can stomach futures exchanges. One of the best ways to stay on top of platinum markets and trends is to utilize Twitter. It may be difficult for some to view Twitter as a viable source for trading info, but there are a number of professionals who aim their tweets at keeping their followers in-the-know. Below, we outline seven must-follow platinum Tweeple to give you the best information for your commodity trades [see also Jim Rogers Says: Buy Commodities Now, Or You’ll Hate Yourself Later].

Posted in Commodity Futures, Platinum, Precious Metals | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

USA Oil Reserves: The World’s Largest?

The story is nothing new, it has been known for quite some time that the U.S. may hold the largest oil reserve ever. That reserve, dubbed the Green River Formation, stretches across western states Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, and is sitting on mostly federal lands, making it much easier for the government to drill for the resource. So how big is the biggest reserve ever? It is estimated that this area contains a massive three trillion barrels of oil, half of which is currently recoverable. To give you an idea for how significant that number actually is, three trillion is approximately equivalent to the rest of the world’s proven reserves combined. But if this discovery is old news, why isn’t anyone talking about it? [see also 25 Things Every Financial Advisor Should Know About Commodities].

Posted in Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Energy, WTI | Tagged , | 12 Comments

How to Trade Coffee Futures

When it comes time to add coffee exposure to your portfolio, investors may be left with questions as to the best ways to achieve that goal. Trading coffee can be a very lucrative opportunity, as these futures offer strong intraday liquidity that comes attached with enticing volatility. But be warned, trading soft commodities like coffee is not for the faint of heart. Positions can be devastated on a moment’s notice and can create a major headache for traders. Those looking to wade into these waters should always have a profit objective in mind as well as a disciplined entrance and exit strategy. For those looking to make a play on coffee contracts, we detail how to trade futures on this soft commodity [see also The Ten Commandments of Commodity Investing].

Posted in Agriculture, Coffee, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Seven Coffee Traders Worth Following on Twitter

Keeping track of the movements of coffee futures can be a tall ordeal. As a soft commodity, coffee is well known for its volatility that sucks a number of traders in. While constantly monitoring blogs and market movements is a useful technique, utilizing the power of Twitter can also be powerful tool in your investing arsenal. Though its professional benefits are often overlooked, following the right people on Twitter can give you up to the minute information on how coffee is behaving and any trends the commodity is exhibiting. Below, we outline seven must-follow coffee Tweeple to ensure you have the best information at your fingertips [see also Warning: Ignore Bill Gross’ Hard Money Prediction At Your Own Risk].

Posted in Agriculture, Coffee, Commodity Futures | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Thoughts On The New Gold Miners ETF

Interest in gold as a holding within long-term, buy-and-hold portfolios has skyrocketed in recent years, thanks to both the rapid price appreciation of the yellow metal as well as developments in the ETF industry that have made this asset class more accessible than ever before. In addition to physically-backed gold ETFs such as IAU and GLD–which have about $80 billion in assets between them–investors have embraced “indirect” exposure to gold miners through stocks of companies that discover, extract, and sell the precious metal. Because the profitability of these companies depends on the prevailing market price for the assets they sell, these stocks should tend to move in unison with spot gold prices–at least over the long run.

Posted in Commodity ETF Analysis, Gold | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Ten Commandments of Commodity Investing

Investor interest in commodities has surged in recent years, the result of both a prolonged rally in natural resource prices and the development of new vehicles that facilitate access to this asset class. Specifically, the launch of a robust lineup of exchange-traded products that utilize both physical commodities and commodity futures contracts has brought commodities to the masses; they’re no longer reserved for the largest and most sophisticated investors [see also Jim Rogers Says: Buy Commodities Now, Or You’ll Hate Yourself Later]. Commodities have obvious appeal to active investors looking to generate profits from short-term price movements; the volatility of this asset class is ideal for risk-tolerant individuals who actively monitor their positions. But commodities may also have appeal to the long-term, buy-and-hold crowd; this asset class has the potential to bring both diversification and return enhancement to traditional stock-and-bond portfolios.

Posted in Academic Research, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, commodityHQ.edu, Exclusive, Investment Vehicles | Tagged , , , | 96 Comments