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 Deeper Look At China’s Commodity Industry

Although the geographical size of China is perhaps not that difficult for North Americans to appreciate, their population is another matter. As China has become the second-largest economy in the world, it is without question transformed into an enormous force in the world’s commodity markets; so much so, in fact, that the recent commodity supercycle is now generally seen as a byproduct of China’s emergence [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Energy, Industrial Metals, Precious Metals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Deeper Look At Australia’s Commodity Industry

One of the wealthiest countries in the world, and the richest in Asia in GDP per capita terms, Australia is an unusual mix of a modern market economy with a large commodities-driven export infrastructure. Despite the influx of wealth created by its natural resources, Australia has never been particularly successful in developing a large manufacturing base. What’s more, the country has run large and persistent current account deficits for over a half-century. Nevertheless, Australia has very significant and efficient mining and agricultural sectors, and ranks highly in the world in many categories [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Energy, Industrial Metals, Precious Metals | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Deeper Look at South Africa’s Commodity Industry

South Africa is the largest economy of Africa, and it accounts for almost one-quarter of the continent’s GDP. The path to this status has not been an easy one, however, as the country languished under sanctions in the 1980s tied to the government’s apartheid policies. While South Africa has a relatively well-developed manufacturing sector by the standards of African economies (and developing economies in general), a meaningful percentage of the country’s economy still revolves around commodities [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Energy, Industrial Metals, Precious Metals | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Can Commodity ETFs Hedge Your Everyday Expenses?

Although the concept of “hedging” has been stretched, abused, and otherwise manipulated over the years, it is nevertheless a very important process for many companies. Commodity producers use forwards and futures contracts to help ensure a certain level of cash flow, and corporate commodity consumers use hedging to help control costs. So here’s a thought – can regular people use commodity investment products like ETFs to hedge some of their everyday costs of living?

Posted in Academic Research, Actionable Ideas, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Stocks to Buy For Hyperinflation

With the Federal Reserve firing up the presses for a third round of quantitative easing, it’s only a matter of time before more talk of imminent hyperinflation pops up. While calm discussions on the prospects of hyperinflation are rare (and there’s often a tinge of hysteria or paranoia around the topic), the reality is that the U.S. does have some disturbing trends working against it in terms of demographics, debt/deficits, and a policy of easy money that debases the fiat currency [for more inflation news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Agriculture, Brent Oil, Energy, Gold, Inflation, Precious Metals, Silver, WTI | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

GDX vs. SIL vs. CU: How They’ve Performed So Far In 2012

It has been an interesting year for investors and traders focused on the metals. While ongoing economic uncertainty and recent additional monetary stimulus from the Fed has kept gold in the news, silver has quietly had a strong run as well. Amidst that uncertainty, industrial metals like copper have not done nearly so well [for more commodity news subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Copper, Gold, Industrial Metals, Precious Metals, Silver | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gold Stocks To Play QE3

With QE3 now an announced fact, gold has come back into the spotlight. While the actual historical performance of gold as an inflation hedge is more mixed than some goldbugs realize, the reality is that gold has done pretty well during most prior periods of monetary stimulus. Moreover, with the ongoing uncertainty regarding the economic health and future of Europe, the United States, Japan and China, gold’s demonstrated value as a hedge against uncertainty may also come into play [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Asset Allocation, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Commodity Producers, Gold, Precious Metals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Difference Between Forwards And Futures

While commodities have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts over the past ten years, they are still somewhat outside the comfort zone of most investors. Part of that may be due to the perception that commodities are riskier, but some of it may be because of the unfamiliarity with the instruments and terms that make up the market. To cite just one example, futures and forward contracts (also called “forwards”) are very popular instruments among commodity investors, but very different in their fundamental natures [for more futures and forwards analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Academic Research, Agriculture, Commodity Futures, Trading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

5 Best-Performing Commodities Of 2012

Through the end of September, 2012 has by and large been another solid year for commodities. Measuring commodity performance can be a little tricky though, as many commodity ETFs and ETNs hold various contracts throughout the year and roll those contracts according to their investment mandate. What that means is that ETF/ETN performance can vary from the underlying commodities [for more commodity ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Agriculture, Asset Allocation, Cocoa, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Commodity Futures, Corn, Energy, Gasoline, Precious Metals, Silver, Soybeans, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

5 Commodity ETFs With Active Options

Options are, and please pardon the obvious pun, an invaluable option when it comes to crafting trading and investment strategies. At the simplest level, options offer a relatively simple and straightforward form of leverage for investors who want more to pursue more aggressive strategies. Options can also be very useful in hedging risk, creating income from securities that do not otherwise pay dividends, and executing strategies that exploit mispricings tied to volatility, timing and other factors.

Posted in Actionable Ideas, Asset Allocation, Brent Oil, Commodity ETF Analysis, Commodity ETFs, Energy, Gold, Natural Gas, Precious Metals, Silver, WTI | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments
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