Contact Us
Firm Overview
Why Legend Is Different
Client Types
Professional Biographies
Frequently & Rarely Asked Questions
Risk Spectrum
Investment Strategies
Second Opinion
Global Investment Pulse
Event Calendar
Press Center
Legend News
Clients Only
Career Opportunities
Directions
Newsletter Sign-up
Site Search
Site Map
Home
Tell A Friend About This Website
 
 
 
Informational Booklets   
Phone: (412) 635-9210
  (888) 236-5960
Connect With Legend:
Subscribe to me on YouTube

The Importance Of Commodities In A Portfolio

What Are Commodities?:

Although it may sound frightening and risky to many investors, if handled correctly, commodities could be the missing integral piece of an investor’s portfolio puzzle. What exactly are commodities? Commodities are any mass goods traded on an exchange or in a cash market including: cocoa, coffee, eggs, lumber, orange juice, soybeans and sugar just to name a few. Industrial metals are also included with copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, silver, and lead ranking among the most popular industrial metals holdings. They are traded in order to profit from the fluctuation in price from these basic goods. These potential profits result from the buying or selling of futures contracts in a particular good. A commodities futures contract is an obligation to purchase a commodity at a given price and time. For instance, an investor could purchase a contract, which obligates him to buy sugar in June at a stated price. Money is made when the price of sugar rises, thus increasing the demand of that contract because it allows the investor to purchase sugar at a lower price. If this sounds complicated, it is. Investing in the commodities market should rarely be done by an individual investor, and should instead be left to a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA), a Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) or perhaps even a mutual fund that invests in a commodity index. In any case, a competent financial advisor should also see commodity investing. Commodities are traded on an exchange or in a cash market. The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and the London Mercantile Exchange (LME) are among the most popular futures exchanges.

Rewards:

The diversification benefits equal or surpass those of other asset classes like fixed income and real estate. The primary reason for this is their correlation, or lack thereof, to the stock market as represented by the S&P 500 (Correlation describes how similar the price movement is between two investments). Commodities have historically exhibited absolutely no correlation whatsoever to the stock market or any of the bond market indices. In fact, they have a negative correlation. This non-similar pattern of performance allows an investor to minimize volatility and protect capital in down markets. Overall, these factors help to decrease overall risk in a portfolio of investments.

Risks:

When commodities are utilized as a stand-alone investment, commodities are relatively volatile, exhibiting wild price swings. At times, they are also illiquid, prohibiting the investor from exiting a position that is dropping rapidly. Another factor to be aware of when investing in commodities is the unusual income taxation. Most notably, investors are taxed each year on their share of the profits, if there are profits, regardless of whether the investment has been sold. This is a significant disadvantage compared to investments in stocks, because one does not pay income taxes until the stock is actually sold. Also, in the event an investor invests in a commodity pool or partnership, it is very possible to owe income tax on interest income from the fund, even though the index may have had a down year. Finally, fees to implement a commodities strategy are significantly higher than for those of mutual funds, for example. For these reasons, it is best to reserve only a minor portion (15.0% or less) of one’s portfolio for this strategy.

Why Commodity Investing Is Important Now:

This is not to say that this asset class has not earned a spot in a well-diversified portfolio. It has. According to investment legends such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gross of PIMCO, and Jeremy Grantham of Grantham, Mayer, and Van Otterloo, equities are expected to return no more than 5% over the next decade because of their currently lofty valuations.  With commodities being inexpensively priced, substantial upside potential is possible. U.S. inflation is historically low right now but with the effects of massive fiscal and monetary policy colliding with expected interest rate increases and already robust consumer spending, undoubtedly raw goods prices will inevitably increase. When they do, commodity indices will no doubt follow suit. As inflation gradually rises in 2004 and 2005, industrial metals prices will rise as investors begin to direct large amounts of money into these hard asset commodities. The high correlation between commodities and inflation provide an important hedge against considerable losses in traditional financial instruments such as stocks and bonds.

Commodities also provide a tactical play on the current weakness in the Dollar. As other currencies such as the Euro and Yen appreciate versus the dollar, foreign buyers can buy fewer goods with the same amount of currency. This artificially increases demand, and subsequently drives up the prices of commodities. Currently, effects of this phenomenon can be seen best in the gold and silver markets as prices have risen dramatically over the past year.

Commodities provide a play on globalization by their ability to aid in the improvement of the global economy. This is due to the fact that prices for industrial materials will increase as demand for industrial goods increase. As countries such as China and other emerging market economies develop, they will require more raw staples. This is especially true for industrial metals. China continues to develop at a rapid pace and consequently, their demand for raw materials continues to rise. In fact, China’s iron ore demand has increased from 5% of the world’s supply to almost 50% over the past twelve years.

Conclusion:

Commodities are excellent investment opportunities at present. There are a number of types of investment vehicles to take advantage of this great diversification play. U.S. stocks and bonds will, in all likelihood, generate significantly lower returns than in the past over the next decade. Commodities on the other hand have the potential for the highest returns since the 1970s due to a worldwide economic expansion especially from emerging market countries.



INDEX
  • Watch Out For ''Grandparent Scams''
  • Tune Into The Tax Break For NUA
  • How You Can Manage Risk Aversion
  • When To Disclaim An Inherited IRA
  • IRS Reveals The ''Dirty Dozen'' Tax Scams For '17
  • Timely Tax Angles To Dividends
  • 7 Financial Steps Forward In A Second Marriage
  • IRS Applies IRA Rollover Limit To Coverdell ESAs
  • Seek The Comfort Of A Pet Trust
  • Mutual Fund Sell Downs And Other Unintended Consequenses For Investors:
  • What's The Truth About Probate?
  • Britain Votes To Leave The European Union, Surprising The World
  • Five Big Tax Penalties To Avoid At All Costs
  • 5 Reasons To Amend Your Estate Plan
  • Top Court Mandates 401(k) Fee Duty
  • Turning Up The HEET For Education
  • Saving For Private Or Prep School? A Tax-Smart Way
  • Here Are 6 Common Roth IRA Mistakes To Avoid
  • IRS Zeroes In On Dirty Tax Scams In 2015
  • Combine Investment And Tax Benefits In 529 Plans
  • Want To Get Your Business Noticed By The News Media?
  • Learn The Ins And Outs Of Education Tax Breaks
  • Locked Out Of A Roth IRA? Go In Through Back Door
  • How To Manage Your Tax Brackets Now And Later
  • Fill Up Tax Brackets To The Brim
  • Why Roth IRAs Are Still Red-Hot
  • Want To Get A Copy Of Your Credit Report? It's Free!
  • 5 Tips That Can Help Get Your Kids Into College
  • Reminders On Your Beneficiary Choices
  • Enter The Five Dimensions Of Federal Income Taxes
  • How Did The Federal Government Shutdown Affect The Economy?
  • SLATs Fit Through The Cracks In Estate Plans
  • The Bypass Trust: Not Pronounced Dead Quite Yet
  • When Do You Need An Appraisal?
  • 7 Major Tax Changes In The Fiscal Cliff Law
  • What Is Safe For You To Put Into A Safe Deposit Box?
  • Dig Deep Into ''Treasure Assets''
  • It's A Question Of Proper Balance
  • Tough Talk On Hardship Withdrawals
  • Stock Option Rules After Job Loss
  • Don't Put Mid-Year Moves On Hold
  • Which Retirement Funds Should You Withdraw First?
  • Is The Federal Reserve Risking Hyperinflation?
  • A Common Error In Powers Of Attorney
  • When Is Life Insurance A Sensible Solution?
  • 5 Excellent Tax Blogs And Websites
  • Knowhow On Year-End Tax Planning
  • A Once-In-A-Lifetime Estate Tax Choice
  • Set Up Your Trust To ''Fail'' On Purpose
  • Charitable Rollovers: There's Still Time
  • 7 Reasons To Update Your Financial Plan
  • Website Matches Volunteers With Non-Profits In Need
  • Trust Protector Is Useful, But Little-Known Solution
  • Tax Tips When You Acquire Software
  • Not All ETFs Are Tax-Efficient Anymore
  • The Delicate Dynamics Of China-U.S. Economic Policy
  • U.S. Government Bailouts Have A Mixed Record
  • Planning Your Retirement Using Stock Options
  • What Historically Follows Severe Economic Crises
  • Despite The Global Crisis, The World Is Getting Better
  • Will The New Silicon Valley Transform The Economy?
  • What A Difference A Year Makes In Ten-Year Returns
  • Now's A Time To Recall Financial Planning Basics
  • The Importance Of Year-Round Tax Planning
  • Federal Estate Tax Exemption... Going Up!
  • Court Ruling Limits Fee Deductions For Trusts
  • Not All Variable Annuities Have High Fees
  • Are You Putting Too Much Money Back Into Your Business
  • Credit Crunch Places Focus On Rating Agencies
  • Find An Expert In Almost Anything On The Internet
  • Beware Of Social Security Identity Theft
  • Regulatory Guidelines Update
  • Succession Planning For Solo Businesses
  • Energy Systems Scale and Timeline
  • The Oil Patch Profit Squeeze
  • Free Credit Reports Available Online
  • Don't Forget About Roth 401(k)
  • Understanding the Importance of a Fiduciary Standard
  • Emerging Market Food Consumption Growth Equals Rising Prices
  • Emerging Market Food Consumption Growth Equals Rising Prices
  • Timber As A Liquid Investment
  • Emerging Market Food Consumption Growth Equals Rising Prices
  • Ethanol: Salvation or Panacea?
  • Timber Facts
  • Bank Loan Funds - A Primer
  • A Primer On Managed Futures
  • REITS: A Very Good Portfolio Diversifier, But Should You Invest In Them?
  • Does Investing Internationally Still Diversify Your Portfolio?
  • Another Way To View The Current Valuation Of REIT Sector
  • Understanding Risk-Preparing For The Unseen
  • What Is Shorting Expense?
  • How Dangerous Is A Dollar Crash?
  • How Volatile Can The Stock Market Be?
  • Too Many ''Phish'' In The Sea
  • GMO 7-Year Asset Class Return Forecast Is Bleak
  • The Case For Industrial Metals
  • Identity Theft In The New Year
  • Ways To Improve The Score
  • Know The Score
  • Total Credit Market Debt (All Sectors) As % Of U.S. GDP
  • To Reinvest Or Not To Reinvest
  • Why Not Alternative Fixed Income Investments?
  • Just How Expensive Is The Market?
  • Beware of Brokerage Firms' Misconduct
  • Identity Theft : Correct Those Credit Reporting Errors
  • Risk-Controlled Investing
  • Q & A With Robert Arnott
  • Identity Theft : Applying For Credit? Better Check Your Credit Report First
  • Identity Theft: Everyday Prevention
  • Identity Theft: Help Is On Its Way
  • Identity Theft: Tips to Protect Yourself
  • Identity Theft: What Documents Should You Shred or Store?
  • Identity Theft : Don't Fall For That E-Mail!
  • Identity Theft : One More Reason To Protect Your Credit
  • Identity Theft: A Note About Social Security Numbers
  • What Do Rising Interest Rates Mean For Money Market Yields?
  • Section 529 Plans Are Popular But Not The Only Way To Go
  • The Importance Of Commodities In A Portfolio
  • A Tale Of Two Hedges
  • Bank Loan Funds: A Great Fixed Income Investment As Interest Rates Rise
  • REITs: A Great Diversification Investment
  • What Is Risk?
  • How To Find A Great Financial Advisor?
  • Is It Time To Find A New Financial Advisor?
  • Year-End Tax Planning Can Help Generate High Return On Investment
  • 4 Steps To A More Secure Investment Portfolio For Your Retirement
  • Traditional Investing May Decrease Your Retirement Lifestyle
  • Understanding Deflation
  • Tax Issues To Consider When Buying A Long-Term-Care Policy
  • Investing In Times Of Uncertainty And Risk: The Importance Of Diversification
  • Evaluating The Quality Of A Company's Earnings
  • Yesterday's Great Companies
  • 2001 Tax Relief Act Changes Education Planning
  • A Retirement Plan Primer After The 2001 Tax Act
  • Beware Of Common Home Repair Scams
  • Custodial Accounts: One Way To Make Gifts To Children
  • Estate Taxes To Be Reduced Then Repealed In 2010
  • Faulty IRA Conversions Can Lead To Tax Penalties
  • Many Individuals Pay Private Mortgage Insurance Beyond When It Is Necessary
  • Rethinking Estate Planning
  • Retirement Plan Contribution Limit Changes
  • Shopping For A Bank Account That Pays The Highest Possible Rate Of Interest
  • Your Medical File Report May Need A Check-Up
  • Do It Yourself Tax Preparers Watch Out: Tax Answers From IRS Centers Oftentimes Are Incorrect And/Or Insufficient
  • Five Tips For Preventing Thefts From Your Checking Account
  • Home Office Deductions: Hoops To Jump Through
  • Income Tax Effect On Single And Married Taxpayers
  • Income Tax Planning For Investments
  • Property Tax Challenges Should Not Be Overlooked
  • The IRS Will Follow Your Wealth To The Ends Of The Earth
  • When Do You Need Life Insurance
  • Year-End Tax Defferal Planning
  • Is Your 401(k) Plan A Failure?



  • ©2017 Legend Financial Advisors, Inc.®. All rights reserved.