Tag Archive | Commodity ETFs

Position Sizing: Key to Maximizing Returns

In a time when market volatility and equity preservation is of utmost importance, determining the correct number of shares to buy, or “position sizing”, is key to maximizing returns and minimizing risk.

The common investor generally doesn’t spend much time thinking about how many shares to buy or how significant of a position to take.  Instead, most investors use a common methodology of trading the same number of shares each time, which usually translates to a specific dollar amount.  Other, more sophisticated investors, opt to allocate a certain percentage of their portfolio value to a specific position. Following this train of thought, a new position in a portfolio of $100,000 would transcribe either a $10,000, or 10%, investment or a usual position of 50 shares.

Although these methods may work for some, using the volatility of a specific portfolio is likely to be the most effective decision tool.  Measuring a portfolio’s overall volatility enables an investor to decide on what percentage of that portfolio he is willing to risk losing on the new position.  This methodology is better explained through the following example. Read More…

Three ETFs Potentially Impacted By Floods In Brazil

Brazil is currently suffering from of one its worst ever natural disasters after extensive rainfall and flooding has caused massive mudslides and killed many people, potentially having an impact on production of coffee and sugar in Latin America’s largest economy.

According to BBC News, harsh storms in the nation dumped the equivalent of one month’s rainfall in just a few hours on Wednesday, sending mudslides ragging through towns, destroying homes, roads, and bridges, while taking out power and telephone lines.  Worst of all, municipal offices in the Serrana region, just north of Rio de Janeiro, have reported that death tolls as a result of the mudslides have surpassed the 500 mark and continue to grow.  Read More…

Palladium ETFs Supported By Supply and Demand Imbalance

Imbalances in supply and demand continues to push the price of palladium up, as the metal hit an intraday trading high of $804 a troy ounce, the highest levels in nearly ten years, giving positive support to the ETFS Palladium Shares ETF (PALL) and the ETFS Physical White Metal Basket Shares (WITE).

On the demand side, demand is expected to remain healthy and elevated in the near-term future getting support from a recovery in the global automotive sector. As both the developing and developed economies of the world witness economic growth, automobile sales are expected to follow.  Most recently, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that sales of passenger vehicles rose 33 percent to a whopping 13.76 million units last year.   Further demand support is expected to come from the passage of stricter emissions and regulations on automobiles around the world.  Palladium demand is expected to rise with increased automobile sales, due to the vital role it plays in vehicle exhaust catalysts to control emissions in automobiles.    Read More…

Supply Concerns To Boost Crude Oil ETFs

Supply concerns pushed crude futures contacts north of $90 per barrel on Tuesday, providing positive price support to the US Oil Fund (USO), PowerShares DB Oil Fund (DBO) and the iShares Dow Jones US Oil & Gas Ex Index (IEO).

As for crude supply in the US, there are two forces that could result in a supply shock.  First, is the recent closure of the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which is an artery for oil transport to refineries on the US West Coast.  The flow through this 800-mile pipeline, which links Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean with the terminal at Valdez accounts for nearly 20 percent of US oil production annually.  In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, upon news of the leak, BP (BP), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) all cut their oil production from Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay field by 95 percent.  With this in mind, if the leak is not controlled and fixed within the next few days, there could be a negative impact on US crude reserves.   In regards to when the fix is supposed to be complete, there is some ambiguity as that more problems could arise due to ice or wax buildups in the actual pipeline.   Read More…

4 Reasons Gold ETFs Are Expected To Keep Luster

As gold continues to oscillate ahead and below the $1,400 per ounce mark, some suggest that the precious metal could be in a bubble, but there are four reasons the metal is likely to sustain its price levels in the near future.

First, gold continues to be the ultimate safe haven in times of uncertainty.  The US economy is showing signs of recovery, but at a slow and steady pace.  The most recent data that illustrates this is a report by the Labor Department which indicated that US employers added fewer than expected jobs last month and payroll counts increased by 103,000 last week as opposed to the 150,000 expected by analysts.  To put it into perspective, these numbers resulted in Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke to state that it would take “four to five more years” for the labor markets to completely heal. Read More…

Four ETFs Impacted By Increasing Food Prices

The global price of food continues to increase illustrated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s monthly food price index rising to 214.7, the sixth consecutive month that the index has risen as supply and demand  imbalances continue to take their toll on food prices. 

Demand for food continues to rise as wealth in developing nation like China, India and Brazil has elevated food consumption as consumers in these nations starve of their traditional eating habits and seek more of a Western-style diet. This elevated demand, combined with supply constraints, has provided positive price support to commodities like corn, wheat, coffee and cotton and cooking oils. Read More…

Looming Sugar Shortage Launches Sugar ETFs

On Friday, concerns over future supplies of sugar pushed prices up to their highest levels since November 10th as inclement weather in the US and declining output in Brazil pave the path to projected shortages on the supply side of the commodity. 

Mother Nature is delivering one of the coldest weathers in the past decade throughout parts of the United States causing freezing temperatures in Florida to severely damage sugarcane crops and limit future production of sugar.  Read More…

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