Friday, January 1, 2010

Commodities 101: Overview

While the world is awash in resources to teach you all about stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, for whatever reason, there is a dearth of clear, accessible information out there about commodities investing. Case in point, if you can believe it, I actually had to purchase a physical book to really learn how the commodities markets function and how I, or any other individual investor, can participate in these markets. Shocking, I know, right?
To address this, Asset Prime, in addition to our ongoing commodities insight and analysis, will be running an educational series called "Commodities 101" which seeks to provide the average investor with the information she needs to understand the commodities markets and how to participate. We'll try to cover as much ground as is possible while keeping things short, accessible, and (hopefully) entertaining.
Current articles in the series (added as they are published):


Michael said...

What was the book? Any good?

Charles said...

A few books, actually.

The Complete Guide to Investing in Commodity Trading and Futures by Mary B. Holihan covers the basics of the market, but is not the best written and goes a little too into "technical" trading for my personal tastes.

Futures 101 by Richard Waldron is a great introduction to how futures contracts operate. It's a super quick read and is delightfully written, but it doesn't cover much of the drivers in the markets themselves. It really is a "this is exactly how a futures contract works" type of book and for someone who's invested in other types of market (stock, bond, etc.) it reads a little remedial, still, a fun book to blow throw on a weekend.

Hot Commodities by Jim Rogers. Rogers is a great investing/finance writer in my mind, and while this book reads a like an advertisement for commodities, it covers the basics of why commodities are so central to the economy in general.

If other folks out there have any suggestions for good books I'd love to hear them!