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It has been known for a long time that a diversified portfolio is the best way for an investment to reduce risk and make the most money. Spreading out your assets protects you from changes in the market, which is becoming increasingly important in today's world. Investing in metals can be a great way to do that.

If you've already tried investing in things like real estate, stocks, or bonds, trying something new might be a good idea. Luckily, dealing in commodities for the first time is not as hard as it might seem. There are many ways for investors to start making money from commodities. All you need to do to get started is do a little study. Let’s go over how to invest in commodities.

How to Invest in Commodities - Table of Contents

What is Commodity Investing?

Commodities, or raw materials, can be used either directly, as in the case of food, or indirectly, as in the case of a component in manufacturing another good. Many diverse products and services rely on oil as a key input. Since airlines spend a lot of money on jet fuel, oil price changes can significantly affect their bottom line.

Physical commodities like gold and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track individual commodity indexes are just two examples of how you might invest in commodities. Stocks of companies that produce or mine commodities like oil, gas, or precious metals are also available to investors. When investing in commodities, weighing the potential rewards against the inherent dangers is important.

Futures contracts—agreements to buy or sell a commodity at a defined price and date—can also create income from commodities. Futures contracts are a great way to make (or lose) a lot of money, depending on your prediction of the underlying commodity price. Knowing the potential for a margin call and other events that can affect the success of your deal will help you prevent them or at least be prepared for them.

Types of Commodities

Commodities are divided into "hard" and "soft" by investors. Mining or drilling is necessary to discover hard commodities. They are producing or raising soft goods. Four primary categories of commodities exist.

  • Agricultural Products: Soft commodities. This category includes plants such as corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton, and timber.
  • Meat and Livestock: soft commodities. They consist of milk, meat, pork bellies, and live cattle.
  • Power Sources: Hard commodities. Examples include coal, ethanol, propane, natural gas, and gasoline without lead.
  • Metals: Hard commodities. Precious metals like gold and silver are industrial metals, but copper, aluminum, and palladium are precious metals.

What Are the Five Best Ways to Invest in Commodities?

Various commodity investment strategies exist, each with its potential returns and dangers. Before committing to a plan, investors should learn as much as possible about the different options. Five common commodity investment strategies are:

1. Investing in Commodities Through Stocks:

One of the easiest ways to put money into commodities is through stocks. Investors might get their feet wet in the commodity market by purchasing stock in a company that handles such transactions. For instance, shares of a gold-focused mining company might appeal to investors interested in metal commodities. Investors who cannot put up a sizable sum might consider this alternative.

Commodity stocks have risks related to the underlying businesses. In addition to the commodities' intrinsic worth, other factors, such as those about the company's activities, may hurt the price. Investors can mitigate this risk by doing extensive due diligence on firms before buying equities, but it cannot be eliminated.

2. Investing in Commodities with Futures:

If you are familiar with the commodity market and enjoy speculating on price fluctuations, futures are a terrific way to invest in commodities. Futures contracts are agreements to purchase or sell a certain number of shares at a certain future date and price.  When the value of a commodity rises or falls, investors who hold futures contracts stand to gain. This can be done for a limited time or indefinitely.

Due to the extensive study required, futures contracts are not recommended for novice investors. This is because a large part of futures investing is based on guesswork. However, investors can also work with a broker or purchase contracts with a buy option. Investors who need to be savvier in market analysis can use these strategies to their advantage.

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3. ETFs as a Tool for Commodity Investing:

If you want to follow commodity price movements but want to avoid committing to buying futures contracts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are an excellent alternative. Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are pools of investments that trade like stocks. They can be traded like stocks, with fluctuating prices constantly throughout the day. Investors can use either an online or traditional broker to buy commodity ETFs. Investors interested in a particular commodity may need to go elsewhere without a corresponding ETF.

4. Mutual and Index Funds as Platforms For Commodity Investing:

Mutual funds are a convenient way to put money into businesses that trade in specific commodities. Although investors won't have hands-on experience with the commodity, several safeguards built into mutual funds should be taken into account. Mutual funds are generally regarded as having high liquidity and being expertly managed. If you want to invest in firms that deal with commodities but don't want to buy stocks, these funds could be a good alternative. This is a good starting point for becoming involved in commodity trading. Once again, investors should keep tabs on both general and company-specific news. The correct mutual fund may shed light on the procedure.

[ Related Blog: Types of Mutual Funds In India ]

5. Investing in Commodities Through Pooled Arrangements:

Together, a group of investors can leverage more capital to buy futures contracts and options via a commodity pool. Account statements and yearly financial reports will be sent out to investors by the commodities pool operator (CPO). Larger investment opportunities can usually be found when commodities are pooled together.

An advisor hired by a pool must be CFTC-registered before they can begin working with the collection. Advisors can then offer guidance on allocating capital among the available choices. As with mutual funds, commodities pools attract investors who value the direction of a professional money manager.

Commodity Investment Pros

The real benefit of investing in commodities, particularly for individuals who have already invested in real estate, is diversification. However, commodities are unique among investing options for several key reasons:

  • Commodities can act as a portfolio buffer because their performance is often uncorrelated with other assets. Rather, supply and demand factors related to the economy and politics affect commodity prices.
  • Depending on your investment strategy, commodities may serve as a useful hedge against the volatility of other asset classes. A simple example would be buying a commodity that would rise in value if you sold something else.
  • One approach to hedge against inflation is to invest in commodities. Again, this is because of the nature of demand, which means that commodities tend to rise at lower rates than other assets.

Commodity Investing Risks

Commodities are not immune to the fact that there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. The following are some potential pitfalls to consider before beginning:

  • Unpredictable market shifts, are a fact of commodity trading. Price fluctuations and volatility cannot be predicted with full accuracy, but keeping up with current events can help.
  • Returns on commodity investments are very speculative because of the inherent risk involved. This can make commodities a riskier bet for novice investors who need more ability to anticipate market shifts.
  • Your investment in commodities is vulnerable to macroeconomic factors such as global events, foreign government policies, international trade competition, and economic conditions.

[ Also Check out Value Investing vs Growth Investing ]

Why are Commodities a Popular Investment?

What attracts investors and traders to commodities if they don't generate cash flow and price surges tend to be temporary? Some of the most important ones are listed here.

Deflationary measures. Over time, the rising cost of commodities and other "hard assets" may help hedge your portfolio against inflation.

A low resemblance to other investment types. Commodity prices fluctuate for causes that aren't related to the health of the economy as a whole. This means there is less of a link between their performance and that of equities and bonds. Commodities can help diversify a portfolio, lower risk, and level out results because of their low correlation to other asset types.

Protect your portfolio by diversifying it. Having physical possession of a commodity helps mitigate losses from other investments. You can hedge your portfolio by buying oil if you own a company like an airline that would suffer if oil prices rose.


Whether or not you should put your money into a commodity is not a question with a black-and-white answer. Instead, it would help if you investigated individual commodities investments independently. Then you can assess how well they complement your long-term objectives and financial strategies. New investors should generally stick with exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds (MFs), as these investment vehicles offer protection via indexes and expert management. Conversely, seasoned traders have more to gain from stock and futures market investments.

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