Investing in commodities involves putting money into raw materials or primary agricultural products with the goal of profiting from price movements. Commodities can be divided into two main categories -- hard commodities and soft commodities.

Hard Commodities

These are natural resources that are typically extracted or mined. Examples include metals like gold, silver, copper, and oil. Investing in hard commodities can provide a hedge against inflation and geopolitical uncertainties, as their values are influenced by global supply and demand dynamics, as well as macroeconomic factors.

Soft Commodities

These are agricultural products or other naturally grown resources. Examples include crops like wheat, corn, soybeans, and soft commodities like coffee, sugar, and cotton. Investing in soft commodities can be influenced by factors such as weather conditions, disease outbreaks, and shifts in consumer preferences.

Here are some ways to invest in commodities:

Futures Contracts

These are agreements to buy or sell a specific quantity of a commodity at a predetermined price on a future date. Futures contracts are traded on commodity exchanges and are often used by traders looking to profit from price fluctuations. Keep in mind that trading futures can be complex and involves significant risks.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Commodities ETFs track the performance of a specific commodity or a basket of commodities. These can provide exposure to commodities without directly owning the physical assets. ETFs offer liquidity and are typically more accessible for individual investors.

Commodity Mutual Funds

Similar to ETFs, commodity mutual funds pool investors' money to invest in a diversified portfolio of commodities. They can be actively managed or passively managed (index-based).

Physical Ownership

Some investors choose to physically own commodities, like buying gold bars or coins. This method requires storage and security arrangements.

Commodity-Linked Notes

These are financial products designed to track the performance of a specific commodity or commodity index. They can offer exposure to commodities' price movements without owning the physical assets.

Commodity Stocks

Investing in companies that are involved in commodity production, exploration, or distribution is another way to gain exposure to commodities. For instance, investing in mining companies for exposure to precious metals.

Before investing in commodities, it's important to consider the following:


Commodities markets can be highly volatile, and prices can be influenced by various unpredictable factors such as geopolitical events, weather, and supply disruptions.


Commodities can be a way to diversify a portfolio, but it's important not to over-concentrate in one sector.

Market Knowledge

Understanding the specific commodity market you're interested in is crucial. Factors affecting oil prices, for example, might differ from those influencing agricultural commodities.


Conduct thorough research or seek advice from financial professionals before making investment decisions.


Different investment vehicles come with different costs, including fees, commissions, and potential storage costs for physical commodities.

Investing in commodities can offer opportunities for diversification and potential profit, but it also comes with risks. Careful consideration of your investment goals, risk tolerance, and market knowledge is essential before venturing into commodities investing.

Popular Commodity ETFs

SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)

This ETF is designed to track the price of gold. It holds physical gold in storage and offers investors exposure to the movements of the gold market.

iShares Silver Trust (SLV)

Similar to GLD, this ETF tracks the price of silver by holding physical silver in storage.

Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC)

This ETF seeks to track the performance of the DBIQ Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Index Excess Return, which is a broad commodity index. It provides exposure to a diversified basket of commodities, including energy, metals, and agriculture.

United States Oil Fund (USO)

This ETF aims to track the daily price movements of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude oil. It invests in oil futures contracts.

United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)

Similar to USO, this ETF tracks the daily price movements of natural gas futures contracts.

Invesco DB Agriculture Fund (DBA)

This ETF offers exposure to a range of agricultural commodities, including corn, wheat, soybeans, and sugar.

Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN)

This ETF focuses specifically on the corn market, seeking to track the price movements of corn futures contracts.

ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL)

This ETF provides exposure to the price of palladium, a precious metal used in various industrial applications.

iPath Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (JJC)

This exchange-traded note (ETN) aims to track the price of copper, an important industrial metal.

Invesco DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP)

This ETF provides exposure to the performance of a diversified basket of precious metals, including gold and silver.

iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL)

This ETN tracks the performance of the S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index and offers exposure to the crude oil market.

Remember that the performance of these commodity ETFs will be influenced by factors specific to the commodities they track, such as supply and demand dynamics, geopolitical events, and market sentiment. Before investing in any ETF, make sure to conduct thorough research, understand the ETF's underlying index or methodology, and consider how it fits into your overall investment strategy and risk tolerance.


As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has intensified so has an interest in investing in certain commodities such as wheat and oil. In this video, I look at why you may want to consider investing in commodities, what drives them, how you can get exposure to them and what to look out for when choosing commodity funds.



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