Because of that lack of knowledge SmartMoney looks at ways that investors can invest in commodities without having to trade actual commodity contracts.
Funds Allow Small Investors Access to Commodities (Pimco Commodity Real Return, Oppenheimer Commodity Strategy Total Return, Fidelity Select Energy, Excelsior Energy & Natural Resources) | SmartMo:
Let's begin with the why, as in "why would you want to buy commodities":
Shortest version: because they have a lower correlation with equities (see Greer 2000). Thus even if they offer lower expected returns, they can lower overall portfolio risk.
"with the increasing globalization of the world you can't get diversification by just going outside your country. It's all about getting outside of equities.'"The Smartmoney article goes on to suggest three ways to do this without actually buying the commodities.
- Buying equities--for instance buy oil companies or sector mutual funds that buy equities.
- Buy Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that invest in commodity indexes. (for instance see Powershares.com)
- Buy mutual funds that buy commodities.