Commodities: Most Popular Articles
Corn crops are planted and harvested at different times around the world. Included are the growing seasons for corn in the United States, Brazil, China, Argentina and Europe.
A penny is currently worth more than one cent because of the meltdown value of copper. The value could go even higher in the future if the price of copper continues to rise. This article offers some insight and tips on how to profit from saving and collecting pennies and nickels.
Commodities typically follow and inverse relationship with the value of the dollar. When the dollar strengthens against other major currencies, the prices of commodities typically drop. When the value of the dollar weakens against other major currencies, the prices of commodities generally move higher.
Learn the process of what you need to do to become a licensed commodity broker. Areas covered include passing the series 3 test, choosing a brokerage firm and what the job involves.
The ticker symbols for futures contracts are used to identify and retrieve quotes, charts and market data for each commodity or futures contract. Page 3.
Soybean crops are planted and harvested at different times around the world. Included are the growing seasons for soybeans in the United States, Brazil, China and Argentina.
Fundamental research of crude oil futures, including contract specs, reports and tips on how to trade crude oil in the commodity markets.
Futures Margin has many different meanings in futures trading and includes initial margin, maintenance levels, margin call and why margin changes.
A derivative is a financial instrument or security that is based on the price of another asset, which is called the underlying asset. Derivatives are often highly leveraged instruments and the most commonly types are futures and options.
Trading commodities online is a fairly simple process to get started, but it is not something that should be entered into lightly. The traditional method of calling your commodity broker to place orders and waiting for a callback to give you a filled order price is quickly coming to an end. Therefore, if you want to trade commodities online, we will cover the process of how to start.
Learn the basics of futures options including calls, puts, premium and strike price.
Learning the meaning of commodities and futures markets and how to make money trading commodities.
Commodity brokers are usually paid on a commission basis, which means they get paid a percentage of the commissions from the trades their clients place. Since some commodity brokers are very good and many brokers fail in the first six months, it is very difficult to give an accurate estimate of what a typical commodity broker gets paid.
The two sugar futures markets that are traded include world sugar #11 and U.S. sugar #16. You may be surprised to find out that the U.S. sugar price is substantially higher that the world sugar prices – sometimes twice as much. I would like to say that the U.S. produces the Rolls Royce of sugar, but all the sugar is virtually the same around the world. The discrepancy in prices is due to fat subsidies and a tariff program that supports U.S. sugar farmers.
The Series 3 Exam for commodity futures broker is a 2 hour and 30 minute exam that covers knowledge on the futures markets and industry regulations. It is a test that you need to study for and we have included the key features of the series 3 exam and some helpful tips for passing the test.
Several online sources provide futures quotes and charts. Three of the top sources for futures quotes are discussed.
A hedger is basically a person or company that is involved in a business related to a particular commodity. They are usually a producer of a commodity or a company that needs to purchase a commodity in the future. Either party is trying to limit their risk by hedging in the commodity markets.
How to calculate and file taxes on Commodities Trading using IRS Form 6781 – Gains and Losses From Section 1256 Contracts and Straddles.
Most commodity traders lose money trading commodities. We look at the top reasons why commodity traders lose money and hope to educate commodity traders how they can avoid these mistakes.
Using fundamental analysis to research and trade commodities and futures. Supply and demand are the main factors to determine the price of commodities.
Crude oil is one of the better commodities to trade. It is a very active market and it is well known with investors around the world. There is usually no shortage of news to cause the price of oil to move from day to day. This presents many good trading opportunities, whether you focus on day trading futures or you are a longer-term trader or investor.
Fundamental research of corn futures, including contract specs, USDA reports and tips on how to trade corn in the commodity markets.
The strategy of buying a put option in the futures and commodity markets. When to use this option strategy, the risks and benefits compared to buying a futures contract.
Commodity brokers charge commissions per trade to their clients. How much should you pay a commodity broker in commissions? There are also ways to negotiate your commission rates.
A commodity ETF is an exchange traded fund that invests in commodities through exchange traded futures contracts. The commodity ETF is a basket of commodities that is a simplified way to diversify your investment portfolio by investing in commodities.
You will need to search for a commodity broker once you decide to start trading commodities. I have outlined the best places to search for commodities brokers and what to look for.
What is Day Trading in the Futures Markets? There are advantages and disadvantages to day trading futures. We also list the best markets for day trading futures; including t-notes, soybeans, crude oil, japanese yen and the euro fx.
Commodities have become more of a mainstream investment since the turn of the century and it makes sense to allocate more of an investment portfolio into commodities. Commodities don’t pay dividends, but they also don’t go bankrupt. Commodities help diversify an overall investment portfolio, but the allocation really depends on how you plan on investing in commodities.
This article explains the strategy of buying a call option in the futures and commodity markets, when to use this option, and the risks and benefits.
Many investors don't utilize commodities as an investment because of many misconceptions people have of commodities.
Review of Online Futures Broker - Generic Trade. This is an online futures broker that offers very low rates with no contingencies. That means there are no account minimums and you don't have to make a certain amount of trades to get their stated commission rate.
Natural gas as the fuel of the future makes sense no matter which method of analysis you use. Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuels and the United States has enough supply to become energy independent. It has also become one of the cheapest fuels - even cheaper than coal. So why is it not the most widely used fuel in the U.S. when the facts clearly show that that it should be our number one energy source?
An Introducing Broker (IB) is an industry term for a commodity broker or futures broker. In essence, an introducing broker is a brokerage firm that deals directly with the client, while the trade execution and back office work is left to the Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) - commonly known as a clearing firm.
At first glance, ethanol seems to make sense. It is a clean burning fuel and it is better for the environment than gasoline, but things aren’t always what they seem. Ethanol solves one problem but it might be creating several larger and unintended problems.
Whether you are starting out trading commodities or you have been trading for a number of years, there are some books that every trader or investor should read. I have read well over 100 books on trading and investing and a few stand out as highly educational and they stand the test of time. Anyone interested in the commodity and futures markets should find these books very beneficial.
Profile of Gold futures including contract specs, gold fundamentals, gold reports and trading ideas for gold futures.
Fundamental research of live cattle futures, including contract specs, reports and tips on how to trade cattle futures in the commodity markets.
One of the best ways to actually get your hands on silver is to buy silver coins or bullion. There are better and more efficient ways to invest in silver, but many people like to have the physical asset in their possession. Actually, many people purchase silver for financial protection against runaway inflation or an economic catastrophe.
Opening an account to trade commodities is probably easier than you think, but it is a major financial transaction and you can expect to fill out some paperwork and wait a couple days before you can begin trading commodities.
What size of account should you start with to trade commodities? They can range from $2,000 and up.
Profile of RBOB Gasoline futures including contract specs, gas fundamentals, gas reports and trading ideas for gas futures.
Learn how to research the commodities markets and tips on trading commodities and futures to learn why the markets move higher or lower.
A margin call usually occurs when a client with a commodity trading account doesn't have sufficent funds in their account to cover the required margin to hold their positions.
One of the first steps in trading commodities is finding out which commodities you should be trading.
The main reason why commodities are considered risky is that commodities are traded in futures contracts and they are highly leveraged. A commodity trader normally only has to put up 5 to 20 percent of the contract value to control the commodity investment.
The first thing to be done is to pass the Series 3 Exam if you are not a current broker and register as an Introducing Broker with the NFA. There must be at least one Associated Person (AP, commonly called a broker) listed with the firm. If you plan on being a one-man shop, that would be you. There are fees and paperwork associated with the registration.
Liquidity is very important to active commodity traders. The higher the volume of a futures contract on a commodity, the easier it is to get in an out of a market at the truest price – less slippage. Commodities with high volume are the often the choice for day traders and many large traders. Low volume commodity markets are often prone to wild price swings.
Selling a commodity is just as simple as buying a commodity. Here is a simple explanation of why and how commodity traders can make money selling commodities.
I often get asked - how long does it take to learn how to trade commodities? That is a tough question to answer. The short answer is that a diligent person can learn the basics of trading commodities in a couple months. The long answer is that it can take a lifetime to master.
The USDA releases the Prospective Plantings report at the end of March each year. The report tells us how many acres are expected to be planted of each crop for the upcoming season.
Stop order can be used to limit losses when trading commodities or to initiate positions on momentum.
Futures and options both have their pros and cons. Experienced traders often use both futures and options, depending on the situation. Some traders like to focus one or the other. It is best to fully understand the characteristics of each in order to decide how to trade commodities.
Researching commodities is a very broad topic and there is no simple procedure that works for every commodity trader. In fact, do not expect to become an expert and sift through mounds of data when researching commodities. You just want enough information to make rational trading decisions.
The Dow Jones - AIG Commodity Index is a diversified measure of the commodities futures markets.
Trading commodities for a living is a dream for most new traders, but a dream is a far thing from reality. We will discuss some of the things you can do to prepare for a full time trading career and decide if you are prepared for such a venture.
Gold mining stocks are a good way to invest in the gold market. They can be more conservative than gold futures and gold etfs. A list of the largest publicly traded gold mining stocks is included.
The simplest answer to the question what are commodities is - commodities are the raw ingredients or components of almost everything we consume or use in our everyday life. Some of the most common commodities are corn, wheat, gold, silver, copper, oil, gas, cattle, sugar, coffee and cotton.
Silver mining stocks are a good way to invest in the silver market. They can be more conservative than silver futures and silver etfs. A list of the largest publicly traded silver mining stocks is included.
There are several good books out there on day trading the commodities and futures markets. There are also many bad and misleading books that cause traders more trouble than they are worth. Below are some of the best books that I have read on day trading futures. Some of the books include a complete day trading plan, while others mainly discuss specific trading strategies.
Brazil has become a major player in commodities during the last couple decades. The country is a major producer of coffee, soybeans, corn, sugar, and orange juice. The rapid increase in agriculture production in the last few decades from Brazil has probably prevented massive shortages to world inventories.
Read and understand the key components of the USDA grain stocks report.
Most commodity brokers and traders who have reached some type of success often think about opening their own brokerage firm at some point in their career. The pay is usually much better, but there is also a lot more work and responsibility. Each person has to realize their strengths and weaknesses and weather opening a commodities brokerage firm is the right choice.
A commodity broker typically refers to the person who places commodity trades on behalf of his clients. The term commodity broker is also synonymous with the brokerage firm that handles commodity trades. For registration purposes, the brokerage firms are designated as Introducing Brokers(IB) or Futures Commission Merchants(FCM). The individuals are designated as Associated Persons (AP).
Profile of cotton futures, including contract specs, cotton fundamentals, cotton trading ideas and cotton market reports.
Rough rice futures fundamental research including contract specs, types of rice, commodity exchanges traded and trading tips on rice futures.
A stop limit order is a combination of a stop market order and a limit order. It is activated when the price touches your designated price. A stop limit to buy is placed above the market and a stop limit to sell is placed below the current market price.
Coffee and sugar prices appear to be in a never-ending downward spin. Coffee showed some signs of life earlier this month, but quickly resumed the downtrend.
Corn is one of the biggest movers on the day. Corn futures are trading about 15 cents lower after the USDA released their planting progress report on Monday
Farmers across the Midwest, especially the western part, are hoping the rains will subside for a few weeks. Much of the Midwest has been too wet to plant corn
Seasonality often plays a part in determining prices for commodities in regular cycles throughout the year. Normal increases and decreases in supply and demand for particular commodities seem to occur every year in fairly consistent patterns.
Commodity prices tend to move higher during periods of inflation. Sometimes the economy exhibits high levels of inflation, as the late 1970’s is a prime example. Interest rates approached 18 percent to combat the high levels of inflation and commodity prices reached record highs during this period. Not all periods of inflation are this extreme, but commodities can perform well during periods of mild inflation.
Commodity exchanges actually serve a vital role to the economy and it is unlikely we would have had as much economic growth in the last 100 years without the commodity exchanges.
Commodities trade on regulated futures exchanges including the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, New York Mercantile Exchange and ICE Futures US.
Coffee is one of the more interesting commodities to trade. It is also usually one of the more volatile. Coffee is a member of the softs complex and most of these commodities are prone to wild swings in price.
There is no doubt that the term stockbroker is much more familiar to most people than the term commodity broker. There are also about ten times more licensed stockbrokers than there are commodity brokers. Both brokers do similar jobs, but the commodity broker has a much more specialized profession.
A Trading Plan is an essential component that must be in place before you begin trading commodities. We will go over the main features of a trading plan and how to create a commodity trading plan.
Learn the steps that it takes to become a successful commodity broker. You have to open accounts, trade the commodities markets and service your clients.
Trading commodities is a major part of being a commodity broker. Online commodity trading has become increasingly popular with investors making their own decisions, but demand by new commodity investors to have someone manage their trades will never go away. Therefore, it is important to learn everything you can about the commodity markets and trading if you want to be a commodity broker.
Learning about each particular commodity is an important step before you begin trading commodities. The report includes profiles of grain, metal, energy, soft and livestock commodities.
Secrets of Traders by Larry Levin provides a futures trading course to help traders learn how to trade the e-mini S&P and commodities. The trading program includes a Futures Trading Manual, several DVDs, a mental trading course and one on one trading help with Larry Levin.
Technical analysis is often used among commodity traders. It is first important to understand the basics of technical analysis before trading commodities and then you can move on to more advanced technical methods.
Profile of Natural Gas futures including contract specs, natural gas supply and demand fundamentals, and trading ideas for natural gas futures.
Many professional commodity traders focus on trading spreads. A spread involves the simultaneous buying of one commodity and the selling of the same or similar commodity. Using spreads often cuts down on the risk of buying a straight commodity position.
This article describes the commodity ETF and ETN market and provides readers with important information on what to look out for when trading or investing in these products.
Put option definition and uses in trading commodities and futures.
Online commodities trading has many benefits to commodity traders, but it also has many dangers to the novice trader.
Fundamental research of soybean futures, including contract specs, USDA reports and tips on how to trade soybeans in the commodities markets.
Moving averages are one of the most popular technical studies used in commodity and stock trading. The most commonly used technique of moving averages is for purposes of determining the trend of the market as well as finding support and resistance levels.
Learn about online trading platforms for commodity and futures traders. A trading platform allows commodity traders to place trades electronically from their own computer. The software program allows trades exection, account monitioring, quotes and charts, and other features for traders.
Momentum indicators are widely used by commodity traders to measure when a market is overbought or oversold. For traders who live by the old adage of buying low and selling high, momentum indicators are often a critical part of their trading arsenal.
The relationship between gold and silver dates back thousands of years. Traders still watch this relationship today...
Commodity trading strategies are simply the basis for why and when you will buy and sell commodities. You should have some well thought out strategies before you begin trading commodities.
Trading corn futures can be fairly subdued during the winter months, while the summer months are not for the faint of heart. Corn is planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. This growing season is when most of the action in corn prices take place. The winter months usually deal with demand and how much of the harvested crop is sold on a weekly basis. The summer months often have a barrage of weather problems that can keep corn traders on edge with every updated weather report.
Profile of Heating Oil futures including contract specs, heating oil supply and demand fundamentals, and trading ideas for heating oil futures.
There are good and bad types of commodity brokers to work for. We examine how you can determine whether you are looking at a good or bad brokerage firm.
Commodity traders still have the option of using pit trading or electronic trading in several commodity markets. The ICE futures exchange has increased its presence in recent years and it is completely electronic - no pit trading. The old school thought is that pit trading is the most efficient form of price discovery, but it is hard to deny the benefits of electronic trading. So, which is better?
Book review of The Logical Trader by Mark Fisher. The book details the ACD Trading Method that Mark Fisher has been using as a professional commodity trader.
Paper trading commodities and futures may be one of the best ways to learn how to trade without putting any money at risk. Paper trading may not be completely realsitic since no money is at risk, but paper trading is is one of the best tools to learn how to trade commodities and futures.
What are the differences between commodities and a futures contract?
Book review of How I Made One Million Dollars Trading Commodities Last Year by Larry Williams. He discuses the strategies he used in his commodity trading as well as other helpful advice on trading commodities.
Fundamental research of lean hog futures, including contract specs, USDA reports and tips on how to trade lean hogs in the commodity markets.
Copper mining stocks are a good way to invest in the copper market. They can be more conservative than copper futures and copper etfs. A list of the largest publicly traded copper mining stocks is included.
Weekly research and analysis of the commodities markets. A review of the week in trading and an outlook to next week for the commodity futures markets.
Most people have heard of commodities, but they have no idea of how to invest in them. The mere thought of trading commodities scares them away in an instant. Commodities carry some type of stigma that often makes people think they are too exotic or too dangerous for investment purposes. Where people see fear, others see opportunity. It is this type of adventurous person that looks to make a buck from an often-misunderstood investment vehicle.
Churning is defined by the NFA as excessive trading of a discretionary account by a person with control of the account for the purpose of generating commissions while disregarding the interests of the customer.
Book review of Trading By The Book by Joe Ross. The book details trading methods for commodities and futures from the many years of trading experience of Joe Ross.
Some commodity brokers will use a high pressure sales pitch to get prospective commodity traders to open an account. You should recognize the signs and avoid these commodity brokers.
Quote and charts page for all actively traded commodity futures markets. You will find all the direct links to quotes on futures and option pages as well as charts on all commodity markets.
The energy commodities are some of the most active and popular commodities to trade. Crude oil is the most popular contract, but unleaded gas, heating oil and natural gas are also very popular. They all offer great trading opportunities throughout the year, especially during certain seasonal times.
This article examines commodity options, defines terms and looks at how they differ from options on other assets.
Definition of a Call Option for trading in the futures and commodity markets.
Meaning of Limit Up or Limit Down in Futures Contracts. A limit move is teh most a futures contract can move in one day.
Futures Option Quotes is often more difficult than one might expect. Here is one online source that offers free online futures quotes on most commodity and futures markets.
Buying low and selling high seems like a fairly simple concept when it comes to trading commodities, but the lines can be blurry on whether the price of a commodity is low or high.
Stop loss orders are a key component to your success in trading commodities and futures. Stop losses help to limit your risk and keep you disciplined when trading.
One of the biggest mistakes new commodity traders make is having unrealistic expectations before they even place their first trade. The commodity markets are highly leveraged investments, which increases profits for disciplined traders and rapidly drains the accounts of reckless traders.
Book review of Come Into My Trading Room - A Complete Guide to Trading by Dr. Alexander Elder. The psychology of trading is discussed as well as his Triple Screen System and the techniques he uses to trade futures and stocks.
This article describes the uses and production of rare earth metals. China virtually controls these markets and they may just be the commodities of tomorrow.
There are many ways to utilize futures options to lower your risk when trading commodities. Here are some examples of futures option strategies where you sell options against eother option positions or buy options to protect against downside risk in futures positions. These strategies could lower your overall trading risk and help you become more profitable.
Commodities aren’t necessarily more volatile than stocks, but they can be considered more risky. The reason why is due to the leverage in futures contracts. If you only had to put down about 5 to 10 percent of the value of a stock, it would be just as risky as commodities.
The article examines the history of cattle, trading in live cattle futures and how various events impact the price of beef.
This article examines two terms commodity traders use to describe market structure- contango and backwardation. These terms describe the shape of the forward curve for a commodity.
Most new Commodity Investors will find it beneficial to hire a full service commodity broker to help with their trading education and chance to make profits.
A review of Interactive Brokers where the focus is on the online futures broker part of their business. We are looking for low commission rates, trading platform, research and overall quality of this futures broker to report to our readers.
Profile of copper futures; covering copper futures contract specs, copper reports, copper fundamentals and trading ideas for copper futures.
It might not make sense to many people that only a chosen few commodities trade on futures exchanges, while many other commodities do not. The basic answer is that many commodities have no major economic reason to trade on an exchange and it simply is not practical for others to be listed. Below is an explanation of why some commodities are listed on an exchange and why others don’t meet the criteria.
A Market if Touched (MIT) is an order to buy (or sell) a contract below (or above) the market. This order is held in the system until the trigger price is touched, and is then submitted as a market order.
Trend Following is a very effective trading strategy in the commodity and futures markets.
Time decay of futures options is a major factor option traders must consider before they buy a futures option contract. Time decay of options means that options theoretically lose money every day, since they have a limited life.
Introducing Broker works with clients of commodity and futures accounts, but allows a futures Commission Merchant to handle the trading floor operations.
An explanation of selling options in the futures and commodities markets. Selling futures options is an option strategy used by many professional commodity traders.
As gold has marched higher throughout the last decade, there has been no shortage of market predictions for gold prices. I remember when $1,000 once seemed like a radical prediction. Then it was $2,000. Then it was $5,000. As you might guess, $10,000 was the next magical number being predicted.
Book review of Hot Commodities – How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World’s Best Market by Jim Rogers. The author covers the basis the the new bull market in commodities and how long he expects it to last.
Some commodity traders make a good living from focusing on trading a single commodity. There are about 30 commodities that are fairly actively traded, but it is difficult to keep up with all the commodities and trade them. Some traders like the expanded range of opportunities if they follow many commodities, but a good case can be made for specializing in one commodity.
The price differential between Brent and WTI crude oil can be volatile. This article explains the difference and price volatility between them.
With the combination of futures and options, a trader is able to come up with just about any type of strategy for trading a market. Utilizing options with futures usually makes a trade more conservative, but sometimes you can actually make more profits than using just one instrument.
Explanation of the when, how and why to use a limit order in trading commodity futures and options.
The bear put option spread requires buying a put option that is typically at the money and selling another put option that is out of the money. You can use a wide variety of strike prices to suit your trading goals, but the option you buy must be closer to the money and the option you sell must be further out of the money.
Profile of Silver futures including contract specs, silver fundamentals, silver reports and trading ideas for silver futures.
The USDA is the main source commodity traders and analysts turn to when researching the agricultural commodities. The USDA periodically publishes data on the supply and demand fundamentals for commodities. These are the main reports you want to follow when researching commodities, although they do make revisions to the data. This data is void of analyst opinions and allows you to form your own views on the markets if you want to roll up your sleeves and do some research.
This article describes how crude oil is refined into many different oil products including gasoline, heating oil as well as other products that are used every day. Crack spreads- the economics of refining oil into products, is explained.
The 1983 movie, Trading Places, highlighted the futures market for Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice. In this article I examine the fundamentals and seasonal aspects in the FCOJ market.
Commodity brokers are expected to make money for their clients. What else should you expect from your commodity broker?
Wheat is traded on three exchanges in the US. The availability and price of wheat has had a long history of political and social influence. This article examines the history, fundamentals and trading of wheat.
Book review of Fibonacci Trading – How to Master the Time and Price Advantage by Carolyn Boroden. The book details an explanation of Fibonacci ratios and how to use them in trading commodities.
The USDA releases weekly crop progress reports during the growing season on the current status of crops in the U.S. These reports reveal vital information for commodity investors as they get an unbiased view of how well crops are developing during the growing season. Commodity investors tend to focus mainly on corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton when they analyze the USDA weekly crop reports, which are released every Monday.
An option straddle is the simultaneous purchase of a call and put option normally at the same strike price. If you were ever expecting a big move in a commodity but didn’t know which direction, the option straddle might be the right strategy to use.
The definition of a strike price in commodities and futures options.
Commodities have become a more mainstream investment class in the last decade, primarily due to the fact the commodities have performed much better than other investments. Today, investors have many new sources to invest in commodities.
The precious metals have been some of the most popular commodities to trade since the 1970s. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium tend to generate the most interest from investors during times of high inflation, political turmoil or economic distress. Gold is usually the most active of the complex, but silver can be very active and volatile at times. Platinum and palladium usually have much less activity.