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Commodities Rising: The Reality Behind the Hype and How To Really Profit in the Commodities Market Hardcover – June 23, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


"one of the most brilliant and independent-minded analysts. . . " (Barron's, December 18, 2006)

…you would definitely look like you did your homework with that in your man-bag.' ( City Wealth, November 2006)

From the Inside Flap

Commodities markets are a fascinating part of the world economy and financial markets. Besides being the building blocks of the real economy, commodities provide investors with superior long-term investment performance results and offer traders tremendous short-term opportunities.

Over his thirty-year career, commodities expert Jeffrey Christian has gained broad firsthand knowledge about how these markets work; how commodities are monetized and traded around the world; and how these various transactions are executed. Now, in Commodities Rising, he wants to share those experiences with you.

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, Commodities Rising analyzes the current commodity environment and looks out over the next few years to identify potential profit situations for investors and traders. More importantly, it will show you how commodities can be used to reduce risk and increase returns in a balanced investment portfolio. You'll be introduced to a variety of ways in which you can gain exposure to commodities—through both direct and indirect means—as well as discover some specific strategies that will allow you to use the instruments you choose effectively and manage your positions with confidence.

Commodities Rising also works hard to debunk much of the misinformation currently circulating about this market, and provides a reasoned and authoritative reality check. Some of the more widely circulated myths are addressed, including the concept of a long-lasting supercycle in rising commodity prices and the idea that China will be a massive consumer of commodities whose actions will drive prices even higher.

The second half of this book takes a deeper look at sixteen specific commodities grouped under the following headings:

  • Precious metals: gold, silver, platinum,and palladium
  • Energy: petroleum, natural gas, and uranium
  • Tropical agriculturals: cocoa, coffee, and cotton
  • Grains: corn, soybeans, and wheat
  • Base metals: copper, lead, and zinc

Each chapter includes critical background information needed to assess the attractiveness of these individual commodities as investments.

Filled with in-depth insights, practical examples, and a number of engaging anecdotes, Commodities Rising is an invaluable informational resource for today's serious investor or trader.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471772259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471772255
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 57 people found the following review helpful By G. A. Price on August 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This guy completely rebuffs Jim Rogers' thesis of a new bull market in commodities. Someone is very wrong here and I'll put my money on Rogers being right. Given his assocation with Goldman Sachs, who many believe is now a quasi-government operation, used in order to "manage" the price of everything from the S&P index to the gold price, this book is a disinformation project masquerading as a "rational" and evenhanded analysis of the commodities markets. Much of the information on the growing demand for commodities in China is presented in such a way as to make the reader believe that becauase the average Chinese worker makes less than $2 a day, that, demand for raw materials in China is overstated. He assumes that it would be the average Chinese citizen as the ultimate consumer of these raw materials, and therefore, he says , since they cannot afford to buy " a copper plated" frying pan on $2 a day, that demand for copper would be overstated. The fact of the matter is that the Chinese, have committed to massive PUBLIC infrastructure projects for the next 20 years, that will require huge amounts of raw materials, most of which will need to be imported as China has a very limited amount of raw materials domestically. The author argues that China is becoming a net EXPORTER of raw materials!!! This is simply not true. China is now scavaging the globe trying to buy up whole raw material companies, in Canada, the US, Australia and Africa to meet their projected needs for the next 20 years. One recent example of this was their bid for Unocal, which was subsequently rejected via defacto veto by the Bush administration.Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jijnasu Forever VINE VOICE on August 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In a very pithy, interesting discussion, the author discusses the various aspects of commodities, focusing significantly to dismiss some of the "hype" associated with it. The author reinforces the diversification and hedging benefits of commodities, the need to treat it as a separate asset class and asserts that a lot of money can be made, if done correctly. Point taken. However, the book doesn't really directly address the second portion of the title (how to profit..). No specific investment vehicles or companies or trading strategies are discussed in detail. Limited mention of ETFs and mutual funds is mentioned (no specifics though). Perhaps, the question was supposed to abstract and the discussions at a fairly-high level. If that is the intent, the author succeeds in that (that minor issue takes away 0.5 star from this book!). If you are looking for an excellent discussion on commodities and an intelligent discussion on what the future may hold for it, this is a good book; however, if you are looking for specific recommendations, this book will disappoint you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lance B. Sjogren on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I noticed this book on the shelf at the local bookstore and bought it. It seems surprising that for a book I found right at the bookstore, and on a currently hot topic, it only currently ranks in about the 400,000 range.

The fact that Mr. Christian frequently appears on news hour certainly contributed toward my interest in the book, since I consider financialsense the world's premiere source for informed business news and analysis. (although I haven't developed any strong feelings one way or another about Mr. Christian's commentary to-date.)

As another reviewer pointed out, the book is comparatively bearish compared to most commentary from those involved with commodities. (establishment "bubblevision" commentators who aren't personally involved in commodities tend to be much more pessimistic about them, of course. By the way, I just read Fleckenstein's book on Alan Greenspan and I highly recommend it. He indicates in there that he was the originator of the term "bubblevision". A man far ahead of his time!)

Now, back to the book. I would say it is not bearish, but rather neutral during a time when most in the field are highly bullish. So compared to the prevailing mood he looks bearish.

Certainly in the time since his book came out commodities have far outpaced his expectations.

I would guess that a couple of his mistakes were:

1). Not anticipating the huge runup in petroleum prices, he was unaware of the dampening effect that high energy costs would have on economic viability of new and/or expanded mining operations.

2). He doesn't seem to have been very cognizant of the inflationary impact that monetary expansion would have on commodities prices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rich Johnson on December 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the past few years commodities have earned a reputation as being high flyers for investment portfolios, mostly due to the belief that developing countries are going to use more and more resources. In this book author Jeffery Christian attempts to dispel the rumors that exist in the commodities markets, as well as offering thoughts on how to make money whether markets are going up or down.

Here is a quick walk through Commodities Rising:

Chapter 1: The Commodities Rush Is On

The first chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book, explaining why the author felt a need to write this book. Since 2003 there has been a large run up in the price of commodities, thanks to increased demand from both developing economies and from increased investor demand. Investors have piled into commodities in the past few years for various reasons which are explained in later chapters.

Chapter 2: Myth of the Commodities Super Cycle and the Chinese Consumer Giant

The super cycle theory puts forth that there will be an extended run in commodities, potentially lasting for over a decade thanks to the rapid development of countries like China, India, and Russia. Furthermore, new production of in-demand commodities can't come on fast enough, which will drive prices even higher.

The reality, according to the author, is that these countries are not using raw materials nearly as fast as the investment community believes. On top of that, despite the rapid growth in incomes, per-capita incomes in the developing countries is still extremely low. In 2007 China's per-capita GDP was $5,400 a year, versus over $45,800 per year in the U.S.
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