The Little Book of Commodity Investing
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
If I could, I would have given zero stars for this book.

This is my first book on Commodities, but I could hardly find anything new that I have not heard on TV or see in news papers. It's all just very high level fluff throughout the book. From page one its pure marketing on "Invest in commodities". Why? China is consuming, India is consuming, stocks recently crashed, average traders are making 2 to 3 million a year in Chicago. At least half the book (give or take few percentage) is wasted on this marketing. Yeah... there are few details like how oil industry is trying to improve recovery, how shale gas resulted in oversupply, Amarnath went belly up in commodity trades... and invest in Commodities any way as you are going to make a fortune.

One of the most useless books I bout this holiday season. I could not comprehend how all seven folks were able to rate it 5 stars.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2010
Just as John's first book, Shell Shocked, laid out a compelling case for "buying all the Canada you can get," this book lays out the case for commodities. "Commodities" and "commodity trading" are intimidating terms to many investors, as are "futures" and "futures contracts." That's largely because American consumers are raised on the DOW and a few of the ancillary indices. A perfect example of that myopia is how people are presently yelling about the "lost decade" that investors have had from 2000-2010, conveniently leaving out the benefits of dividend reinvestment and the possiblity that individual investors and equity fund managers could have overweighted on Apple Inc. stock during the decade. Regardless, many individual investors buy the hype, panic, and make emotional decisions like putting lots of money into a savings account earning .05%.

It is in this sort of a climate that John helpfully points out that commodities are:

* not intimidating
* easy to understand
* a smart investment for our times

Why are commodities not intimidating? Because they're all around us. They're the things we use every day, like the gasoline that goes into our cars or the wheat and flour that we find in our bread. Sure, the price of gold gets all the headlines--it's sort of like the DOW of commodities--but there are so many more places that investors can put their money to work in commodities.

Commodities are easy to understand because they're being used or consumed all the time. Check out the shipments coming into a restaurant or a supermarket on any given day and you'll see commodities coming in that have been purchased and are about to be put to use by the restaurant or supermarket.

Why are commodities a smart investment for our times? Because people need them now and will need them more as economies grow. As John mentioned during his CNBC appearance over the summer, only 30% of China's population participates in the nation's economy. It's going to take more roads, bridges, buildings, fuel, food and other commodity-based material to bring that remaining 70% into the fold. That increasing demand, of course, means rising prices for relavant commodities.

John's book touches on myriad ways that commodities can, should, and will be used in the future. The Little Book of Commodity Investing is an easy read that teaches the reader why natural gas prices are more volatile than oil prices, that Brazil is actually the orange juice capitol of the world and many other fun facts. For that reason alone, it's a wonderful read. But John also gives the reader a plenty of ammunition regarding WHY he or she should invest in a given commodity. I'm not saying this book alone will make Joe Investor cash out his brokerage account and buy a nickel mine in Sudbury, Ontario, and that's a good thing. But it will make Joe Investor a lot more comfortable thinking about commodity investing and want to learn more.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2010
This was one great read, and an easy one at that. You would think that a book about commodities would be about as dull as dishwater, but in The Little Book of Commodity Investing, author John Stephenson brings this world to life and explains why commodities figure in every portfolio. Best yet, I feel like a more informed investor. I would recommend this book without reservation to anyone who wants a better financial future.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2011
I bought this book on commodities since I thought I knew nothing on this type of investing. I was wrong, I knew a lot of what was in this book. This book only lists different kinds of commodities that can be invested in. It gives some historical background on each commodity. It does NOT tell you anything about how to actually invest in a commodity, how the margins work, limit up and downs, anything about the actual market one might need to know before getting into it. Some of the explanations and historical information was interesting which is why I gave it two stars, but without any actual information on commodity investing - the title is a little misleading.

After reading through the book I can't help but give the Eddie Murphy look from Trading Places when pork belly commodities were being explained to him and they said "like you might find in a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich" (youtube watch?v=emvySA1-3t8). I can't believe I bought this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2011
I don't want to spend a lot of time on a review of a book this useless -- reading it was enough of a waste of time. There are no strategies on how to trade or analysis of what to buy. The bottom line is that developing markets are consuming more so commodity prices will go up. I already know this, and everyone that watches the news knows it. He also talks a lot about western counties having maxed out their credit cars -- something else I am well aware of. The author list some commodities, mentions some of the main commodity producers, gives a junior high school style report of where the commodities come from, mentions some ETF... That's it.

What I was looking for in this book was some sort of strategy on what and how to buy -- isn't that finance books are for? The author put very little effort into writing this (you can find most of this on Wikipedia, honest), offers absolutely no insight, and therefore this book has no value whatsoever. Do not buy it -- watch TV instead...
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2010
I believe in market cycles. Every investment instrument has its own boom and bust cycles. Even if you strongly believe in sound currency and values of hard assets, investing in gold and its various forms in the 80's and 90's(full 20 years period) will lead you to disgust and total distrust of the PM market. There were periods for bond and general stock market investing but I firmly believe as this book has clearly illustrated, the time for commodities investing has now ARRIVED and especially for the Precious Metals market which is about to go gangbusters.

There are many factors which are going to drive up commodities prices to new sustainable highs in the coming years, one of the major driving factors is definitely inflation, I mean BIG-TIME inflation. Governments around the world are busy playing currency games, monetizing debt, giving values to totally "junk assets", buying and issuing bonds like playing reckless bets on a monopoly game, where trillions with 9 zeros "investing" don't mean a thing no more, only difference is the game is real, the money is supposedly REAL coming from taxpayers pockets and people's lives are at stake. To keep this game running, governments are working overtime printing their money away like there is no tomorrow. When there is an (almost) infinite amount of supply(dollars), chasing a very finite amount of resources, we know what happens next. Economics will bring the much sought after commodities(be it hard assets like precious metals or soft assets like food etc) prices to equilibrium with the dollar amount. We definitely want to be in position and get along with the WILD WILD commodities boom ride when it starts.

This book provides a good basis on commodities investing including various ways of how to take part in the world of commodities market. The author has successfully gave well-justified reasons as to why both soft and hard assets are the place to be, not just to make profits in this very volatile market but to safe guard our hard-earned money from inflating away to nothingless, which sadly looks like what our government policies are pointing to... By investing in commodities and away from the bizzare financial instruments, we collectively also gave our votes of confidence on real tangible assets with intrinsic values and a slap on the face on those fathom financial derivatives that are valued at trillions of dollars based on entirely "vacuum". Governments tend to listen when we the people vote with our dollars...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2010
A great read, packing more bang for your buck than any investment book I have ever read. John Stephenson provides compelling evidence why commodities are the go-to investment class of the next decade. This is a book that simply must be owned by every serious investor.

Patrick Lewis
Five Stars
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
The moment I began skimming through the pages, I found myself asking, "where's the beef?" This book is nothing more than a Commodities 101 history lesson, not a "how-to" book on successful trading. It offers nothing of value for the commodity trader. The author offers no trading strategies, no money management advice. Heck, it doesn't even touch on the fundamental mechanics of trading. Nada! Zilch!
Your money will be better spent on any writings by such authors as Stanley Kroll Kroll on Futures Trading Strategy, Bruce Babcock The Dow Jones-Irwin Guide To Trading Systems and Bruce Gould Dow Jones-Irwin Guide to Commodities Trading, all of who happen to be traders in their own right as well.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2010
I loved this book and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. This book packs more investment punch than any ten books I have ever read on the subject. I love the writer's style and came away with a better understanding of commodities, why they matter to all investors and how to profit from them. A great read that I would recommend to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2011
The little book of Commodities Investing is an introduction to commodities investing and the futures market. Since I am investor with Forex, stock and options, the book's information was basic, but very interesting. I was looking for a short book read on commodities since I trade commodities ETFs regularly. I enjoyed the writing style and the flow of this book and recommend it for new investors wanting to get into commodities. The book is very compact and easy to carry in your pocket for a good read on the train or bus. The book print type and size are good for reading in less light which I do a lot.
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