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Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's Best Market Paperback – March 27, 2007
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According to Jim Rogers, "commodities get no respect." Here are a few reasons why he thinks they should: they are easier to comprehend and study than stocks and behave more rationally since they are subject to the basic laws of supply and demand; they have outperformed many other investment options in recent years; it is foolish to ignore an entire sector of the marketplace; and a bull market is currently under way in commodities--a trend that Rogers expects to last for a least a decade longer. Further, Rogers believes that you cannot be a successful investor in stocks, bonds, or currencies without an understanding of commodities. Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's Best Market is designed to introduce the novice to the basics of investing in commodities as well as explain what they are and why they are important. In doing so, he shatters some myths about the relative risks of commodities, explains the relationship between the stock and commodities markets, and provides a succinct analysis and history of the global oil, gold, lead, sugar, and coffee markets.
Rogers also offers practical advice and information for beginners, including the best resources, how to read the commodities reports in the newspaper or on television, the various ways to open an account, information on index funds (such as Rogers' own index fund that he started in 1998), mechanisms, terminology, and other vital details people must know before investing. Clearly written and entertaining, Hot Commodities offers a solid introduction to investments that many people, including financial advisors, fail to give the proper respect. --Shawn Carkonen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Commodity investing has gotten a bad rap. Everyone seems to have heard of someone who "lost his shirt" trading commodity futures. What are commodities? Commodities are "things," the essential raw materials that go into making everything from bread to automobiles. This includes foodstuffs such as sugar, wheat, soybeans, and coffee; the fossil fuels crude oil and natural gas; and industrial materials such as lumber, copper, lead, gold, and silver. As a group, they typically do well when stocks are doing poorly, and vice versa. But unlike stocks, the price of commodities can never go to zero. Rogers, known for his world travels, his ability to size up any market, and his contrary approach to investing, says we are in the beginning of a multiyear bull market in commodities. Although he is promoting his new commodities fund, he makes a very good case that commodities belong in any balanced portfolio, particularly now. Rogers walks us through the sometimes obscure language of commodity trading, and shows us how to get involved without "losing our shirts." David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It is not, however, a complete guide to commodity speculation. There are already a number of good books on that subject (see Jack Schwager's books among others). Hot Commodities is an introduction to the world of commodity speculation from the viewpoint of one who has made a fortune in it over the past four decades.
Very few investors pay attention to the commodities world. Rogers claims that any of us, whether or not we take a position in a commodity, can improve our edge as an investor by learning more about how commodities are affected by supply and demand and how they in turn affect company profits, national economies and consumer behavior.
The first four chapters of Hot Commodities introduce the reader to commodities as an asset class distinct from stocks, bonds and real estate. Rogers covers the typical objections to commodity investing put forth by stock brokers and financial advisors, describes the history and operation of commodity futures markets and describes alternative means to enter the market through futures, options, ETFs and equities.
Chapter 5 looks at China and explains how it will drive the commodities boom for decades. His assessment also addresses the downside risks to Chinese capitalism and warns about the severe pullbacks (50%+) common in major bull markets and how to handle them (use low or no leverage; buy dips) so you can stick with the long-term trend. He concludes that China will overcome its challenges and wise investors would do well to get aboard.
The last five chapters examine five markets: oil, gold, lead, sugar and coffee. Each exemplifies how a master investor researches, analyzes and evaluates a particular commodity in order to gain deep understanding of market fundamentals. A concluding chapter sums it all up.
What I value most is insight into the mind of Jim Rogers the investor which he so generously shares with us readers. Rarely do those of us outside Wall Street get the opportunity to view the thought process and work product of a true market wizard. Whether or not you plan to or already do invest in commodities, and whether or not you agree with Rogers' opinions, it is difficult to argue with his mastery of commodity investing.
I rate the book three stars. Why only three? It is not essential reading for a trader (-1) and significant portions of the content (but not the core value) are now out of date (-1). I first read it in June 2005 and just re-read it to see how his predictions fared. In a word: astounding! I suspect that you will feel the same way if you choose to read the book.
For example, one of his points is that when you invest in the stock of a company that produces a commodity, you subject yourself to strengths and possible weaknesses of the management of the company as well, whereas when you invest directly in the commodity you eliminate all of that. It comes across as a more simple, yet profitable, way to invest. He makes a very good case for his view that commodities will be the next bull market for several years to come including a world economic overview.
He gives some of the nuts and bolts of commodity investing and sources for more information, but this is more of an introductory book that I highly recommend to someone just becoming interested in commodities investing.