Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Investing in the Tulip Crypto Mania 2021 - 19th Jun 21
Here’s Why Historic US Housing Market Boom Can Continue - 19th Jun 21
Cryptos: What the "Bizarre" World of Non-Fungible Tokens May Be Signaling - 19th Jun 21
Hyperinflationary Expectations: Reflections on Cryptocurrency and the Markets - 19th Jun 21
Gold Prices Investors beat Central Banks and Jewelry, as having the most Impact - 18th Jun 21
Has the Dust Settled After Fed Day? Not Just Yet - 18th Jun 21
Gold Asks: Will the Economic Boom Continue? - 18th Jun 21
STABLE COINS PONZI Crypto SCAM WARNING! Iron Titan CRASH to ZERO! Exit USDT While You Can! - 18th Jun 21
FOMC Surprise Takeaways - 18th Jun 21
Youtube Upload Stuck at 0% QUICK FIXES Solutions Tutorial - 18th Jun 21
AI Stock Buying Levels, Ratings, Valuations Video - 18th Jun 21
AI Stock Buying Levels, Ratings, Valuations and Trend Analysis into Market Correction - 17th Jun 21
Stocks, Gold, Silver Markets Inflation Tipping Point - 17th Jun 21
Letting Yourself Relax with Activities That You Might Not Have Considered - 17th Jun 21
RAMPANT MONEY PRINTING INFLATION BIG PICTURE! - 16th Jun 21
The Federal Reserve and Inflation - 16th Jun 21
Inflation Soars 5%! Will Gold Skyrocket? - 16th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Inflation Is For Fools - 16th Jun 21
Four News Events That Could Drive Gold Bullion Demand - 16th Jun 21
5 ways that crypto is changing the face of online casinos - 16th Jun 21
Transitory Inflation Debate - 15th Jun 21
USDX: The Cleanest Shirt Among the Dirty Laundry - 15th Jun 21
Inflation and Stock Market SPX Record Highs. PPI, FOMC Meeting in Focus - 15th Jun 21
Stock Market SPX 4310 Right Around the Corner! - 15th Jun 21
AI Stocks Strength vs Weakness - Why Selling Google or Facebook is a Big Mistake! - 14th Jun 21
The Bitcoin Crime Wave Hits - 14th Jun 21
Gold Time for Consolidation and Lower Volatility - 14th Jun 21
More Banks & Investors Are NOT Believing Fed Propaganda - 14th Jun 21
Market Inflation Bets – Squaring or Not - 14th Jun 21
Is Gold Really an Inflation Hedge? - 14th Jun 21
The FED Holds the Market. How Long Will It Last? - 14th Jun 21
Coinbase vs Binance for Bitcoin, Ethereum Crypto Trading & Investing During Bear Market 2021 - 11th Jun 21
Gold Price $4000 – Insurance, A Hedge, An Investment - 11th Jun 21
What Drives Gold Prices? (Don't Say "the Fed!") - 11th Jun 21
Why You Need to Buy and Hold Gold Now - 11th Jun 21
Big Pharma Is Back! Biotech Skyrockets On Biogen’s New Alzheimer Drug Approval - 11th Jun 21
Top 5 AI Tech Stocks Trend Analysis, Buying Levels, Ratings and Valuations - 10th Jun 21
Gold’s Inflation Utility - 10th Jun 21
The Fuel Of The Future That’s 9 Times More Efficient Than Lithium - 10th Jun 21
Challenges facing the law industry in 2021 - 10th Jun 21
SELL USDT Tether Before Ponzi Scheme Implodes Triggering 90% Bitcoin CRASH in Cryptos Lehman Bros - 9th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Prepare For Volatility - 9th Jun 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Which Door Will Investors Choose? - 9th Jun 21
Fed ‘Taper’ Talk Is Back: Will a Tantrum Follow? - 9th Jun 21
Scientists Discover New Renewable Fuel 3 Times More Powerful Than Gasoline - 9th Jun 21
How do I Choose an Online Trading Broker? - 9th Jun 21
Fed’s Tools are Broken - 8th Jun 21
Stock Market Approaching an Intermediate peak! - 8th Jun 21
Could This Household Chemical Become The Superfuel Of The Future? - 8th Jun 21
The Return of Inflation. Can Gold Withstand the Dark Side? - 7th Jun 21
Why "Trouble is Brewing" for the U.S. Housing Market - 7th Jun 21
Stock Market Volatility Crash Course (VIX vs VVIX) – Learn How to Profit From Volatility - 7th Jun 21
Computer Vision Is Like Investing in the Internet in the ‘90s - 7th Jun 21
MAPLINS - Sheffield Down Memory Lane, Before the Shop Closed its Doors for the Last Time - 7th Jun 21
Wire Brush vs Block Paving Driveway Weeds - How Much Work, Nest Way to Kill Weeds? - 7th Jun 21
When Markets Get Scared and Reverse - 7th Jun 21
Is A New Superfuel About To Take Over Energy Markets? - 7th Jun 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

The Wrong Way to Profit From Crude Oil

Commodities / Crude Oil Jan 28, 2009 - 12:17 PM GMT

By: Investment_U

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleYou might think you're properly invested in oil, but you could be wrong.

Despite reaching lows since 2004, the long-term outlook for oil is still up. Maybe not $147 a barrel like the old days (i.e. six months ago), but because of supply, demand, turmoil in the Middle East, and the fact that we will eventually resume worldwide economic growth, oil prices have only one way to go.


If you think you've positioned yourself according, or if you're thinking about a new investment in oil… tread carefully. Here's why:

I covered a situation last week call contango. It's a feature of futures markets where you can buy oil cheap right now and lock in a contract to sell it in the future for a higher price. Normally, the difference between those prices is so close to the cost of storing the oil that it's not a profitable trade.

But right now, we're in a state of super-contango. Prices are way out of whack. And commodity investors are storing oil everywhere they can to earn the excess profits. (For a more detailed description, see contango .)

Contango is big news now. But some of the “traditional” oil investments that are being tossed around aren't what they seem to be. In fact, if you skipped some very fine print, you could have set yourself up for a huge disappointment.

So let's clear that up… and pad our pockets with a little extra in the process.

You're Not Buying What You Think You're Buying

When we broke the news on contango, we suggested looking at some oil storage providers, explorers and drillers. And that hasn't changed. Looking around, there are a number of “oil investments” that look promising.

One would think the quickest way to invest in rising oil prices would be to simply buy shares of an oil-based ETF, like United States Oil (NYSE: USO ). These oil ETFs are very popular – USO trades over 34 million shares per day.

But not so fast.

These funds don't buy and sell oil for profit. They trade futures contracts on oil. And while there are a few ways to do that – some good, some bad – they may not be the best way to take advantage of contango. Let me explain.

USO buys a contract for oil for the very next month. Before it expires, they sell it off and buy one for the next month. In a contango situation the returns will indisputably be lower. (Conversely, during the opposite of contango, “backwardation,” the fund returns will be higher).

USO makes no secret of this. They print it in their risk disclosures that contango is not good for their fund.

And they are not alone. The iPath GSCI Crude Oil ETN (NYSE: OIL ) and the Powershares DB Crude Oil ETN (NYSE: OLO ) use the same methodologies. (Though OLO actively manages its roll forward strategy to reduce losses.)

But don't give up on investing in oil.

Every Problem Has a Solution

In fact, the same manager that runs the USO fund runs another, custom designed to benefit from situations like this. It's called the United States 12 Month Oil Fund (NYSE: USL ). It uses a 12-month average of futures prices that will lessen the losses caused by a contango market.

Here's the interesting thing. Oil markets usually exhibit a small amount of contango, it's a natural result of price fluctuations. But its opposite, backwardation, is the rarity. So even if we were in a normal oil situation, wouldn't the 12 Month Fund be better?

In fact, wouldn't it make sense all the time? It would seem to be so.

Obviously, oil prices have been down… but you'd have fared significantly better investing in USL. Reading the fine print on an ETF isn't the most entertaining way to spend your day, but it's certainly worth a near 15% difference in performance.

If we were to enter a backwardation period, USO would then outperform. But since backwardation is so rare… you can expect USL will outperform consistently over the short and long term.

Ahead of the tape,

by Matt Weinschenk , Senior Analyst, The White Cap Report

http://www.investmentu.com

Copyright © 1999 - 2009 by The Oxford Club, L.L.C All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Investment U, Attn: Member Services , 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 Email: CustomerService@InvestmentU.com

Disclaimer: Investment U Disclaimer: Nothing published by Investment U should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Investment U should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Investment U Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

marketfolly@gmail.com
29 Jan 09, 09:59
market folly

Matt,

thanks for the article.. hadn't looked into USL before. we actually just recently posted two articles regarding ETFs/ETNs and crude oil.

how contango affects them: http://www.marketfolly.com/2009/01/how-contango-affects-crude-oil-etfs-and.html

and just a general comparison of each as a play on crude: http://www.marketfolly.com/2009/01/how-to-play-crude-oil-using-etfs-etns.html

would love any comments or follow-up. thanks


mario
31 Jan 09, 04:45
levered ETF

there are also leveraged (2x)etf like DXO, now i think it's time to buy those oil related etf and wait, we have time as our ally, contined oil production cuts will have effect ,

can u please write an article about all leveraged etf?

i mean etf on energies,softs metals with a reasonable leverage, 2x


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in