A commodity is any goods that are traded in exchange for other goods that may hold similar value for exchange. Across the world, there are various commodities traded on a day-to-day basis that are valued highly for their commercial value and consumer demand ranging from petroleum products, gold, precious metals and stones, coffee and food-grains. These commodities traded in the domestic and international markets offer investors a chance to make investments in such commodities. The commodities traded are subject to demand and the market prices that govern the trade of these commodities.
A commodity fund is a fund that is invested in the trade of a particular commodity thereby allowing investors an opportunity to earn returns on their investments based on the performance of these commodities in the market. These funds, therefore, specialize in investing in a particular type of commodity and any fluctuation in the price of the aforementioned commodity in the market will have a direct bearing on the returns earned on the transaction of such a commodity. Investing in commodity mutual has its own risks and advantages. It is very important for early investors to have a thorough understanding of the functioning of the commodities markets and the risks and benefits of investing in the commodity funds.
There are a wide variety of commodities that are actively traded worldwide on a daily basis. They are, therefore, categorized accordingly for the purpose of trade & exchange and investment. Following are the broadly categorized Commodity Funds.
a. Basic True Commodity Funds: These funds invest in commodities like metals which are mostly physical assets
b. Future Funds: They are funds that are deemed as risky as they are subject to fluctuations in the market rates. Hence they are prone to incurring huge losses on account of steep fall in prices. Nevertheless, they happen to be quite popular among the investors. The date for physical delivery of the commodity is predetermined
c. Natural Resources Funds: These funds primarily invest in companies/ organizations that deal with natural resources or natural commodities such as minerals, petroleum, and oil, gold & silver etc
d. Combination Funds: This fund involves a mix of commodity futures and basic commodity funds
e. Index Funds: Index Funds function with a standard market rate as their benchmark and work with the objective of matching the same or keeping up with the changing market trends
The commodity funds are immensely popular among the investors, experienced or new alike. It is no wonder that owing to its favorable characteristics these funds attract huge investments. They offer a wide range of benefits and advantages to their investors. However, one must be aware of the risks that come along with it.
a. Diversification of portfolios: Diversification of portfolio hugely reduces the risk of going down with a single failed investment thereby diversifying the investment to various multiple stocks
b. Protection against market fluctuations: Commodities like silver, gold are not prone to market trends as in case of other commodities. They are of immense value and provide good returns even when the market is down
c. Strategic Advantage: Expert management helps in scoring the strategic advantage that comes from market experts having first-hand knowledge of the markets and commodities
d. Hedge against inflation: Most of these funds give returns which are at par with the global market alterations, therefore acting as a hedge against inflation
e. Flexibility in investments: The investors always have the option to meet their short-term or long-term investment goals through commodity funds
f. Multiple Options: With a vast number of options to choose for investment, commodity funds surely help investors meet their investment criteria
g. Risk: The risk associated with commodities funds can range from geopolitical to market performance depending on the commodities and how they fare in the global market
Investing in the commodity funds requires a thorough understanding of the commodities and the market as it is quite complex and risky. The investors must equip themselves with the functioning of the commodity markets. These funds are highly subject to market fluctuations and hence are no concrete parameters for fixed or guaranteed returns. The investors must be careful of the risks associated with the investment in such commodity funds. For novice investors, it is recommended you seek expert advice before making any investment decisions. Visit ClearTax for further tips and guidance on investing.
The realistic alignment of one’s investment objectives with the stark reality of the commodity funds should not surpass expectations. It requires a carefully decided investment of time and finances. The investors must be willing to diversify their portfolios thereby minimizing the risk and improving chances of better returns even when some commodities may perform negatively in the market.