My wife texted me a few hours ago. She expressed¬†enthusiasm for¬†the fact that the Dow closed above 13000, exuberantly commenting that¬†the stock market is so “high.” (Exclamation points and smiley faces.)
I did not wish to throw hail stones on her proclamation (or maybe I did). Yet¬†the Dow also “achieved” this milestone back in April of 2007. If the Dow were able to achieve historically average¬†returns of¬†7% since that time (excluding dividend reinvestment), we’d be dancing with¬†18000, not 13000.
Granted, 13k is a psychological barrier for investors. And with¬†program traders¬†selling the Dow 13000 news for weeks, the bull’s resolve is impressive. Nevertheless, even if the world’s central¬†banks (e.g., Federal Reserve, ECB, BOJ, etc.)¬†are able to buoy stock assets with quantitative easing, they’re not able to¬†keep commodity prices from surging simultaneously.
According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), scores of food items rose by more than 10% in 2011, including sugar (12%), flour (16%) and peanut butter (22%). And while it’s true that corresponding Commodity ETNs may or¬†may not be appreciating¬†in the same manner as¬†the retail products,¬†the fact that iPath DJ Sugar Total Return (SGG) is up 12.5% in 2012 alone should garner some attention.
True,¬†Dow 13k¬†is far better than a hole in the side of the head, let alone¬†the 6600 it registered¬†in March of 2009.¬†Yet the prices at the grocery food store are not merely revisiting their April 2007 prices like the Dow —¬†food prices¬†are unbelievably higher.
It follows that¬†it may make sense for investors to consider¬†the commodity angle, not just investing in the “industrials”¬†that create¬†the products from those commodities. Here are 3 exchange-traded¬†vehicles that may provide sweet returns for believers in¬†the inevitable consequences of the Fed “expanding” its balance sheet:
1. iPath DJ Sugar Total Return (SGG). What makes sugar so attractive is that it is one of the oldest commodities on international exchanges.¬†What’s more,¬†worldwide demand is still vibrant. In fact, demand is even greater¬†in developing¬†nations with up-n-coming middle classes. Additionally, SGG is well above its 200-day moving average.
2. ETF Physical Platinum (PPLT). How often in one’s lifetime does an investor get a chance to invest in a metal that has almost always been priced higher than gold?¬†The sovereign debt crisis in Europe had pushed the semi-precious platinum to the depths, whereas gold had been able to maintain its¬†safer haven status as an alternative to fiat currency. However, with China beginning to ease, and with U.S. economic prospects improving,¬†platinum¬†has roared back from its lows; PPLT is back above a 200-day¬†trendline.
3. Teucrium Soybean Fund (SOYB). With energy prices skyrocketing on Syrian and Iranian concerns, consumers may find themselves shifting some of their eating habits. For example, they may find themselves eating less in the way of pork or beef. Yet soybeans appear in almost everything we eat — soy being a key ingredient in almost all processed food.¬†What’s more,¬†soy is hitting 5-month highs on¬†China, which imports about 2/3¬†of the world’s crop; last week, China purchased the¬†second-largest amount of U.S. soybeans on record.
Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert¬†is a web log (‚ÄĚblog‚ÄĚ) that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, MS, CFP is the president of Pacific Park Financial, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial, Inc, and/or its clients may hold positions in the ETFs, mutual funds, and/or any investment asset mentioned above. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered herein are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial, Inc. or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert web site. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert disclosure details here.