Commodities are the most important Diversifier in every Portfolio. They provide a robust platform for diversification. Unlike traditional stocks and bonds, commodities often move in different directions, offering a counterbalance during market downturns. Their intrinsic value, driven by global demand and supply, makes them a resilient investment choice.

Types of Commodities:

Commodities are raw materials or primary agricultural products that can be bought and sold. They play a crucial role in the global economy, serving as building blocks for various industries and as essential items for daily consumption.

Commodities can be broadly categorized into three main types: Metals, Agriculture, and Energy.


Precious Metals

Gold: Often viewed as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.

Silver: Used both as an investment and in industrial applications.

Platinum: Valued for its rarity and used in automotive and jewelry industries.

Base Metals

Copper: Essential for electrical wiring and plumbing.

Aluminum: Widely used in transportation and packaging.

Zinc: Used for galvanizing steel and in the production of batteries.


Grains and Cereals:

Wheat: A staple food ingredient in many cultures.

Corn: Used as food, in ethanol production, and as animal feed.

Rice: A primary food source for a large portion of the world’s population.

Soft Commodities

Coffee: One of the most traded commodities globally.

Cotton: Essential for the textile industry.

Sugar: Used as a sweetener in foods and beverages.


Cattle: Source of beef and dairy products.

Poultry: Source of chicken meat and eggs.

Energy: Energy commodities are vital for powering economies:

Crude Oil: The most traded commodity, used to produce gasoline and other fuels.

Natural Gas: Used for heating, electricity generation, and as a fuel source.

Coal: A major source of electricity generation.

Uranium: Used as fuel in nuclear power plants.

Understanding the different types of commodities and their classifications can provide investors with insights into global economic trends, supply and demand dynamics, and potential investment opportunities. Whether it’s metals that drive industrial growth, agricultural products that feed the world, or energy commodities that power our lives, each has its unique role and significance in the global marketplace.

Couple of potential correlations between the sub-segments of commodities:

Gold and Silver:

Generally, gold and silver tend to be positively correlated. When gold prices rise, silver prices often follow, and vice versa. Because both of them are considered precious metals and safe-haven assets. Investors often flock to these metals during times of economic uncertainty.

Gold and Oil:

Historically, gold and oil have shown a positive correlation, cautious because it’s not always consistent. Because both commodities are priced in U.S. dollars. When the dollar weakens, the prices of both gold and oil can rise. Additionally, rising oil prices can lead to inflationary concerns, which can boost gold as an inflation hedge.

Gold and Agriculture/Livestock:

Generally, there’s a low to negligible correlation between gold and agricultural commodities or livestock. Because agricultural prices are more influenced by factors like weather patterns, crop yields, and regional demand-supply dynamics, whereas gold is influenced by macroeconomic factors, interest rates, and geopolitical events.

Oil and Agriculture:

There can be a positive correlation, especially when considering crops like corn that are used in ethanol production. Because rising oil prices can make biofuels like ethanol more competitive, leading to increased demand for crops like corn. However, this correlation might not hold for all agricultural commodities.

Silver and Industrial Metals (e.g., Copper):

There’s often a positive correlation between silver and industrial metals.

Because as a precious metal silver has industrial uses also. So when the industrial sector is booming, the demand for both silver and other industrial metals like copper can rise.

Oil and Livestock:

Indirect correlation exists. Because rising oil prices can increase the cost of transportation, which in turn can raise the costs associated with livestock production. However, this correlation is more indirect and might not be very strong.

Use it as a portfolio diversifier:

Commodities, especially gold, have historically served as a hedge against inflation. As the cost of goods and services rises, traditional currencies may lose their purchasing power. However, commodities like gold and oil have often retained or even increased their value during inflationary periods.

The increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money, has a profound impact on financial markets.

Commodities, being tangible assets, often react differently to inflationary pressures compared to intangible assets like stocks or bonds.


a- Supply and Demand Dynamics:

As the cost of production for goods rises due to inflation, the prices of raw materials (commodities) used in production can also increase, the appeal as Safe Haven to

Investors. Capital often seeks tangible assets as a store of value during inflationary periods, driving up demand and prices for commodities.

b- Impact of Rising Interest Rates:

Governments and central banks will raise interest rates to combat inflation.

Higher interest rates will:

1- Strengthen the Currency:

This can make commodities priced in that currency more expensive for foreign buyers, potentially reducing demand.

2- Increase the Cost of Holding Commodities: Commodities don’t yield interest or dividends. When interest rates rise, the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets like commodities increases. Unless there are Geopolitics factors harboring uncertainty. This will weight more on the analysis when making decisions on gold for example.

3- Gold and Inflation:

Gold, often termed as the “inflation hedge,” has a storied history of retaining value during inflationary periods, it’s intrinsic value has made it a preferred asset during times when fiat currency’s value is eroding. As investors seek safe havens from the depreciating value of money, gold often sees increased demand.

c- In times of geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties, or financial market volatility:

While commodities, in general, might face headwinds from rising interest rates, gold’s reaction can be mixed, Safe Haven Investors flock to gold, driving up its demand and price. Gold’s low correlation with stocks makes it a preferred diversification tool during market downturns.

Low Correlation with Traditional Stocks:

The performance of commodities is often independent of the stock market, making them an excellent tool for diversification. This low correlation can help reduce overall portfolio volatility, ensuring more stable returns.

Case Studies:

Background: In 2021, our client’s portfolio was primarily invested in equities. With a keen eye on market trends and potential shifts, our team at continuously evaluates the best strategies to maximize returns and minimize risks for our clients.

The Challenge: By October 2021, there were indications of potential market volatility and uncertainties looming ahead. The challenge was to safeguard the client’s investments from potential downturns and ensure that the portfolio remained resilient in the face of market fluctuations.

Strategy: In response to the anticipated market conditions, we made a strategic decision to diversify the client’s portfolio. We shifted the investments from equities to funds focused on energy, staples, and gold, which historically have shown resilience during market downturns.

Additionally, we allocated 10% of the portfolio to money markets to provide liquidity and further hedge against potential risks.

Outcome: As predicted, the markets experienced a significant drop at the beginning of 2022, with many portfolios seeing declines of around 35%. However, thanks to our proactive strategy, our client’s portfolio only fluctuated by approximately 6%, showcasing the benefits of diversification and timely decision-making. Recognizing the market’s recovery potential, we strategically re-entered equities in June 2022, positioning the portfolio for future growth.

Investing in commodities can be a strategic move, offering both protection and growth potential.

Whether through futures contracts, ETFs, or mutual funds, commodities present various avenues for investment. By understanding market trends and making informed decisions, investors can harness the power of commodities to achieve long-term financial goals and risk management.