Eye of the storm: investing in commodities
Oil and gas have been the focus of attention. But powerful currents in natural-resource markets are creating opportunities for investors across the full spectrum of commodities.
Commodity prices can be extremely volatile and losses may be made.
Changes in the relative values of different currencies may adversely affect the value of investments and any related income.
The use of derivatives is not intended to increase the overall level of risk. However, the use of derivatives may still lead to large changes in value and includes the potential for large financial loss. A counterparty to a derivative transaction may fail to meet its obligations which may also lead to a financial loss.
These markets carry a higher risk of financial loss than more developed markets as they may have less developed legal, political, economic or other systems.
The value of equities (e.g. shares) and equity-related investments may vary according to company profits and future prospects as well as more general market factors. In the event of a company default (e.g. insolvency), the owners of their equity rank last in terms of any financial payment from that company.
Investments may be primarily concentrated in specific countries, geographical regions and/or industry sectors. This may mean that, in certain market conditions, the value of the portfolio may decrease whilst more broadly-invested portfolios might grow.