4 Reasons Commodity Futures Trading Can Be Tricky

Commodity futures trading can be one of the most rewarding financial markets in the world. To the average investor, it can be difficult and unpredictable. It is important to know some of the most difficult aspects of commodities before investing.

1. World Market

The commodity futures trading market has evolved into a world market. Every region in the world has some impact on the commodity futures market. As an investor, you have to keep a keen eye on many different areas of the world. Investing in the stock market by comparison, can be much easier. Usually, you just have to keep an eye on your stocks and the related industry in order to have a good idea of what will happen with your investment. However, with the commodities market, something that happens on the other side of the world can drastically affect your holdings in the market. Therefore, it requires much more research and a deeper understanding of how the market works to get involved.

2. Unpredictable Circumstances

Another reason that the commodity futures market can be very tricky is because of the unpredictable factors that are involved. There are many things that affect commodities that there is no way you could possibly predict. For example, let's say that you invested in oranges. Shortly after you invest, a very late freeze comes through Florida and completely decimates the entire orange crop. At that point, there is a very low supply of oranges, but the same demand for them still remains. This means that the price of oranges will skyrocket because there will be a vast shortage of supply. Your investment could go through the roof, however, there is no way that you could have known this and it could work in reverse just as easily.

3. Speculation

Investing in commodity futures can be tricky because of the speculation element that is involved. In comparison, the stock market is largely based upon fundamental information. For example, the stock price of a particular company will be largely based on the performance of that company. Therefore, if you invest in a very large company that has a good history of doing business, you can feel fairly safe in your investment. However, with commodities you are guaranteed no such safety. Prices regularly swing rapidly based on nothing more than market sentiment. Speculators might decide to buy a commodity all at the same time and it drastically increases the price of the commodity. Because of this, prices can go from extremely high, to extremely low, in a very short amount time.

4. Futures Brokers

Another reason that this market can be difficult to navigate is because you will have to utilize a futures broker. Many investors are familiar with stockbrokers and traditional brokerage accounts. However, getting used to a futures broker could prove to be difficult and will require you to learn a new system. This means that you will have to do more research and put in more time in order to make it work.

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