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Commodity Investing: Maximizing Returns Through Fundamental Analysis


Praise for Commodity Investing

"Luck and skill are two key elements in successful trading. The authors can't do anything for your luck, but they think and write clearly both about the way commodities markets really work and about the way futures markets for those commodities behave. This book will be an excellent resource for those who are drawn to these markets."
—Galen Burghardt, Senior Vice President, Director of Research, Calyon Financial

"Adam Dunsby [et al.] is well organized, rich in information, and eminently readable. Combining a comprehensive primer to the fundamentals of commodity markets, thoughtful and sophisticated considerations for developing systematic trading methods, and invaluable reference material, it will certainly be on the compulsory reading list for Aspect's research team."
—Martin Lueck, Director of Research, Aspect Capital Ltd

"At last, a refreshingly insightful and easy-to-read analysis of that very latest of investment crazes on Wall Street—commodities! The authors dare to challenge conventional wisdom and view this asset class through the prism of long-term, inflation-adjusted economic data, reaching the sobering conclusion that the historic price action of so-called non-renewable commodities may not be quite what the Malthusians of our day would have the public believe! This is a must-read for any person (be it for themselves or on behalf of an institution) who is giving consideration to making an investment in the commodities markets."
—Alex Ladouceur, Chief Executive Officer, Global Commodities Group, Prudential Financial

Investing in commodities has swelled dramatically in recent years, but information associated with this market has not followed suit.

That's why Adam Dunsby and his colleagues at Cornerstone Quantitative Investment Group (CQIG)—a leading commodity trading advisor—have created Commodity Investing. Filled with in-depth insights and expert advice, this book puts commodity futures investing in perspective and prepares you for what should be expected each step of the way.

Information outlined throughout these pages will allow you to excel within this arena. Some of the issues addressed include:

  • The building blocks of a commodity trading system

  • The essential aspects of various commodities such as natural gas, wheat, aluminum, and sugar

  • Commodity returns over the recent period of modern financial markets

  • And much more

You don't need to be a financial professional to be a successful commodities investor, but you do need to be prepared. With Commodity Investing as your guide, you'll gain a solid understanding of this investment vehicle and quickly discover what it takes to make it in this market.

Adam Dunsby is a principal at Cornerstone Quantitative Investment Group. He received both his undergraduate degree and PhD in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

John Eckstein is a principal at Cornerstone Quantitative Investment Group. He earned a BS from Brown University, where he studied computer science and cognitive science. Mr. Eckstein developed investment application software for money management firms prior to his current position.

Jess Gaspar is the Director of Research at Cornerstone Quantitative Investment Group. He earned his undergraduate degree from MIT and his PhD in economics from Stanford. After receiving his PhD, Mr. Gaspar was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, where he did research and taught international economics and computational methods in economics and finance. Mr. Gaspar worked at McKinsey & Co. as a consultant before joining Cornerstone.

Sarah Mulholland is the head trader at Cornerstone Quantitative Investment Group. She earned a BS in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Cornerstone, she traded energy derivatives for Enron North America and PSE&G.


Chapter 1. Introduction.

Chapter 2. Commodity Futures as Investments.

Chapter 3. Commodities for the Long Run.

Understanding Energy.

Chapter 4. Oil.

Chapter 5. Gasoline.

Chapter 6. Heating Oil.

Chapter 7. Natural gas.

Understanding Grains And Oilseeds

Chapter 8. Wheat.

Chapter 9. Corn.

Chapter 10. Soybeans.

Understanding Livestock.

Chapter 11. Cattle.

Chapter 12. Hogs.

Understanding Industrial Metals.

Chapter 13. Copper.

Chapter 14. Aluminum.

Chapter 15. Zinc.

Understanding The Softs.

Chapter 16. Coffee.

Chapter 17. Sugar.

Chapter 18. Cocoa.

Chapter 19. Cotton.

How To Invest.

Chapter 20. Some Building Blocks of a Commodity Futures Trading System.

Chapter 21. The Rise of the Indexes.

Chapter 22. Conclusion.

Appendix. The London Metals Exchange.