Friday, February 27, 2009

Investment thoughts

Being in crisis many commodities look interesting: soy, corn, oil, gold, silver, etc. But I have little experience in investing in commodities like soy or corn.

Buying gold has become a lot easier. An ETF like GLD will mostly do it.

I also looked at silver. Silver is more expensive to buy and hold. It is also taxed differently. If I understand it correctly VAT has to be paid on purchase.

On the petrol or crude oil side some people foresee the following. Since 2009 and 2010 is going to be a recession, the crude demand will go or be down. So, the crude price will stay low as well. Beyond 2010 and on the basis of peak oil the price of crude might go up. To buy oil one can use USO, USL, or OIL, all are ETFs/ETNs and are very similar. Alternatively one could invest in energy companies, XLE might a possibility. There is a moral dilemma. By investing in energy companies like Exxon aren't we supporting the prolongation of the problem (staying with oil instead of switching to alternative energy sources)?

Real estate? Seems like in 2009 and 2010 it will continue to go down and now is not the optimal time for buying real estate. But! Even if real estate goes down I see it to be a lot safer than stocks, bonds, or funds.

My friend told me that his investment strategy was: saving for the future, but now he has changed it. His new investment strategy is insulation, chicken and planting veggies in the backyard. With coming changes in the energy supply and peak oil these investment choices do not sound so outlandish anymore.

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