Probably the best market in the world

One of the questions people often ask me, especially if they have no background in economics or markets is why I love following and writing about commodity markets so much. For me its the intersection between so many interesting facets of life that I don’t think you get anywhere else. Here are my top 6 reasons why I find commodity markets utterly fascinating:

It forces you to learn about other topics. In order to really get to the bottom of things you need to have some understanding of human psychology, geology, technology, the weather, economics, demographics, mathematics.

But the learning is never over. Markets have a habit of confounding the most experienced, seasoner observer. I can only count on myself as being somewhere on that journey, one though that is never finished and one I should never think as complete.

There are opportunities. Even the most widely followed commodity markets offer opportunities for insight and profits. Looking down the paths least traveled, and thinking about things in a different way is the way forward.

Its real. Its the ‘Trading Places’ analogy of a breakfast table where the Duke brothers point to the orange juice, the bacon and the wheat to Billy Ray as being commodity markets. Its something that is real and I can explain in very simple terms to my 6 year old, or someone much older.

Writing provides a way of crystallizing your thinking. I will be covering the practicalities of writing in a separate post, but for me the main benefit is that it forces to boil down an idea or some information into a small nugget of insight. From there I can take it somewhere forward that I wasn’t expecting to go before I started writing.

Never a dull moment. Although the talk of the town is low volatility across many different asset classes, its there if you know where to look. And these aren’t some obscure commodity markets, but things like wheat that we all pretty much consume everyday.

My new book Crude Forecasts: Predictions, Pundits and Profits in the Commodity Casino is now available to pre-order as an e-book on Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Google Play. The book will be launched and available to download on Monday 25th September. The paperback version should be available on or about the same day while the audio version should be coming later in the autumn.

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Peter Sainsbury

Materials Risk provides commodity market insights across your supply chain by highlighting emerging risks and opportunities and providing advice on commodity buying and managing risk. All views expressed on this website are those of Materials Risk only. See our About page and terms and conditions for more details. Materials Risk was founded by Peter Sainsbury who you can follow on Google+ and Quora