Skip to main content

Volatility in the commodities market

Update (9/3/08): the latest news on the Ospraie Fund closure.

Found an interesting story over at Bloomberg.com which details the high levels of volatility in the commodities markets.

What's remarkable about this piece is that they've managed to interweave the subject with an inner look at the workings of Dwight Anderson's Ospraie Fund. According to Bloomberg, Ospraie Management LLC is the world's biggest commodity-focused hedge fund, with $7 billion under management.

Most of the commentary on Ospraie and Anderson's vision seems to be pieced together from indirect sources and relayed quotes (from the likes of Marc Rich), but it is still surprising to see the players behind this prominent hedge fund placed in center focus. Lots of background info on the fund and Dwight Anderson's career are found here.

Which leads me to the following question: are hedgies slowly warming to the media spotlight? Or is it just that reporters are piecing together more info on their dealings and personalities, knowing that we want to read about them?

Here's an excerpt from Bloomberg's story, "Ospraie's Anderson Dives Into Commodities, Survives Swoon".

The Ospraie Fund makes long and short investments -- that is, it bets values will rise or fall -- on the prices of commodities such as oil, copper and corn and on the shares of companies in basic industries such as energy, mining and agriculture. What hurt Ospraie and other commodity hedge funds in mid-2007 were the wide, sometimes unpredictable, swings in prices in all markets.

``Commodities are more volatile compared with stocks and bonds,'' Banque SYZ's Friche says. ``So the stakes are higher, which means that while there are great profits to be made, there are great losses too. It's a dangerous game.''

Enjoy the piece. For more background on Ospraie and commodity focused hedge funds, click the link to view our previous posts.

Popular posts from this blog

Seth Klarman: Margin of Safety (pdf)

Welcome, readers! Signup for free email updates at the Finance Trends Newsletter . Update: PDF links removed due to DMCA notice. Please see our extensive Klarman book notes below. New visitors, please check the Finance Trends home page for all new posts. Here's something for anyone who has been trying to get a look at Seth Klarman's now famous, and out of print, 1991 investment book, Margin of Safety .  My knowledge of value investing is pretty much limited to what I've read in Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor (the book which originally popularized the investment concept of a "Margin of Safety"), so check out the wisdom from Seth Klarman and other investing greats in our related posts below. You can also go straight to Ronald Redfield's Margin of Safety book notes .    Related posts: 1. Seth Klarman interviews and Margin of Safety notes     2. Seth Klarman: Lessons from 2008 3. Investing Lessons from Sir John Templeton 4.

Slate profiles Victor Niederhoffer

Slate's recent profile of writer/speculator, Vic Niederhoffer has been getting some attention from traders and finance types in recent days. I thought we'd take a look at it here too, to offer up some possible educational value from Vic's experiences with trading and loss. Here's an excerpt from Slate's profile of Victor Niederhoffer : " I've enjoyed getting your e-mails. It sounds like you've thought a lot about being wrong. Well, the reason you contacted me, to call a spade a spade, is that I'm sort of infamous for having made a big, notorious, terrible error not once but twice in my market career. Let's talk about those errors. The first was your investment in the Thai baht, which pretty much wiped you out when the Thai stock market crashed in 1997. I made so many errors there it's pathetic. I made one of my favorite errors: "The mouse with one hole is quickly cornered." That is key. There are certain decisions you make in li

Clean Money - John Rubino: Book review

Clean Money by John Rubino 274 pages. Hoboken, New Jersey John Wiley & Sons. 2009. 1st Edition. The bouyant stock market environment of the past several years is gone, and the financial wreckage of 2008 is still sharp in our minds as a new year starts to unfold. Given the recent across-the-board-declines in global stock markets (and most asset classes) that have left many investors shell-shocked, you might wonder if there is any good reason to consider the merits of a hot new investment theme, such as clean energy. However, we shouldn't be too hasty to write off all future stock investments. After all, the market declines of 2008 may continue into 2009, but they may also leave interesting investment opportunities in their wake. Which brings us to the subject of this review. John Rubino, author and editor of GreenStockInvesting.com , recently released a new book on renewable energy and clean-tech investing entitled, Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green Tech Boom . In Clean