Buy and Hold Commodity Futures vs ETFs by Attain Capital

Here’s our monthly look at:

1. How the numerous commodity ETFs which have sprung onto the scene the past few years are tracking a simple strategy of just buying the December futures market of that commodity, under the theory that the ETF will have to roll their positions periodically throughout the year, and in doing so take on costs the simple strategy does not have.

2. How the passive investment strategy of being long commodities (either via futures or ETFs) compare to an active strategy going both long and short commodity markets via a professional commodity trading advisor (as tracked by the BarclayHedge Ag Trader Index).

(Performance as of 3/31/2015)

Commodity ETF Over/Under Performance 2015

Commodity Futures ETF Difference
Crude Oil $CL_F
-7.70%
$USO
-17.29%
-9.58%
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Brent Oil $NBZ_F
-7.03%
$BNO
-9.56%
-2.53%
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Natural Gas $NG_F
-8.88%
$UNG
-10.36%
-1.48% font>
Cocoa $CC_F
-5.85%
$NIB
-8.06%
-2.21% font>
Coffee $KC_F
-19.27%
$JO
-23.72%
-4.45% font>
Corn $ZC_F
-4.85%
$CORN
-7.21%
-2.36% font>
Cotton $CT_F
-0.12%
$BAL
4.86%
4.98%
Live Cattle $LE_F
-1.94%
$CATL
-0.98%
0.98%
Lean Hogs $LH_F
-8.83%
$HOGS
-22.87%
-14.04% font>
Sugar $SB_F
-19.08%
$CANE
-16.30%
2.78%
Soybeans $ZS_F
-5.00%
$SOYB
-5.44%
-0.44% font>
Wheat $ZW_F
-12.59%
$WEAT
-14.02%
-1.43% font>
Average strong> -8.43% strong> -10.91% strong> -2.48% strong> font>
Average without Hogs strong> -8.39% strong> -9.83% strong> -1.43% strong> font>
Commodity Index $DBC -7.48% font>
Long/Short Ag Trader CTAs 0.19%