eToro Post – Outlook for Commodities from Q3 2022

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A recent interview with Goldman Sachs global head of Commodities Research, Jeff Curie, on Meb Faber’s podcast (episode 445: https://mebfaber.com/2022/09/26/e445-jeff-currie/, available on most podcast apps) caught my interest with a summary of the commodities outlook and where we are in a commodity supercycle with current underinvestment in the supply side

The main take out from this interview is that this last year’s increase in commodity prices is not caused by Russia, but the underlying structural issues were caused by policy and underinvestment in the sector in the last decade, which Russia has taken advantage of.

In this brief article, we summarize the key message of the interview and what lies ahead for the energy sector and broad commodities for the next years. We are most likely set up for a new commodity supercycle, so prepare your portfolio accordingly.

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eToro Post – How Strategic Rebalancing Helped Avoid a -35% Loss in Long Treasury Bonds

Since I joined eToro in April last year, I have been sharing insights and observations about investing with risk balanced strategies such as the All Seasons Portfolio (“ASP”) strategy I run here. As eToro is a social trading platform, I from time to time share content in my eToro feed, which I then share on the blog in posts like this.

As part of my All Seasons Portfolio, the asset classes have a set aimed allocation, which is based on their historical volatility and correlations and biases to different economic regimes. For rebalancing the portfolio, I apply rebalancing spans that allow assets to deviate from the aimed allocation with +/- 20%, unless it is in a trend.

Such rebalancing trigger occurred in March 2022 for Long-Term Treasury Bonds, as its weight had fallen by more than 20%, but as it was in a clear negative trend, rebalancing was postponed until May 2022.

By waiting with the rebalancing, I managed to avoid a loss of more than 35% on the position I would have taken in March (or -2.5% on a portfolio level).

In this post, we describe in a bit more detail the benefits of applying such strategic rebalancing rules.

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eToro Post – Delayed Planting Season in the U.S. Threatens Crop Yield

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The big news surrounding CBOT traders the past few weeks is the very wet and unusually cool weather this spring in the northern U.S. Plains, affecting farmers in North Dakota, northern Minnesota and parts of South Dakota.

For example, the planting progress for North Dakota corn reached 20% last week, compared to a 66% annual average at the same point in time in previous years, while spring wheat recorded 27% completion versus a 80% average.

The numbers are, in other words, far off from a typical year. The similar grim story is told for soybeans, albeit these are less delayed than wheat and corn on a nation-wide level, but with North Dakota (the fourth largest soy area in the U.S.) being again significantly behind.

The wet conditions have made it difficult to get the crops into the ground, with the U.S. corn planting running at the second-slowest pace in more than a quarter century, and spring wheat planting being THE slowest on record.

In this article, originally posted in my eToro feed, we take a quick look at what consequences can be expected from this late planting of vital crops.

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eToro Post – Different Types of Inflation and Assets That Hedge Against Each

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Surely you have not missed the talks about inflation the past year. Even from the Fed and Yellen, the sentiment about inflation has changed from “not a problem” to “transitory” to “longer than first expected” and now to “good for the economy”.

While the price of risk assets, such as stocks, may also inflate due to the rise in inflation, they are not rising as much in real terms.

Rising inflation, and especially inflation that is higher than expected, is harmful to most common portfolios that comprise of stocks, or a combination of the two like the 60/40 Portfolio. Both stock and bonds are assets that perform well in times of low or decreasing inflation, and will lag in times when inflation rises.

It is thus vital to have a portfolio which also includes inflation hedges to mitigate the risk of unexpected inflation prints.

In this post, we will be looking at different types of inflation - as inflation can manifest in different ways - and how you can protect your wealth against each of them with different assets.

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eToro Post – Systematic Trading and Strategic Rebalancing of Commodities

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This pot was originally shared on my eToro feed on 13 March 2022. Make sure to follow me there as well, and did you know that you can copy my trading there for free? Create an account today, copy my portfolio by searching for user "Allseasonsport" to automatically duplicate my All Seasons Portfolio strategy effortlessly.

The benefit of a systematic strategy - like the one I run here on eToro - rather than a discretionary strategy is that you don't get in your own way when following rules that are proven to work.

Hence, by taking a trader/person with cognitive biases out of the equation, you increase the probability of success by avoiding mistakes caused by limits of the human brain.

It is intuitively hard to buy assets that are trending, as it feels more expensive by the day when the price goes up, and you tell yourself you will "buy the dip".

The problem is that when that dip occurs, the trend may be broken and the asset is no longer an attractive buy. That is when our cognitive biases hinder us from success.

When we go against rules, we tend to make mistakes, as the rules were set in place for a reason.

Due to these rules, I will be strategically rebalancing Commodities and Long-Term Treasury Bonds in my eToro portfolio as they have exceeded their rebalancing spans. Read more about my reasoning here.

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Portfolio Update – August 2021 – Retail Investors’ Irrational Expectations of Risk Parity

What I have observed from discussions with retail investors who are not yet aware of the benefits of risk parity, is that there is a great misunderstand of the goals of risk parity, and incorrect expectations of what such strategies should provide.

When explaining what risk parity is, being a strategy that pieces together risk premiums and returns from a wider array of asset classes, but where the timing of the earned positive returns from each asset are spread out in such a fashion that during all economic regimes, some of the assets will see negative returns, but the positive returns of other assets will offset losses and provide your portfolio with an overall profit.

This means that through proper diversification, on a portfolio level you cancel out much of the volatility inherit in each of the individual asset classes, so that you get a much smoother ride with lower portfolio volatility, but can still expect equity-like returns over time. You should expect rolling hills and valleys rather than mountains and canyons.

But as I have alluded to in recent posts, even though the All Seasons Portfolio strategy and other similar strategies (Golden Butterfly, etc. for example) are rationally the best fit for most investors, during times when the stock market outperforms, it becomes difficult to see your neighbor get richer on the stock market while your safe portfolio lags.

This kind of underperformance fatigue sets you up for a great risk if you abandon the safe strategy for a high-risk strategy when the market crash (the one that you were protected against) occurs.

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