Just look at what's happening in the energy markets right now ...
Iran is cutting off shipments to some of its biggest European customers — just out of spite for the nuclear technology dispute. Who will get dragged into this squabble next?
Furthermore — and I bet you've noticed — it's costing more to top off your car's gas tank these days. We're almost back to the 2008 "super-spike" gasoline prices in some parts of the U.S.
The headlines simply prove Sean's point: Natural gas is set to be the next big energy boom. It's much more efficient than crude oil in many cases ... and the U.S. has its own ample supply. We don't have to depend on imports.
|Relying on imported energy is getting riskier.|
Why natural gas now and not a year ago? Because the situation has changed. Natural gas is relatively cheap, and the technology to produce more of it is developing quickly. The number of investor-friendly ways to get involved is exploding, too. You'll be hearing about some great profit plays from Sean.
For my part, I'm watching some natural gas-related ETFs. And I see opportunities in three specific areas ...
Opportunity #1: Natural Gas ETFs and ETNs
Not so long ago, the only way for an individual investor to get direct exposure to natural gas prices was through the futures market. This is complex and impractical for most people — even without the massive leverage.
As with so many other sectors, the ETF revolution brought a big change. Now several ETFs and exchange-traded notes allow you to participate in the global energy markets much more easily.
These have some drawbacks, though. Many commodity ETFs and ETNs still have very low volume. Some are even on my Deathwatch list.
Another problem is that futures markets, by their nature, are hard to track with any precision over the long-term. To learn why, see "What's All This Talk About Oil Futures and Contango?" The same applies for natural gas.
Yet another challenge: Complex instruments like these draw a lot of legal scrutiny, especially when they are new and unproven.Regulators have occasionally created roadblocks for commodity-based energy ETFs and ETNs.
Nevertheless, if you want to capitalize on quick moves in natural gas prices, take a look at these tickers:
- iPath DJ-UBS Natural Gas Total Return ETN (GAZ)
- iPath Seasonal Natural Gas ETN (DCNG)
- Teucrium Natural Gas Fund (NAGS)
- UBS ETRACS Natural Gas Futures Contango ETN (GASZ)
- United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund (UNL)
- United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG)
- ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Natural Gas (BOIL)
- ProShares UltraShort DJ-UBS Natural Gas (KOLD)
Opportunity #2: Pipeline Profits
|Natural gas travels by pipe.|
As you know, natural gas doesn't just appear out of nowhere. It's a useless resource if it can't get from the ground to your furnace.
Gas pipelines solve this problem nicely. They're a big business — and if Sean is right they're going to get bigger!
For tax reasons, energy pipelines are typically owned by "master limited partnerships," or MLPs. As I wrote almost two years ago, you can build a quick, diversified MLP portfolio with ETFs and ETNs. Individual MLP securities also have great potential if you pick the right one at the right time. I can't wait to see Sean's picks in this niche.
Opportunity #3: Small Cap Energy ETFs
Sean is very keen on small-cap natural gas stocks — and rightly so. The potential profits are enormous. But if you prefer a more diversified approach, ETFs may be a great answer.
Until very recently it was hard to find energy sector ETFs that weren't dominated by multinational conglomerates like ExxonMobil (XOM). Several new entrants make it easier to get involved in smaller energy stocks:
|Natural gas comes from surprising places.|
- Market Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF (FRAK)
- PowerShares S&P Small Cap Energy Portfolio (PSCE)
- Jefferies TR/J CRB Wildcatters Exploration & Production Equity ETF (WCAT)
As you can see, the biggest and best-known ETF players are moving quickly to get involved in natural gas. That should tell you something: This is a niche with huge potential!
I think natural gas ETFs will offer great opportunities over the next year or two. Do your research, get some help and good luck!
|< Prev||Next >|
Current Headlines - Finance
Sources: Hastert engaged in sexual misconduct as a teacher
The alleged "misconduct" referenced in the indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is of a sexual nature involving a male individual, dating back to Hastert's time as a high school wrestling coach and history teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, sources with knowledge of the case told ABC News. Associates and former colleagues of Hastert expressed surprise and dismay today over allegations that he disbursed $1.7 million in hush money payments to conceal alleged misconduct from a period before he entered politics. The school district that employed Hastert from 1965 to 1981 as a high school history teacher and wrestling coach noted it "was first made aware of any concerns regarding Mr. Hastert when the federal indictment was released" Thursday.
Obama: 'Handful of senators' standing in way of Patriot Act
WASHINGTON (AP) — Blaming a "handful of senators" for stalled national security legislation, President Barack Obama said Friday he has told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators that he expects them to take action swiftly to extend key Patriot Act provisions.
Another round of rain brings more serious flooding in Texas
DALLAS (AP) — Floodwaters submerged highways and flooded homes Friday in Texas as another round of heavy rain added to the damage inflicted by storms that have killed at least 23 people in the U.S. and left 13 missing.
Sepp Blatter wins FIFA re-election the old fashioned way
Amazon.com to develop groceries under own private label Elements: report
You may soon be able to buy an Amazon.com private-label brand of soup, cereal and baby products as the e-commerce giant moves into the grocery sector. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is expanding its own Elements brand to an array of products that might otherwise come from a competitor such as Walmart or a grocery store such as Costco or Loblaw's. Earlier this month, Amazon sought trademark protection for Elements brand coffee, soup, pasta, water, vitamins, dog food and household items like razors and cleaning products.
The 20 jobs that robots are most likely to take over
Hamish Blair/Getty Umpires and referees have a 98.3% chance of being automated. Machines are only getting smarter and more efficient. So much so that they’re starting to take over both blue-collar white-collar jobs. NPR recently posted a guide created by researchers that predicts the chance of our jobs being automated within the next 20 years. To make their projections, the experts scored jobs across 21 fields on nine possible traits, the four most important being: cleverness, negotiation, helping others, and squeezing into small spaces. Mental health and substance abuse social workers appear to be in the clear, with a 0.3% chance of being automated. Telemarketers, umpires, cashiers, and several other jobs that are already being replaced by robots, have reason to worry, however. You can interact with the full guide here. While the researchers admitted that these percentages are rough, the data offers insights into what the future may look like. 20. Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers have a 95.1% chance of being automated. Robots are becoming critical to the production process of electronics because of their precision and accuracy. They are being used to do things such as: load solar wafers into solar cells, place LED light bulbs, and inspect circuit boards, as reported by the Robotics Industries Association. 19. Postal service workers Postal service workers have a 95.4% chance of being automated. Postal sorters, clerks, and mail carriers are being hit hard by automation. Not only are robots able to do tasks such as sort mail, but snail mail is becoming more and more obsolete with the increasing digitization of mail. 18. Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers have a 95.5% chance of being automated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts their employment to decline 10% between now and 2022 as robots begin assisting in the manufacturing and repairing of jewelry. 17. Restaurant cooks Restaurant cooks have a 96.3% chance of being automated. A noodle-slicing robot named Foxbot can be found at Dazzling Noodles, an open-kitchen restaurant chain in North China’s Shanxi province. There’s another robot chef making crab bisque from scratch, thanks to 20 motors, 24 joints, and 129 sensors. The robot, designed by Moley Robotics, can complete the complicated dish in 30 minutes and even plates it. 16. Grinding and polishing workers Grinding and polishing workers have a 97% chance of being automated. Robots are increasingly able to grind or polish a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, and glass objects. 15. Cashiers Cashiers have a 97.1% chance of being automated. Panera Bread announced that it will have replaced all of its cashiers with kiosks by 2016, according to a USA Today article. Additionally, self-checkout machines are continuing to spring up in grocery stores around the world. 14. Bookkeepers Bookkeepers have a 97.6% chance of being automated. The Wall Street Journal reported that big companies such as Pilot Travel, Verizon Communications Inc., and GameStop Corp., among others, are using software to automate corporate bookkeeping tasks. These companies now only need about 10 clerks to pay suppliers, as opposed to the 80 or so they would need without the robot bookkeepers. 13. Legal secretaries Legal secretaries have a 97.6% chance of being automated. Secretaries are disappearing from the job market now that technology allows bosses to field calls and arrange meetings themselves. 12. Fashion models Fashion models have a 97.6% chance of being automated. In addition to taking over fashion model jobs, robots are performing in other surprising ways, such as acting. Engineered Arts, a British company, has created a fully interactive and multilingual robot called the RoboThespian, which can hold eye contact, guess a person’s mood and age, and break into song. 11. Drivers Drivers have a 97.8% chance of being automated. Drivers and chauffeurs won’t be needed for much longer. Google’s self-driving test cars have driven thousands of miles without human intervention. Also, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick loves the idea of autonomous vehicles and announced that Uber will eventually be replacing all of its drivers with cars that drive themselves. 10. Credit analysts Credit analysts have a 97.9% chance of being automated. Automating the process of analyzing credit data and financial statements, and preparing reports with credit information, could result in a lower degree of risk. 9. Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders have a 97.9% chance of being automated. Setting up, operating, or tending milling or planing machines is increasingly being delegated to machines. 8. Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders have a 98% chance of being automated. Using robots to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment is becoming more and more prevalent. Amazon now uses an army of robots — each 320 pounds and 16 inches tall — to bring shelves of goods out of storage in order to be shipped, reported Time. 7. Procurement clerks Procurement clerks have a 98% chance of being automated. It is now very simple for machines to place orders with suppliers for materials and services. Also, ordering over the internet — or “e-procurement” — will result in a decline of these jobs. 6. Umpires and referees Umpires and referees have a 98.3% chance of being automated. In professional tennis, a computerized umpire called Hawk Eye is already being used to help the chief umpire make close line calls. Players have the option of “challenging” a call, in which the Hawk Eye system will display where the ball landed and whether or not it was in or out. Its decisions are final. Hawk Eye represents just one system being used to solve disputes in sports. 5. Tellers Tellers have a 98.3% chance of being automated. Chances are you haven’t used a human bank teller in a while. ATMs can provide most of the services that tellers offer. 4. Loan officers Loan officers have a 98.4% chance of being automated. A Bloomberg article reported that inroads are already being made at Daric Inc., an online peer-to-peer lender. The company has replaced all loan officers with an algorithm that identifies safe borrowers. 3. Timing device assemblers and adjusters Timing device assemblers and adjusters have a 98.5% chance of being automated. Machines are now able to perform the precise assembling, adjusting, or calibrating that timing device assemblers specialize in. 2. Tax preparers Tax preparers have a 98.7% chance of being automated. Automating the process of preparing tax returns could result in much fewer errors, and the technology, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), already exists. 1. Telemarketers Telemarketers have a 99% chance of being automated. Many of today’s cold-callers are not human. Robots can not only perform the job 24/7, but they can maintain energy and perkiness no matter how many rude consumers they interact with. Now check out more jobs that robots performing that you never would have guessed… 14 surprising jobs that robots are doing Read more stories on Business Insider, Malaysian edition of the world’s fastest-growing business and technology news website.
5 Options for Risk-Averse College Savers
For risk-averse investors, trying to keep pace with college costs while also choosing a safe investment vehicle for college savings can be tricky. It's understandable that investors are apprehensive about market turbulence, McKinley says. Compared with saving for retirement, the timeline for saving for college is much shorter, leaving less time to weather the swings of the stock market.
Unrepentant Lehman ex-CEO Fuld says firm 'was not bankrupt'
By Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six years, seven months and 13 days after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc filed for bankruptcy, its former chief executive, Richard Fuld Jr., is still insisting it did not go broke. "Lehman Brothers in 2008 was not a bankrupt company," Fuld said at a conference in Manhattan on Thursday, his first such public appearance since the financial crisis for which Lehman's massive Chapter 11 filing marked a tipping point. During a speech that lasted a little more than 30 minutes, Fuld waxed nostalgic about the history of Lehman Brothers and his career on Wall Street, and ruminated about financial markets and current events.
Gold price drop fails to boost demand; premiums hold firm
By A. Ananthalakshmi SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Gold demand across Asia was subdued this week, with premiums in major trading centres failing to see any uptick, despite a drop in the metal's prices to a 2-1/2-week low as the strength in the dollar and equities kept consumers away. Spot gold prices fell to $1,180.55 an ounce this week, their lowest since May 11, before recovering slightly. "People are still happy to trade the stock market, rather than gold," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
Bill Clinton would break new ground as First Gent