Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Paper Food" ETFs

I was just over at (where else?) and was reading the thread on the CME relaxing some margin requirements on gold as well as corn.  Along that thread, food inflation is mentioned.

Other than perhaps buying gold, there is an interesting little way we pikers can play food inflation.  These would be via the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) now quite the hit on the stock exchanges.  There are hundreds of ETFs.  The ETF business is catering to almost every need in finance (except for cocaine and Ukrainian hookers, although maybe by now they have that those covered too).

The ETFs that cover the commodities mean that you do not have to deal with the intricacies of commodity brokers and futures trading.  Like stocks, you call your stockbroker up and tell him to buy 100 shares of the ETF you want.

I have not really kept up in the fast moving world of ETFs lately, but there are the three below ones that might be worth a look, "Paper Food" ETFs:

-- Ticker: DBA.   DBA is a a diversified holding of all sorts of traded food commodities.  It started out as 25% each of wheat/corn/soybeans/sugar but apparently has expanded to include various other commodities like coffee, orange juice and meats.

-- Ticker: JJG.  JJG is just grains, I do not know which grains nor what percentage is of the various grains.

-- Ticker: CORN.  CORN is just corn, a nice pure play.

Each of the above three is unleveraged (IIRC).  There ARE leveraged food ETFs, but before you buy ANY leveraged ETFs, please ask me about my unhappy experiences with them (SKF and FAZ particularly come to mind...).

Bottom Line:  You can play food inflation and keep up (on paper anyway) with the "Paper Food" ETFs.

Do your own diligence.


  1. I like to buy my foods in the super-market, not the stock market. Although I did go through discreet channels when buying MJ Brownies =). Seriously though, I would be buying a farm right now if I had the dough.

  2. I'm playing with FAZ and TZA again. I'll bounce completely back out before they barf up QE3... Won't trade DBA or DAG with these flash margin changes every time the wind blows.

  3. Ask me about my very happy experience with leverage, DAG since July 2010 and want more.

  4. remember that there is a correlation between corn and beef prices.

    I have also heard that corn has room to move higher


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