Commodities are now mainstream: Survey

A third of broker reps, indie advisers are allocating to precious metals

Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Commodities have graduated to the mainstream of investment asset classes, according to a recent survey of brokerage representatives and independent advisers.

A survey conducted last month during the ETF Virtual Summit found that 85% of financial intermediaries are now allocating client portfolios to commodities.

“It was a bit of a surprise because I was expecting the number [of advisers using commodities] to be lower,” said William Rind, managing director at ETF Securities USA LLC, which conducted the online survey during the summit.

Among the findings, Mr. Rind said he learned that brokerage reps expressed a stronger interest in learning more about commodities and commodities investing.

“There are not a lot of brokerage companies out there educating reps on commodities,” he said. “And the RIAs are doing their own research on commodities.”

In terms of specific investing, the survey found that 33% of independent advisers and 35% of brokerage reps are using precious metals as part of an asset allocation strategy, while 21% of independent advisers and 20% of brokerage reps use precious metals for tactical investing.

“This survey confirms that most advisers are using commodities and precious metals in diversified portfolios, and indeed, these once alternative investments have cemented themselves as a mainstream asset class,” said Tom Lydon, organizer of the virtual conference and president of Global Trends Investments.

The survey of 220 financial intermediaries included 124 brokerage reps and 96 independent advisers.

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