The other day
I wrote about
a new family of exchange-traded notes from a company called Elements that use indices created by legendary commodities investor Jimmy Rogers.
But anyone looking to get exposure to this asset class has many new exchange-traded products to choose from, so you should not buy from one provider without at least looking at the others.
In that article I made a reference to one of several new commodity iPath ETNs from Barclays Global, a unit of
that also sponsors the iShares brand of exchange-traded funds. Barclays has recently expanded its lineup of commodities products in a meaningful way, adding several products that track narrower sectors of the market:
- iPath DJ AIG Agriculture Total Return Sub Index(JJA)
- iPath DJ AIG Copper Total Return Sub Index(JJC)
- iPath DJ AIG Grains Total Return Sub Index(JJG)
- iPath DJ AIG Energy Total Return Sub Index(JJE)
- iPath DJ AIG Industrial Metals Total Return Sub Index(JJM)
- iPath DJ AIG Livestock Total Return Sub Index(COW)
- iPath DJ AIG Natural Gas Total Return Sub Index(GAZ)
- iPath DJ AIG Nickel Total Return Sub Index(JJN)
All eight of these ETNs are carved out of the older, broader
iPath DJ AIG Commodity Index Total Return ETN
. As ETNs, or exchange-traded notes, they are debt obligations of Barclays Global. That means investors do not actually own the various commodities; instead Barclays is committing to investors that the products will mimic their intended indices, less the 0.75% expense ratio.
Some of the new iPath commodity ETNs are more narrowly focused than their Elements counterparts; JJG tracks just three grains compared with 20 agricultural products in the
Elements Linked to Rogers International Commodity Index Agriculture Total Return
I made the case for agriculture and so, by extension, grains (in the case of JJG, the fund is allocated 42.6% to soybeans, 35.8% to wheat and 21.6% to corn) and, to some extent, livestock (COW, for instance, consists of 67.9% cattle and 32.1% lean hogs), in last week's article. These sectors have underperformed energy and metals in the past, but that doesn't mean they will in the future.