Over the long run, what could be more certain than the rising price of oil? Increasing demand, shrinking supply, China, Iran, Russia and OPEC are all familiar stories.

In fact, what would make you feel more secure than having a few thousand barrels of your own in a private backyard reserve? No more shortages, no more price spikes. Wouldn't that be nice? And for some extra cash, you could sell a barrel or two when things get bad again.

But how practical is that? You can keep gold in a vault or wear it around your neck. But what about oil? Fill your swimming pool? Build a tank? A rail siding with a tank car or two next to your driveway?

You can invest in oil, but it's hard to get a pure play. Most oil investments involve buying an oil business, such as an oil or oil-service company, or a financial derivative, such as a futures contract. But you want to keep it simple. You want to buy oil.

And you want to do it now, because it's down sharply from last year's highs. Admittedly those highs may reflect emotion and overdone commodity speculation, but today's prices seem just as emotionally low, presenting a one-time opportunity. If you agree, what better way is there to hedge your investments against geopolitical uncertainty and inflation than buying oil?

Click here for the video version of this story from Jennifer Openshaw.

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