Updated from 6:59 a.m. EDT

Despite its importance in signaling current global growth trends, the Baltic Dry Index is hardly talked about by financial media pundits. It's not as sexy as Fannie Mae ( FNM), Freddie Mac ( FRE), AIG ( AIG - Get Report) or even other consumer plays such as Procter & Gamble ( PG - Get Report) or Wal-Mart ( QMT).

The index, which covers dry bulk shipping rates and is managed by the Baltic Exchange in London, is an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea. Taking in 26 shipping routes measured on a time-charter and voyage basis, the index covers supramax, panamax and capesize dry bulk carriers carrying a range of commodities, including coal, iron ore and grain.

Basically, it is an index that signals how global trade and growth are currently faring. And with the index down for the majority of the last month, many market participants feel that global growth is indeed slowing.

So what does this mean for the market?

At Stockpickr.com, we've created the Baltic Dry Index 101 portfolio, which includes such names as Dry Ships ( DRYS), Star Bulk Carriers ( SBLK), and Eagle Bulk Shipping ( EGLE - Get Report).

To read more, please click here.

A note from James Altucher:

Every weekend I send an email to Jim Cramer and several hedge fund managers about the most interesting portfolios posted on Stockpickr that week. Usually those portfolios not only list stocks according to atheme but also offer significant analysis as to why the stocks are cheap.

Here are some examples:

Here's the challenge: Build a portfolio at Stockpickr.com with greatanalysis, and send me the link. Each great portfolio (with analysis)will get posted on TheStreet.com with your byline (as a "StockpickrGuest Columnist") and will be included in my email I send to Jim and the otherhedge fund managers on my list.

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