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- May 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 5

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The One-Stop Solution: Mutual funds offer investors a bundle of real assets, but indices to measure performance are lacking

by Steve Bergsman

 

Toward the end of March, U.S. crude (oil) reserves jumped by 8.2 million barrels in one week, reaching the highest levels in about 80 years. As could be expected, this unusual economic occurrence affected energy valuations, which were already weakened by oversupply, and the price of U.S. light crude oil flowed below $50 a barrel — a good deal if you are a consumer; not such great news if you are a real asset investor.

The decline in oil prices from more than $100 a barrel to less than $50 a barrel had a significant effect on all types of oil and gas investments from stocks to derivatives, and that in turn has caused some investors to be concerned about their investments in real asset mutual funds, which generally have one portfolio sleeve dedicated to energy. To add to the woeful performance of oil and gas investments, commodities have been a laggard investment for about four years now, and commodities take up a major presence in real asset mutual fu

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