Oil has been an essential commodity since the mid-19th century. From kerosene lamps to today’s gasoline cars and plastic products, it has found a wide variety of uses. The need for oil is still very strong, although it goes through normal fluctuations. As a result, you might be curious about how to invest in oil. Here’s what you need to know.
The Complexities of the Oil Market
The oil market is one of the least straightforward commodities, because a tremendous amount of global politics are involved.
Oil has a variety of prices, which depend on the location and the type of oil. Brent is produced in the North Sea and serves as a global benchmark. You can always look up the price of Brent crude oil today. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is from Texas, and looking at the price of WTI crude oil today can be helpful. Western Canadian Select is from Canada, and OPEC baskets are from Middle Eastern nations.
Regional concerns, quality, and refinability have a lot to do with the prices of specific oil types. Some regions make less money on oil than others. Keep that in mind as you review what oil companies you’re interested in.
OPEC provides about 40% of the global oil supply, and politics among that group have a tremendous impact on oil prices. They often work together to control the availability of their oil to maximize their profit, which can impact oil prices in every market.
Oil is a fairly volatile investment because it’s so important to so many industries. One piece of bad news in the Middle East can plunge prices significantly. Instead of focusing on a current crude oil prices chart, buy into a mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).
The fund or ETF can help you combine oil company stocks with other types of oil investments, such as futures. Look into the holdings of the fund or ETF to find out if it’s right for you.
Buy Oil Stocks Directly
Wondering “How do I buy crude oil stocks?” If so, you’ll want to choose a specific oil company to invest in. Examples include Halliburton, Exxon Mobile, and BP.
Compare the companies’ performance and check the news about the company. Once you find a company you’re interested in investing in, you can make a purchase through an online broker or through your regular stock broker.
You can buy immediately and pay the best market price, or you can choose to place a limit order, which triggers a purchase when the stock hits a specific price. This is helpful if you think the price will fall soon.
Get Involved in Oil Futures
Do you enjoy risk and excitement in your investment portfolio? If so, oil futures might be a good way to get into the market.
You need a lot of money up front to get started, and they are incredibly volatile. Be sure you’re committed to in-depth research and have a plan in place in case you lose significant capital. Once you’re familiar with the typical price of oil through the year, you’ll know when to buy and sell.
Crude oil option prices are risky. You can get big gains, or you can suffer major losses.
However you choose to invest in oil, be sure to stay informed. You’ll need to know the latest oil prices today, the companies that are involved, and how much risk you want to take.
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