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Advisor Commentary

Why February Was a Bearish Month for Agricultural Futures: Understanding the Key Inputs

Commentary provided by Chad Burlet of Third Street AG Investments A handful of key inputs combined make February a bearish month for agricultural futures. Corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean oil all closed lower for the month. After making their highs mid-month, all the nearby contracts made their lows today, the last day of the month. […]

Chinese currency
Alternative Investment Strategy

Politicians Always Choose Money Printing

“A politician’s first goal of governing is to get re-elected. It is also the second goal. Everything else comes after that.” While seemingly trite, this phrase was repeated by my professor throughout my business school class on strategy in non-market environments. I often think about this concept as our leaders consistently make decisions contrary to […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

Is Sovereign Debt the Next Asset Bubble to Burst?

Empires rise and fall. This often happens slowly and then quickly. In hindsight, we can identify critical events that should have raised alarm bells but did not. So, like asset bubbles that can crash an economy, identifying the next catalyst can be difficult. But perhaps the mounting debt of countries like the United States, most […]

Advisor Commentary

Agricultural Futures See Lower Volatility in January

Commentary provided by Chad Burlet of Third Street AG Investments By recent standards, January was a relatively quiet month for agricultural futures. Volatility trended lower for corn, wheat, and soybeans, and their monthly trading ranges were near the lowest of the past year. The top three global issues were the same as last month: 1) dryness in […]

Black Swan
Alternative Investment Strategy

The Dangers of Black Swan Events for Option Sellers

Investors flock to high Sharpe ratio managers on sites like for a good reason. They display an uncanny ability to put up positive numbers almost every month. Option sellers seem to do this better than anyone, and they stand out when looking through hundreds of managers. If this one marker told the whole story, […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

Economic Outlook: Navigating the Business Cycle

All economies go through fairly predictable patterns as they go through a business cycle. In simple terms, we go from expansion to peak, contraction, and trough. The depths of this drop vary based on both predictable and unpredictable factors. Let us look at some quantifiable factors as well as some wild cards that can impact […]

Advisor Commentary

Oil: The False Sense of Supply Security

With the crude oil markets now trading well below where it was before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, observers may be forgiven for thinking that the consumer has won, meaning the producer has lost. Higher pump prices and the consumer’s weaker purchasing power certainly held back demand growth to only +1.85 million barrels per day […]

Corn field
Advisor Commentary

December 2022 Opus Futures Ag Commentary

Commentary provided by David Zelinski of Opus Futures. Happy New Year to all! I’m excited to get off to a great start in 2023, but before discussing the outlook, I want to spend a quick minute discussing 2022. Our program was off to a strong start in the first half of 2022, but profits were harder […]

Storm Clouds
Alternative Investment Strategy

The Economic Events that Shaped 2022

The English expression “May you live in interesting times” is claimed to be based on an ironic Chinese curse as most of us would prefer to live fairly peacefully. While some variety is nice, this year, it felt a bit more like the perfect storm of calamity. We covered many events throughout the year, but […]

Advisor Commentary

December 2022 Advanced Ag Program Commentary

Commentary provided by David Zelinski of Opus Futures. I struck a bullish tone toward corn and soybean markets in last month’s commentary. Part of the bullishness was due to the recent (at that time) news of a breakdown in the Ukraine export corridor. We now know that the Russians backed down very quickly from their harsh […]

light tubes
Advisor Commentary

December 2022 Macro Monitor Commentary

Commentary provided by David Zelinski of Opus Futures. In last month’s commentary, we reviewed various data points indicating that inflation is starting to roll over. While inflation readings are sure to remain elevated for several more months, the worst is clearly behind us, and the more pressing concern going forward could be slowing economic demand. Nothing […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

A Futures Broker Can Help Avoid Costly Mistakes

Years of investment marketing tell us that a fund’s expense ratio is the most important characteristic we should look for in our asset selection. So, it is unsurprising that the first question I often get is, “How do you get paid if I open an account with you?” The question I get less often is, […]

Advisor Commentary

November 2022 Market Letter

Commentary provided by Chad Burlet of Third Street AG Investments With the arrival of winter in the northern hemisphere, a majority of market observers have turned their attention toward the production prospects in the southern hemisphere, where Brazil, Argentina, and Australia dominate. Australia’s leading crop is wheat, and they are on track to produce their third large […]

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