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EDHEC-Risk Executive Education

Advanced Commodity Investment Seminar - Overview

29-30 October, 2012 - New York

An intensive seminar to equip participants with a comprehensive overview of commodities markets and investments, detailed knowledge of commodity futures pricing, and state-of-the-art techniques for strategic and tactical asset allocation to commodities.

The structural features of the commodity markets offer opportunities for both investors and traders. However, accessing those opportunities demands an in-depth understanding of commodity-market pricing, products and strategies.

The last ten years have seen tremendous innovation in investable commodity strategies, leading to a proliferation of new investment opportunities. Investors seeking exposure to commodities can buy into natural resource companies, track long-only and long-short futures indices, and invest in systematic or discretionary long-only or long-short commodity futures strategies in house or via commodity trading advisors (CTAs), natural resources hedge funds, funds of funds, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds.

Financial investment in consumable and transformable assets is a very recent phenomenon. Commodities are not capital assets; therefore, they cannot be priced with traditional financial models or evaluated through discounting approaches. Investment managers need to recognise the specificities of natural resources and understand their short- and long-term performance drivers to adapt their investment- and risk-management processes to commodities. Advisers have a key role to play in helping investors define their optimal commodity allocation, choose a suitable benchmark, and select appropriate vehicles from an expanding set of products.

Of particular interest to investors and traders is how to capture the commodities premium in the context of highly volatile commodity markets. Whereas the Standard & Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index waved around 190 index points in the decade ending in 2002, it then started appreciating sharply to reach a high of 891 in July 2008. It subsequently made a dramatic slide to reach a low of 306 in February 2009, prior to staging a rebound. The roller-coaster ride experienced over the last decade calls for the design of long-short dynamic trading strategies that perform well in both up and down markets. The high volatility in commodity prices observed over the period has also led to contentious political pronouncements on the role of speculation in commodity markets and to calls for further regulation. Research-based evidence on this sensitive issue is not only of relevance to regulators and industry associations but also to institutional investors whose investment committees need to factor social responsibility considerations into their investment decisions.

Designed and delivered by a leading expert in commodity research, this intensive seminar equips participants with a comprehensive overview of commodities markets and investments, detailed knowledge of commodity futures pricing, and state-of-the-art techniques for strategic and tactical asset allocation to commodities. It also sheds academic light on the available investment vehicles, on the financialisation of commodity markets and the role of speculators.

Presented in a highly accessible manner and drawing from the latest results of alternative investment and commodity trading research, the seminar should appeal to commodity fund managers wishing to keep abreast of the latest commodity research, to investment professionals and administrators working for institutional investors and family offices that are considering or have implemented commodity investment programmes, and to consultants and key account representatives advising high net worth individuals and institutions on commodity investments.

Seminar Instructor:

  • Joëlle Miffre, PhD, Professor of Finance at EDHEC Business School and Member of EDHEC-Risk Institute.

Key Learning Benefits:

The seminar will enable participants to:

  • Review the fundamentals of commodity futures pricing.

  • Understand how to integrate commodities in strategic asset allocation, optimise their diversification potential and use them for inflation protection and systematic risk factor hedging.

  • Find out what is the case for commodities as a tactical asset class and learn to capture the commodities futures premium with long-short dynamic strategies.

  • Evaluate active and passive commodity investment opportunities, examine whether there is a justification for investing through CTAs, and learn how to choose between competing commodity indices.

  • Find out whether we should hold speculators or fundamentals responsible for the recent volatility spikes.

CFA Institute Continuing Education Credits:

As a participant in the CFA Institute Approved-Provider Programme, EDHEC-Risk Institute has determined that this programme qualifies for 14 credit hours. If you are a CFA Institute member, continuing education credit for your participation in this programme will be automatically recorded in your CE Diary. Please see www.cfainstitute.org/ceprogram for more information.

Advanced Commodity Investment Seminar: