Going Further Afield

Published on: October 14th, 2020

Analyzing commodities is a tricky business. Esoteric characteristics (supply, demand, production variables like weather or jurisdiction, security, geopolitics, etc) make each one unique. Julian is interested in the top-down, reflation narrative and wants to investigate other expressions for the theme. Below are some of his thoughts on agricultural commodities.


  • JN
    Jill N.
    19 October 2020 @ 06:16
    Was Julian's Macro Insiders report prepared in September or October ? his report is dated 14 September (footnote) but it was uploaded on 14 October and seems to be pretty current ?
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      21 October 2020 @ 12:12
      The footer was probably not updated by the editorial team. Which is not ideal, but it happens.
  • DR
    Derrick R.
    18 October 2020 @ 19:30
    Would love to hear JB's opinion on energy commodities as well, this report has me wondering why it is not even mentioned in a reflationary picture, with the energy stocks currently on the ropes.
  • CG
    Chinmay G.
    18 October 2020 @ 06:38
    Hello Julian, Thank you! I don't have access to any ETFs in my Fidelity employer retirement brokeragelink plan. It can only let me invest in mutual funds & individual stocks. Which ones should I use as substitutes? Thanks Chinmay
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      18 October 2020 @ 13:34
      Tricky to give advice on individual stocks for reasons including legal issues in the US. Have you considered stocks like Nutrien, Mosaic, or Caterpillar? I have got to say, that these are very much second order plays on the theme, so while most would agree they should benefit if agriculture picks up, there are multiple things which can go wrong with the investment thesis.
  • CH
    Charlie H.
    17 October 2020 @ 18:44
    The inverse relationship between real yields (currently negative in the US) and Gold prices have been uncanny. Therefore because Julian expects Gold to go much higher ($2500) from here do we expect either a) the relationship to disconnect and/or b) real yields to fall even further?
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      18 October 2020 @ 00:34
      I think a bit of both. The relationship "coefficient" can change. However its fair to say the JB expects real yields are likely to continue to be under pressure because we may be coming to the end of a relatively benign period for CPI.
  • CB
    Charles B.
    14 October 2020 @ 15:10
    Hi Julian, I don't see this one in the summary box at bottom of page.New Trade Recommendation: Buy Corn at $390, Target >$550. Stop $350
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      15 October 2020 @ 15:11
      Let me get that fixed.
  • MG
    Miguel G.
    14 October 2020 @ 16:39
    Nice write up Julian. As a play on agriculture, do you have any thoughts on playing some of these fertilizer stocks like CF or MOS?
    • TM
      Tyler M.
      14 October 2020 @ 19:29
      Hey Miguel, I've been watching MOS for a while. For what it's worth, I just added to my position today. Chart looks good to me.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      15 October 2020 @ 12:16
      I know that JB likes MOS, and that it makes sense as a play on these developments. Of course, its worth noting that the British Army has acronym regarding over-complication. KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. Should work, makes sense, but adds a layer of complication. I think MOS should be analysed on its own merits.
  • AD
    Anthony D.
    15 October 2020 @ 03:42
    Julian, Thank you for this detailed report. MIke Oliver's work is also suggesting a fast move up approaching in commodities. What do you think of long dated options on XME or even FCX? Go out to Jan '22, the returns on near by strikes look pretty good.
    • JW
      Jarkko W.
      15 October 2020 @ 04:19
      Hi Lawrence! I'm also checking out LEAPs, likely to do normal ATM strategy, but wondering timeframe. Is 22 overkill?Maybe 21 is enough? Anyways like to hear what you decide to do?I'll report back after my own investigation.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      15 October 2020 @ 12:09
      I saw that piece too! JB has been bullish commodities for a while but it certainly looks like we are getting decent confirmation. As for using long options it very much depends on cost and breakevens. It certainly helps me to use them on relatively volatile markets because I trade with stops. But if the vol. is too high it would give me pause. I took a look at IVOLCORN and that suggests that vol is creeping up. Thats 3m implied, but the low is about 13% and the high is above 50%. More realistically the recent high was 35% and the current is about 21%. So not cheap, but if you are expecting a multi-stage bull market it might be a great way of keeping your hands away from the position.
  • DD
    Donal D.
    15 October 2020 @ 07:52
    For those of us with no access to trade futures would using the CORN etf be a suitable alternative?. The expense ratio is on the high side at 1.11% and AUM is $149M which is about a quarter the size of DBA. Thanks, Donal.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      15 October 2020 @ 12:04
      Yes there are a number of ETFs. CORN is certainly one. You could also look at the grain ETFs. They would all be decent substitutes.
  • LM
    Lawrence M.
    14 October 2020 @ 23:58
    Agreed, great report. Easy to follow and execute. Thanks!
  • DM
    Dominic M.
    14 October 2020 @ 21:30
    Great report, Julian - thanks for this.
  • SN
    Sean N.
    14 October 2020 @ 19:28
    Great analysis Julian. I'm feeling very similarly about things at the moment. It's crazy, but tech stocks could easily move past their recent highs... I agree one should be on board in case the reflation narrative looks through all the election uncertainty as it appears to be at the moment. There may not be a lower buying opportunity for trades like silver. Something unpredictable is going to break somewhere eventually and cause a big up tick in volatility / downdraft in equities. You and Raoul, may have to look closer at geo-politics and civil discord for triggers?

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Morgan Creek Capital Management, Co- Founder, CEO, & CIO

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Morgan Creek Capital Management was founded in 2004 and currently manages close to $2 billion in discretionary and non-discretionary assets. Prior to founding Morgan Creek, Mr. Yusko was CIO and Founder of UNC Management Company (UNCMC), the Endowment investment office for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before that, he was Senior Investment Director for the University of Notre Dame Investment Office. Mr. Yusko has been at the forefront of institutional investing throughout his career. An early investor in alternative asset classes at Notre Dame, he brought the Endowment Model of investing to UNC, which contributed to significant performance gains for the Endowment. The Endowment Model is the cornerstone philosophy of Morgan Creek, as is the mandate to Invest in Innovation.

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SkyBridge Capital, Founder & Co-Managing Partner

Prior to founding SkyBridge in 2005, Scaramucci co-founded investment partnership Oscar Capital Management, which was sold to Neuberger Berman, LLC in 2001. Earlier, he was a vice president in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs & Co. In 2016, Scaramucci was ranked #85 in Worth Magazine’sPower 100: The 100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance. In 2011, he received Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year –New York” Award in the Financial Services category. Anthony is amember of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), vice chair of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board, a board member of both The Brain Tumor Foundation and Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and a Trustee of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He was a member of the New York City Financial Services Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2012. In November 2016, he was named to President-Elect Trump’s 16-person Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee. In June 2017, he wasnamed the Chief Strategy Officer of the EXIM Bank. He served as the White House Communications Director for a period in July 2017. Scaramucci, a native of Long Island, New York, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

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MicroStrategy, Co-Founder

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Mr. Saylor attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving an S.B. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an S.B. in Science, Technology, and Society.

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Nugget's News, Founder & CEO

Alex Saunders is the founder and CEO of Nugget’s News, a digital media company focused on all things crypto. Alex has been captivated by cryptocurrency since 2012 and in 2017 he began educating globally on the benefits of cryptocurrency and how to safely acquireit. Nugget’s News has been listed as a top-20 podcast by Business Insider, ShapeShift and Lifehacker and has over 120k YouTube subscribers with 9 million total views.Alex is also heavily focused on his cryptocurrency education platform Collective Shift which currently serves over 4,500 members. provides his unique perspectives by utilising his expertise in fundamental analysis, technical analysis and market sentiment. He is working towards his mission of making it easier for everyone to understand the financial world.

James Putra

TradeStation Crypto, Inc., Sr. Director of Product Strategy

James helped launch TradeStation Crypto’s offering which utilizes a true online brokerage model that self-directed investors and traders have come to expect for equities, futures, and foreign currency markets. He is a reputed crypto asset specialist and blockchain thought leader focused on helping people find innovative ways to participate in this space. He is active in the blockchain community with speaking engagements, TV appearances and mentoring. James has over 15 years of experience in the Fintech industry.

Raoul Pal

Real Vision, Co-Founder & CEO

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He retired from managing client money at the age of 36 in 2004 and now lives in the tiny Caribbean island of Little Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Previously he co-managed the GLG Global Macro Fund in London for GLG Partners, one of the largest hedge fund groups in the world. Raoul moved to GLG from Goldman Sachs where he co-managed the hedge fund sales business in Equities and Equity Derivatives in Europe. In this role, Raoul established strong relationships with many of the world’s pre-eminent hedge funds, learning from their styles and experiences.

Other stop-off points on the way were NatWest Markets and HSBC, although he began his career by training traders in technical analysis.

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What Bitcoin Did, Journalist

Peter McCormack is a full time journalist/podcaster covering topics such as Freedom, Human Rights, Censorship and Bitcoin. Peter created and hosts the What Bitcoin Did Podcast, a twice-weekly Bitcoin podcast where he interviews experts in the world of Bitcoin development, privacy, investment and adoption. Launched in November of 2017, the podcast has grown to over 100 episodes with a guest list that is a testament to the diversity of knowledge and opinions that represent the broader Bitcoin community. Expanding his growing list of human interest recordings, documentaries and films Peter has recently launched the Defiance podcast and DefianceTV.

Caitlin Long

Avanti Financial Group, Founder & CEO

22-year Wall Street veteran who has been active in bitcoin and blockchain since 2012. In 2018-20 she led the charge to make her native state of Wyoming an oasis for blockchain companies in the US, where she helped Wyoming enact 20 blockchain-enabling laws. From 2016-18 she jointly spearheaded a blockchain project for delivering market index data to Vanguard as chairman and president of Symbiont, an enterprise blockchain start-up. Caitlin ran Morgan Stanley’s pension solutions business (2007-2016), heldsenior roles at Credit Suisse (1997-2007) and began her career at Salomon Brothers (1994-1997). She is a graduate of Harvard Law School (JD, 1994), the Kennedy School of Government (MPP, 1994) and the University of Wyoming (BA, 1990).

Hunter Horsley

Bitwise Asset Management, CEO

Hunter Horsley is Chief Executive Officer of Bitwise Asset Management. Prior to Bitwise, he was a product manager at Facebook, working on advertiser products including the multibillion-dollar sponsored content ecosystem and ad breaks in videos. Before Facebook, Horlsey was a product manager at Instagram, responsible for multiple advertising products generating several hundred million dollars of revenue. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in economics. Recently, Horsley was named a member of Forbes’ 2019 “30 Under 30” list.

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Forest For The Trees, Founder & President

Luke Gromen has 25 years of experience in equity research, equity research sales, and as a macro/thematic analyst. He is the founder and president of macro/thematic research firm FFTT, LLC, which he founded in early 2014 to address and leverage the opportunity he saw created by applying what clients and former colleagues consistently described as a “unique ability to connect the dots” during a time when he saw an increasing “silo-ing” of perspectives occurring on Wall Street and in corporate America.

FFTT caters to institutions and sophisticated individuals by aggregating a wide variety of macroeconomic, thematic and sector trends in an unconventional manner to identify investable developing economic bottlenecks for his clients. Prior to founding FFTT, Luke was a founding partner of Cleveland Research Company, where he worked from 2006-14. At CRC, Luke worked in sales and edited CRC’s flagship weekly thematic research summary piece (“Straight from the Source”) for the firm’s clients. Prior to that, Luke was a partner at Midwest Research, where he worked in equity research and sales from 1996-2006. While in sales, Luke was a founding editor of Midwest’s widely-read weekly thematic summary (“Heard in the Midwest”) for the firm’s clients, in which he aggregated and combined proprietary research from Midwest with inputs from other sources.

Luke Gromen holds a BBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Cincinnati and received his MBA from Case Western Reserve University. He earned the CFA designation in 2003.

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CoinShares, Chief Strategy Officer

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Previously, she was part of the founding team of Digital Currency Group. As a veteran investor in the digital currency space, she has invested in over 250 companies in the ecosystem.

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