On Wednesday, oil nearly hit a record $124 a barrel, reports Madlen Read for the Associated Press. Just when it seems the prices couldn’t possibly go any higher, there they go. Goldman Sachs earlier this week predicted that oil could even hit $200 a barrel, and that we’re in the midst of a "super spike" in prices.
Midday today, oil slipped to $122.55 a barrel.
This is where it gets dicey. Do you agree with Goldman Sachs, or do you believe that the exuberance is at or approaching the level of absolute insanity?
If it’s the latter, ProShares has an UltraShort Oil & Gas Fund (DUG). Zoe Van Schyndel for Morningstar says you don’t even have to worry about the timing of energy prices, as you can hold the ETF indefinitely.
There are risks involved with short funds, of course. Since oil prices are notoriously volatile, making some of their most rapid movements based on rumors and speculation in addition to the usual factors of supply and demand, these ETFs can swing wildly in one direction to the next. And the effect of high oil prices on the companies isn’t always predictable.
Year-to-date, DUG is down 15.9%.
Naturally, if you think that energy is going to continue on the bull run, there are some other options for you, too, including:
- United States Oil (USO), up 31.7% year-to-date
- United States Gasoline (UGA), up 16.4% since Feb. 28 inception
- PowerShares DB Oil Fund (DBO), up 32.3% year-to-date