Which Oil ETF Is Right for You?

January 30th at 2:00pm by Tom Lydon

ETF oilThe price of oil has seen some sporadic oscillations that have left investors vexed, but there are some exchange traded funds (ETFs) for those seeking to bet on the future.

It seemed like it was just yesterday when oil was around 150 bucks with predictions of $200 per barrel floating around. But now we are hoarding the black stuff on supertankers and in our oil inventories for what looks to be in preparation for the end days, writes Zoe Van Schyndel for The Motley Fool.

The world markets are flooded with oil, a boon for consumers, so enjoy it while it lasts. Eventually, stagnant developed countries will gulp down the excess supply and bring prices back up. Furthermore, OPEC has already vowed to cut oil production, which could further nudge up prices if the organization keeps its word.

There are many different exchange traded funds for the enthusiastic investors seeking to strike it rich in oil. One may look into an ETF that tracks stocks such as the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), down 1.8% the last month, which tracks oil companies and natural-gas companies.

XLE ETF performance

Or you may favor trading on oil prices directly in ETFs such as::

  • ProShares Ultra DJ-AIG Crude Oil ETF (UCO) is a commodity pool designed to go up or down two times the rate of its index. It is down 24.3% in the last month with an expense ratio of 0.95%.

ETF UCO performance

  • PowerShares DB Crude Oil Double Short ETN (DTO) is an exchange traded note that also doubles the return of its index in the opposite direction, hence the name “short.” It is up 23.2% in the last month with an expense ratio of 0.75%.

ETF DTO performance

  • United States Oil Fund (USO) includes listed crude oil future contracts, oil-related futures, forwards, and swap contracts. It is down 5.5% in the last month with an expense ratio of 0.45%.

ETF USO performance

Take note that these funds may not be as tax-efficient as other ETFs so consult your tax adviser.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.