The Best ETFs to Play Rising Oil Prices

March 2nd at 1:00pm by Tom Lydon

Sky-high oil prices are back, baby. The rising cost might cause motorists to cringe, but exchange traded fund (ETF) investors are looking for ways to play it.

Turmoil in the Middle East that shows no signs of ending anytime soon could keep prices high for awhile, if not volatile. [Oil ETFs Retreat, But Will It Stick?]

Nathan Alderman for The Motley Fool reports that investors can take a number of different tacks when it comes to capitalizing on rising oil prices – some obvious, some perhaps not so much.

For different oil investment, look at:

  • PowerShares DB Oil (NYSEArca: DBO): To play energy in the short-term, futures-based ETFs such as DBO will get the job done. While these funds aren’t intended to track the spot price of oil, they’ll often correlate better than equity-based funds. Concerns of contango are never far from these funds, however, though DBO’s contract roll strategy seeks to mitigate the negative effects of the phenomenon.
  • SPDR S&P Oil & Gas E&P (NYSEArca: XOP): Oil companies have been notching record-breaking profits for the last several years, and it stands to reason that higher oil prices may only continue this trend.  In the last six months alone, it has returned more than 50%. The other benefit of an equity-based oil fund is that contango isn’t a factor and tricky tax issues are avoided.
  • Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy (NYSEArca: GEX): When oil reaches these levels, an interesting thing happens: people suddenly get a lot more interested in alternative energy. GEX is a diversified, global play to capture that interest across the clean energy space.
  • iShares MSCI Russia (NYSEArca: ERUS): Russia’s economy is famously over-reliant on the energy sector. When oil prices are down, that’s not so good. But when oil prices are this high, it tends to benefit Russia ETFs. ERUS has the largest allocation to the energy sector, which accounts for 53% of the fund.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

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.