Our Commodities Call Proved Prescient

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Beverly Goodman

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Joel Arbaaz

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What a year – again. I would leave political commentary and personal remarks to another publication, but it was not an easy year. And the same good news/bad news/crazy news appeared in the markets that had informed most of 2021. Once-obscure companies like GameStop and China Evergrande became giant, and confusing, forces. Corporate leaders seemed to be more interested in space travel than profits on Earth. And amidst all the noise, there were some big changes affecting almost all investors.

We told readers a year ago that commodities were about to bounce, and they did—the Businesshala Commodity Index rose 27% in 2021, giving the S&P 500 a run for its money by 29%. Sure, it might not be as sexy as who tweeted what or predicted which vaccine maker would be the big winner, but this is where baron’s Shines. And we’re refining our recommendation for this year: Commodities sit at the crossroads of three of today’s biggest investment themes—rising inflation, a changing China, and the transition to renewable energy. In this week’s cover story, Reshma Kapadia explores how these trends intersect and recommends a more nuanced strategy—and of course, three actively managed funds to help get you there. Huh.

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There was also big news for investors with 401(k) plans—and those without. These workplace retirement plans will soon provide permanent wealth and annuities, two protracted battles that will ultimately benefit investors. And for those who work at smaller companies that don’t offer 401(k) plans, that may soon change, thanks to another development that began quietly last year. Lewis Brahms explains what investors need to know.

And finally, Sarah Max chats with Amy Domini, the lead at ESG. Dominy was an early and unwavering believer in the value of considering financial metrics as well as environmental, social and governance factors when investing. His thoughts on how sustainable investing has gone from a bad backwater to a force embraced by Wall Street are fascinating.

Beverly Goodman

Editorial Director, Investment and Asset Management

Write Beverly Goodman at [email protected]

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