While key commodities such as corn, gold and copper often dominate the spotlight, a group of metals known as "rare earths" have a reputation of truly shining through with amazing returns. In fact, some of the top metals in the group, such as neodymium, dysprosium, yttrium and erbium, put up gains in the past that would make metals such as silver or gold’s historic performances in 2011 look down-right bearish. For example, of the four rare earths outlined above, the worst performer in 2011 had a gain of "just" 50%, while several saw their prices surge by over 200% in year-to-date terms. Returns in 2012 have not matched the amazing standards set by the previous year, but that doesn’t mean this market will not surge again.
Unfortunately, due to their spread out nature in the earth’s crust—which makes these metals more rare than their actual abundance might suggest— and the often environmentally unfriendly ways in which some of these products are obtained, these commodities are hard to find in futures contracts or in physical ETFs. . .View Full Article