The paper deals with the issue of financial efficiency, measured by the arithmetic rate of return, of indirect financial investments in the area of strategic raw materials (hard coal, copper, crude oil). Two forms of indirect investments were analyzed: shares of natural resources companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and futures contracts for strategic commodities: hard coal, copper and crude oil.
The time of the analysis is the first 6 months of 2019 and 2020. The year 2019 was regarded as an analysis of the period of economic growth, and the year 2020 was the analysis of the period of economic crisis. The comparisons were made in two dimensions. Firstly, it whether indirect commodity investments show the characteristics of efficiency resilience to the time of the economic crisis was checked (by comparing the achieved rates of return in the two analyzed periods). Secondly, which of the analyzed forms of investment (stocks, contracts) gives better investment results during economic growth and economic crisis was compared.
As it was shown in the paper, indirect commodity investments do not show an above-average rate of return neither during economic growth nor economic crisis. The achieved rates of return on shares compared to changes in the WIG20 index in the analyzed first half of 2019 were negative. Only one company showed a positive and significantly higher than the market rate of return. Very similar results were achieved by the analyzed companies in 2020.
On the other hand, the analysis of prices and rates of return on commodity futures contracts showed that in the period of economic growth it is effective to take a long position on crude oil contracts and a short position on hard coal contracts. In a period of economic crisis, the opposite position is profitable due to the observed growth in hard coal prices and a significant drop in crude oil prices.
The answers to the research questions posed in the paper do not provide indications for recommending indirect forms of investment in commodities as an alternative to analogous forms of other sectors of the economy. The analysis shows that the impact of the economic situation on the efficiency of commodity investment is most noticeable for crude oil, and the least (among the analyzed commodities) for indirect copper-based investments.