Oil offers potential for big profits

Fossil fuel and critical metals were amongst the top 10 popular personal investments in the US in 2023.

The list was, however, topped by gold and silver, taking first and second places, respectively.

This was revealed in a study conducted by financial publisher The Lazy Trader, which used Google search data to examine the number of searches for each type of personal investment.

Each of these was combined with terms such as ‘investment tips’ and ‘tips’ to discover which ones had the highest search volume overall, thus determining the ranking.

Oil came in third place, with an average monthly search volume of 588,808. Due to the high demand of fossil fuels, oil supplies are decreasing while the demand remains high, resulting in oil becoming a more valuable resource.

Oil has huge potential for big profits and positive return on investments (ROI), the study said.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) had expected investment in fossil fuel supply to rise by more than 6 per cent in 2023, reaching $950 billion.

Following oil, in fourth place for personal investment, was natural gas. The commodity had an average monthly search volume of 150,880.

Natural gas is another fossil fuel that comes with its investment advantages.

It is environment-friendly and more affordable than coal and gas. With growing concerns about global warming and ways to make the planet greener, natural gas is already used in replacement of coal to reduce fuel emissions into the atmosphere (ROI).

However, these two commodities failed to beat the lustre of good old gold and silver.

The most searched personal investment in the US is gold, with an average monthly search volume of 1,191,827.

Gold is a commodity that trades based on supply and demand; the ratio between supply and demand determines the price of gold at the time of the investment.

With the elevated interest rates and the continual concerns of a recession in the US, gold can be a reliable long-term investment and outperform other assets like properties and different equities as it is easier to liquidate.

There are also tax advantages in gold investments; gold prices have increased considerably in 2023 and have shown stability compared to other markets.

Silver was the second most searched personal investment, with an average monthly search volume of 677,527.

Silver is a valuable, hard asset when it comes to investments and is cheaper to invest in than gold, while still fighting inflation.

Silver mining has gradually decreased since 2015, making it a valuable asset to invest in before it becomes a rarer raw material.

Silver is used for many different purposes from machinery to medicine, and the global demand is constantly increasing the value of the commodity overall.

From the critical metals category, copper and platinum took the 7th and 10th spots, respectively as most sought-after personal investments.

Copper had an average monthly search volume of 69,468. It is a popular commodity, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, mining has slowed down; companies could even struggle to mine at all if the price of copper drops.

Copper can be a risky investment as it is recyclable and is less precious than other metals, yet it is used in many different industries, from building industries to automobiles.

The metal is key in renewable energy and will be essential for protecting the environment, which suggests a reliable investment in the long term.

Meanwhile, platinum, with an average monthly search volume of 34,533, remains valuable and in demand across all industries due to its non-corrosive properties and diverse use across different industries.

Platinum is an easy investment to liquidate to get cash quickly instead of stocks or bonds, which is a longer process.

In other rankings, forex was fifth, with an average monthly search volume of 85,112; real estate, with an average monthly search volume of 81,397, was sixth; options, with an average monthly search volume of 51,448, was eighth; and ranking as the ninth most popular personal investment was penny stocks, with an average monthly search volume of 41,351.

Commenting on the findings, Robert Colville, CEO of The Lazy Trader, says: 'When it comes to choosing the right personal investment for yourself, it can be difficult weighing up the pros and cons.

But he adds: 'It is important to be well educated on where you invest your money, as some methods will be more successful than others; make sure you have conducted extensive research and remain aware of what your choice of investments will entail.'

By Abdulaziz Khattak