As non-financial investments, individual commodities are tangible assets that are relatively homogenous. This attribute allows these assets to be standardized as contracts for purchase and sale in futures markets.
In recent years, many investors have become involved in the ownership of or participation in commodities and natural resources. Commodities can be bought and sold quickly in large quantities and held by investors directly in the form of physical assets or indirectly through the functioning of the derivatives markets.
There are two ways that an investor can access the markets: directly and indirectly.