Investors are always looking for the places to find the best possible returns on their money. The few percent offered by most savings accounts often will not even keep up with inflation, while stocks are generally expected to earn around 8 percent.
Over the course of the 2000s, though, one of the best places to invest was actually the commodities market. Booming economies in the developed world, dramatic growth in the developing world and increasing access to commodities as a whole turned markets that were traditionally limited to major industrial players into important investment areas.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the commodities price index more than tripled over the course of the decade rising to 192.2 in 2011 from only 58.3 in in 2002.
This dramatic rise was seen across all types of commodities, from wheat to timber, but metals and petroleum were some of the biggest gainers. Metals rose from 54.3 in 2002 to an index-high of 229.7 in 2011, while petroleum more than quadrupled from 46.8 in 2002 to 195.9 in 2011.
While gold has been one of the most popular investments, rising from less than $300 per troy ounce at the start of the decade to a high of more than $1,900 per troy ounce in 2011, the energy sector offers the added advantage of direct investment in oil and the possibility of higher profits.