Quite predictably, crude oil has been on a roll in recent weeks as the summer driving season has driven seasonally strong performance. With oil trading around $75 per barrel, fresh money investments into the energy sector might not be ideal at these prices. Don’t get me wrong, I am still bullish on oil in general, but investors should not jump on the energy bandwagon with new money when we are in the middle of peak oil season.
For new money right now I would suggest investors take a look at natural gas. In fact, in mid April a new ETF was formed to track natural gas prices. Even while oil has soared from the low 60’s to the mid 70’s, natural gas has collapsed from more than $8 to below $6. Another non-existent hurricane season has contributed to the drop, but natural gas prices will remain volatile in the future, and given the weakness lately, it appears to be an attractive entry point.
The natural gas ETF trades under the symbol UNG and has plummeted from above $54 to $38 in the last couple of months, as you can see from the chart below. After a 30 percent drop, I think it looks attractive for investors looking to add some energy exposure but are wary of buying crude oil stocks at current prices. You can also play this via unhedged natural gas producers, but since this ETF is new, I figured I would point it out as another potential investment vehicle in the space.