Power Link Dump: Gas Prices, Commodities, Asset Class Forecasts, & More

Here are some neat links from readers and interweb wanderings. I want to expand on them later as well.

Petrofix: Hedge and cap gas prices
A website that will let you control your cost of gasoline in the near future – for a price. If gas prices rise, they pay you the difference. If they fall, you are out the hedge price. The risk? Well, first I haven’t checked out the prices. Also you pay now, but who knows if the company will be around to fulfill their promises in the future. I’d rather hedge against higher gas by buying an oil ETF or use real options with better liquidity. (Disclosure: I did buy some OIL in my fun portfolio at end of 2008.)

The Great Commodities Debate with Larry Swedroe and Rick Ferri
A long multi-part series on HardAssetsInvestor about the role of commodities within a portfolio. Should you add them to your asset allocation? Swedroe and Ferri flesh out their arguments in a moderated battle, and I still don’t know who wins. However, I am glad I didn’t buy commodities the last two years or so when they were in vogue.

Jeremy Grantham / GMO 7-Year Asset Class Forecasts
Each month, Jeremy Grantham and GMO publishes on the web its predictions of the future return for various asset styles over the next seven years. You must register for free on his site to download them. Grantham has gotten increased publicity recently due to how accurate his previous predictions have been. You can read his 2009 Q1 newsletter “The Last Hurrah and Seven Lean Years” without registration. In the end, he’s just another guy with an opinion, but at least he is forthright about it.

Breakdown: The Credit CARD Act of 2009
Cap of StopBuyingCrap has a nice concise list of the changes to credit card laws coming in February 2010, in case you didn’t feel like reading the entire thing. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I think that rumors of annual fees or eliminating grace periods for people who don’t carry balances are just scare tactics by credit card lobbyists. They’ll continue to make money from merchant transaction fees, as always.

Google PowerMeter
An online tool that monitors your home’s power usage in real time. Currently only available in very limited areas where people have the right “smart meters” already installed. Sounds even cooler than my Kill-a-Watt energy meter.

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