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2011 was an unusual year for commodities and hard assets investing. Normally, the prices of commodities and hard assets producers’ equities move in parallel. Yet, in almost every sector, equities significantly underperformed commodities last year. For example, gold bullion increased 10.1 percent in 2011 while the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index returned -15.5 percent. Crude oil prices rose 8.38% while the Energy Select Sector Index returned 1.4%. A broad basket of commodities, the S&P GSCI Index returned -1.2 percent while the broad Rogers Van Eck Hard Assets Producer Index returned -12.5 percent.

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