Understanding Investing

Not All Commodity Indexes Are Alike

Compare three popular commodity indexes and learn how they measure risk and return differently.

These frequently used commodity indexes offer investors varying types of exposure to the asset class, which can impact both risk and returns. Understanding how they differ is key.

What this chart shows

The S&P GSCI Total Return and Credit Suisse indexes do not place constraints on underlying sector allocations, which can lead to higher concentration in individual commodities. Another key difference: Bloomberg and Credit Suisse rebalance regularly, while the S&P GSCI does not.

What it means for investors

Differences in how the indexes are weighted and rebalanced can cause them to perform quite differently. Those that rebalance regularly and have sector allocation constraints are less prone to over concentration, which can result in a more diversified exposure to commodities.

The three pie charts compare the components (energy, base metals, precious metals, agriculture, livestock) and list  characteristics (weighting methodology, contracts used, number of individual commodities tracked, rebalancing frequency, index construction, sector weighting constraints, roll period) of three indices: Credit Suisse Commodity Benchmark, Bloomberg Commodity Total Return and S&P GSCI Total Return.

Filters: Reset All


Close Filters Dropdown
  • Tags


  • Category


    Economic and Market Commentary
    Investment Strategies
() filters applied

Related Articles

Filter By:
  • Economic and Market Commentary
  • Investment Strategies
  • Viewpoints
  • Commodities
  • B
  • D
  • H
  • I
  • S
  • W
Meredith Block
ESG Research Analyst
Grover Burthey
Portfolio Manager, ESG
Andrew DeWitt
Portfolio Manager, Commodities
Lewis Hagedorn
Portfolio Manager, Commodities
Michael Haigh
Commodities and Real Assets Economist
Brendan Hanley
Credit Analyst
Dan Hwang
Credit Analyst
Daniel J. Ivascyn
Group Chief Investment Officer
Greg E. Sharenow
Portfolio Manager, Commodities and Real Assets
Kimberley Stafford
Global Head of Product Strategy; Responsible for Sustainability Oversight
Tiffany Wilding
  • Alphabetical
  • Most Recent
Section : Date : Experts :
Reset All
Value Returns to Fixed Income Markets
Why Now Is a Good Time to Invest in Commodities

Load more results Load {{cCtrl.fetchResults}} more results


A word about risk: Commodities are volatile investments and should only form a small part of a diversified portfolio. Commodities may not be suitable for all investors. Consult your financial advisor to help you determine whether a commodity investment is right for you. Investments in commodities may be affected by overall market movements, changes in interest rates, and other factors, such as weather, disease, embargoes, and international economic and political developments.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The index performance is presented for illustrative purposes only and does not reflect the performance of any PIMCO product.

The Bloomberg Commodity Total Return Index is an unmanaged index composed of futures contracts on 22 physical commodities. The index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for commodities as an asset class. The Credit Suisse Commodity Benchmark Index is an unmanaged commodity index composed of futures contracts on 30 physical commodities. The objective of the benchmark is to gain exposure to the broad commodity universe while maintaining sufficient liquidity. Commodity were chosen based on world production levels, sufficient open interest and volume of trading. The index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark of commodities as an asset class. S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index Total Return (S&P GSCITR) is an unmanaged index composed of futures contracts on 25 physical commodities, designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for commodities as an asset class. The Total Return Index includes an implied T-Bill rate on the notional value of the futures contracts.

"Collateralization" generally involves backing an investment in a futures contract (or other derivative instrument) with securities that are approximately equal in value to the notional value of the futures exposure. These pledged assets are typically invested in high quality, fixed income securities.

This material has been distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advise or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. PIMCO is a trademark of Allianz Asset Management of America L.P. in the United States and throughout the world.

PIMCO Investment LLC , distributor, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, is a comapny of PIMCO ©2016, PIMCO