The Plunge In Oil Should Scare ETF Buyers

Oil has been hogging the headlines this week.

It started on Monday when the May future contract of the Light Sweet Crude Oil future plunged to -$40 a contract.

The futures market is another type of investment instrument, but some of these futures contracts aren’t made for ordinary folks.

I remember picking up trading cards from traders at the Chicago Merchantile Exchange.

Some would be up a million dollars and then down $500,000 only 15 minutes later.

That is because of the amount of money that one contract can control.

For instance, one crude oil future contract is equal to 1,000 barrels.

So let’s say oil is trading at $20 a barrel, one futures contract would be worth $20,000 (1,000 barrels X $20).

The reason that May crude future contract collapsed to -$40 was due to The United States Oil Fund LP (NYSEARCA: USO).

The United States Oil Fund LP (NYSEARCA: USO) has become the largest buyer of oil futures contracts.

If you own an oil future contract and don’t roll it into a new contract or exit before expiration, then you’re obligated to take delivery of those barrels.

The United States Oil Fund LP (NYSEARCA: USO) doesn't want to take physical delivery and store it.

The May futures contract expired on Tuesday, so So the fund needed to roll out their position by Monday.

Since demand for crude has decreased, there wasn’t anyone looking to take physical crude and store it.

The United States Oil Fund LP (NYSEARCA: USO) was a rat that got trapped.

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They were so despite to get out, they had to pay people to take crude off their hands in Oklahoma.

Now the United States Oil Fund LP (NYSEARCA: USO) has suspended purchases of crude.

You can put a fork into this ETF because it's done.

Those investors who owned shares in this ETF are out of their entire investment.

This is the direct result of ETF investing gone awry.

I’ve long warned about the dangers of passive investing boom and the eventual bust of many of these funds.

It’s going to take some time for the demand for oil to increase.

But as some of these companies go bust in the coming months, there are some great investment opportunities I’m watching.