Commodities markets have come a long way in the last three
decades. Ask Bob Greer. Today, he is product manager for
PIMCO's Commodity RealReturn Strategy, which at the end of 2009
had assets under management of close to $20 billion. But in the
late 1970s, Greer acted as something of an evangelist for
commodities as an asset class, becoming the first commentator
to define the concept of an investable commodity index in an
article published in the Journal of Portfolio Management in
These days, commodity indices are ten-a-penny, but at the end
of the 1970s Greer's ideas were revolutionary. "I sometimes
jokingly say that in the 1970s the words 'commodity' and
'investment' did not belong in the same sentence," he says.
Alternatively, ask Danny Masters or Russell Newton, both of
whom cut their crude oil trading teeth in the mid 1980s at
Shell, later working together again at...