How to Invest in Oil

Many investors are interested in oil as a new way to earn revenues. However, like any other market, oil requires knowledge and experience. Thus, there are a few things you should know before starting. Read on and find out.

Crude Oil and Energy Companies Stock Investment Concept Graphic.

How Much Should You Have Before Starting?

If you haven’t started yet, you might wonder how much money you need for your oil investment.

While some crypto exchanges such as Bittrex, Kraken, and Coinbase may require a different approach, you can get started in the oil market with little money.

With just $1,000, you can turn things around for yourself by getting into the market. You can use the $1,000 in an online trading account. After that, you might need to choose if you want to invest in an oil ETF or stocks.

Although beginning to invest in oil sounds daunting, you don’t to worry too much about financial barriers or difficulty. That’s convenient if you’re on a budget but still want to try it out.

Why Invest in Oil

In 2014, investors experienced a major plunge in oil prices. Then, 2020 brought a new fall in investments.

With that being said, you might wonder why investing in oil is a good idea. The truth is that even though the market has suffered on a couple of occasions, long-term investors have experienced immense gains over the years.

There are still 47 or more years left in the oil business’ life. Thus, it’s fair to say that there are plenty more opportunities for both short and long-term investors to benefit from the prices they pay.

Is It a Good Investment Today?

Although oil prices have dropped and caused a major shift in the world economy, it’s still an important investment you can make.

Some important investors throughout history have stated that the smartest move is to invest when the market loses value. Following that logic, investing in oil might be a good idea because it’s at a low point.

After the current state of the oil prices, the following years likely characterize a bigger demand for the product.

However, don’t be fooled – the rising need for green and sustainable energy alternatives might hinder the thriving of oil, so prices might take a while before rising again.

Beware If You’re a Beginner

If you’re a complete beginner, investing in oil might be risky. You need to know the market, and if you’ve never invested before, things might get tough.

To make sure your oil investment is beneficial, the best thing to do is to learn about the industry before putting money into it. Therefore, you shouldn’t take the plunge if you’re a complete beginner.

Instead, study the oil market for some time and ask experts so they can help you. When it comes to oil, prices can vary rapidly and create a huge risk your investment, which is why you need to know what you’re doing.

Investing in oil can bring you many benefits, but you shouldn’t only rely on it. Experienced investors know that they need different options to gain the most out of each one, which is why they wouldn’t exclusively depend on the money they put into oil.

Considering that the oil market is volatile, the point is to avoid the “eggs in one basket” approach. If a small part of your portfolio (from two to five percent) belongs to oil investment, then you can sleep peacefully at night knowing that you can’t lose much money if the prices fall.

Understanding the Oil Industry

Investing in oil sounds interesting, but you should know some things about the market to make sure that you put your money in the right place.

First of all, oil and gas make up one of the largest sectors that controls the world’s economy. Even as prices have plunged, it’s an essential element to help keep many countries afloat, especially the largest producers worldwide, which are Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, China, and Canada.

On the other hand, the oil industry is broken down into different segments and it’s very complicated to understand, even for experienced investors. Oil runs many sectors, even public companies, which is why it’s an essential product that contributes to the world’s economic stability.

Oil Is an Asset

Oil is not only an important economic element for many countries. It’s also a strategic asset because it’s the basis for most of the energy that’s in everything humans consume.

When you invest in oil, you have to look for specific economic indicators to tell you the future of the market. Like other industries, the oil sector is volatile because it depends on many things such as global demand, inventory levels, production, and more.

Two Main Ways to Invest in Oil

Since the oil market is so complex and difficult to understand, experts have divided the investments into two different categories: direct and indirect.

While direct investments put you in contact with oil itself, indirect strategies allow you to get exposure without buying oil.

Each method has its benefits and disadvantages because the oil market continues to be very difficult to predict, especially since it runs most of the world’s economy and still manages to lose demand compared to sustainable energy sources.

Oil prices don’t just depend on supply and demand factors. They also have to do with the investors’ choices and speculations for the future. Each investor’s opinion makes up a network that may define what can happen later, which is why choosing the best investment method is very important.

Direct Investment

If you purchase oil options or futures, you’re directly investing in the market. However, going for that route might be dangerous and costly.

You can lose money, even if you make the right choices. Additionally, you might need a large amount of capital to get started.

You can choose to purchase exchange-traded funds, also known as ETFs. They work similarly to stocks, which might make them an easier choice if you’re keen on going for direct oil investment.

Indirect Investment

Purchasing exchange-traded funds from the energy sector make up for most of the indirect investments you can make. In other words, you can purchase mutual funds or energy-specific ETFs that aren’t oil but give you some exposure.

With indirect investment, you can earn money from your purchases while experiencing less risk. If you want, you can even have oil companies that give you revenue.

Supply and Demand of Crude Oil

To begin your oil investment journey, you can choose among many options. However, you should go with the simplest one and buy oil by the barrel.

Fortunately for investors, crude oil can bring many benefits. It’s an essential product to ensure the needed energy for most human activity, which makes it a great investment regardless of the market conditions. In other words, investing in crude oil is a great idea since it’s still indispensable for human life. However, many people fail to take advantage of the crude oil market fluctuations to make sure that they earn more money.

Mutual Funds

If you’re interested in long-term investing, you should consider an oil mutual fund. That way, you don’t directly invest in oil but you get indirect exposure.

The downside to having a mutual fund is that just like in any other case, you can’t sell or buy shares until the market closes. Therefore, if you’re planning to make frequent trades, it may not be the best option for you.

Another thing you should keep in mind is the cost because some expense ratios may be high. To make the right choice, you must find a strong oil mutual fund option.


To invest in oil, you might purchase Master Limited Partnerships, also known as MLPs. They’re publicly shared partnerships that you can take advantage of and make some profit.

Master Limited Partnerships make you a partner instead of a classic investor. Consequently, you don’t have to pay taxes. You need only be concerned with the distributions. That’s convenient if you want to save as much money as possible.

Another advantage of Master Limited Partnerships is that they’re not as volatile as other types of oil investments. Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to invest in oil with the least risk possible, MLPs might be a good option for you.

When you purchase a Master Limited Partnership, you buy an energy stock that pays high dividends. This is the element that reduces the risk.


If you want to pick different companies to invest in, you might choose stocks instead of partnerships or mutual funds.

Stocks allow you to choose among several companies, evaluate the prices and decide where you want to invest to make the most profit out of oil. Although it’s a good option, it also has its disadvantages.

For example, choosing stocks means that you have to research the market to ensure that you’re putting money in the right company. Therefore, you might need some time to investigate and decide where you want your investment to go.

Guide to Invest in Oil

Now that you know the basics of the different types of oil investments and some options you have to start earning revenues, you need expert tips to guarantee that your choices are correct.

When it comes to learning how to invest in oil, making the right choice depends on many factors. You need to evaluate whether or not you want crude oil, compare prices, decide the type of investment you want to make, and weigh the benefits and disadvantages of each option.

However, once you know more about the market and its specific characteristics, choosing where to put your money is easier.

Learn What Drives the Market

As was mentioned above, oil moves depending on many volatile factors. On one hand, like any other market, it relies on supply and demand. Nonetheless, those are not the only things that make it change.

Oil also depends on global economic prosperity. Consequently, in times of worldwide economic crises, the prices tend to drop.

When there’s a high demand, investors and sellers make the oil prices rise. An oversupply also means that prices are going to fall instead.

Know the Customers

When you work with anything related to the economy or marketing, you have to know your crowd to make the best choices. If you only think about your perspective, you fail to see the client’s point of view and understand why the market behaves the way it does.

In the oil industry, understanding the traders is even more important because they decide the future of the market.

For example, when you experience sharp crude oil trends, beginner traders often start purchasing and contribute to momentum. That fluctuation has led to the historic collapses or climaxes that the oil market has had over the years.

Choose the Right Kind of Oil to Invest In

Just like you can choose between two main types of investments, if you go for crude oil, you have to pick the type you want to put your money in.

An important option is WTI oil, which originates in the Permian Basin in the United States. The biggest competitor is Brent crude oil, which comes from the North Atlantic.

Until several years ago, their prices were very close. You could choose indiscriminately among the two and guarantee that the outcome might be similar. However, that changed in 2010. The price of Brent oil dropped while the WTI became more expensive.

Think with Long-term Goals in Mind

If you want to have peace of mind while investing and ensure that you make the best profits, you can’t think daily.

When investing in a market as volatile as oil, you mustn’t worry so much about the daily changes. Instead, you should focus on the long-term chart.

Choosing short-term changes over long-term ones only makes you feel stressed and fear the prospect of making the wrong choice and losing money. However, if you examine the historical trends and look into the future with hope, you might see that a slight daily drop doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose everything you invested.

Pick the Right Platform

If you want to be successful, you must choose the best platforms to invest your time and money.

When investing in oil, you have even more options. You can examine different online oil trading platforms while also considering important companies.

Comparing platforms and companies can be a lengthy process, though, especially if you want to ensure that you make the best choice. For example, some businesses offer you good deals but they attract professional speculators and little investors.

Therefore, you should consider all the factors before making your choice. Picking the best way to invest is more important than anything else when you’re dealing with the oil market.

Risks and Benefits of Investing in Oil

Investing in oil could be your best choice or your worst one. It not only depends on the market fluctuation, but also your perspective of the world.

The current state of the world is shifting towards a greener and more sustainable way to live, which means that oil has a tough job when it comes to staying afloat. However, it continues to be one of the most important products worldwide.

The main risk is that the oil’s future lies at a crossroads. Considering that the prices recently dropped, there’s no guarantee that they are coming back up anytime soon.

Nonetheless, the benefits can also be incredible. Since there are still decades of reserves underground and continued global demand, the market can also likely make you earn revenue.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Investing in Oil

If you want to ensure that you correctly understand how to invest in oil, there are some things you should do, while you should steer clear of other choices. Read on to guarantee that you make the best decisions.


  • Check the companies’ balance sheet and bust cycle before investing.
  • Research before spending money
  • Think of long-term consequences instead of daily outcomes.
  • Ask experienced investors and traders for advice.

Check out eToro, TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers to get guidance


  • Invest in complicated ETFs.
  • Focus on small, daily changes instead of long-term outcomes.
  • Impulsively make choices and spend money.
  • Invest without knowing the company.
  • Bet on companies that don’t have a good track record.
  • Invest in companies with debts.

Although there’s a lot to take in if you want to make the best choice for your oil investment, keeping track of good tips allows you to pick better options. Once you get used to all the features of the market, you can trust your intuition and knowledge.


Check out the following frequently asked questions that many people have when they want to make the best oil investment.

  • What should I do if the prices fall?

If you want to invest when prices fall, trust established companies with a strong base. That way, they can take the losses and you don’t risk losing money.

  • Why did the oil prices drop?

Besides the 2020 global crisis due to the pandemic, political disputes between Russia and Saudi Arabia ended in a war of prices regarding oil. Likewise, there was an excess of supply and few places to store it.

  • How do I pick the best investment type?

Evaluate all the options, consult with experienced investors and choose the one that fits your needs and goals best.

  • Who has the most oil in the world?

The largest oil reserves in the world are located in Venezuela, while Saudi Arabia and Canada take the second and third spots on the list.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how to invest in oil has been one of the strongest options to earn revenues since decades ago. Due to the product’s high global demand, it continues to be a good choice even in times of crisis. Now that you know more about how to start investing, make the best decisions and focus on long-term goals.