Weather and Commodities Markets by Bart A. Grenier

April 18, 2012

The commodities market is an incredibly volatile and unpredictable investment route. With weather patterns shifting and concern growing regarding global climate change and its effects on crop production, strategists are learning from their experiences in energy markets and taking weather forecasts into consideration. In recent years, the continued deregulation of energy markets resulted in higher liquidity levels, which increased weather-related volatility and impacted not only producers, but buyers and investors as well. The same story could play out in the commodities trade. Weather stands out as a major unknown factor when looking into commodities investment strategy and options. Vulnerable to unexpected droughts, storms, and influences such as La Nina and El Nino, yields of crops such as wheat, corn, soybeans, and more are highly affected by changes in climate. The lesson that investors should take from such considerations is that they need to plan for abnormal market conditions due to variances in weather. Rather than focusing on what happened most recently or in the past, many strategists are now gaining insight into what may happen in the future and taking investment cues from that knowledge.

— About the Author: A seasoned financial professional, Bart A. Grenier provides colleagues and clients with a high level of expertise pertaining to a wide range of investment matters, including those associated with positive impacts on climate change. Bart A. Grenier currently acts as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of The Boston Company Asset Management, LLC. Mr. Grenier has also worked with Deutsche Asset Management and the Fidelity Management & Research Company.


A Brief History of Nantucket, Massachusetts

January 21, 2011

One of Bart A. Grenier’s favorite spots, Nantucket, Massachusetts, boasts a rich and varied history. Situated south of Cape Cod, Nantucket Island earned inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places on December 13, 1966. Nicknamed “The Grey Lady” due to the persistent fog that often clings to the island, Nantucket takes its official name from an Eastern Algonquian word of unclear meaning, though the word may possibly mean “in the midst of waters” or “faraway island.” The Wampanoag Native Americans referred to the island as “Canopache,” which means “place of peace.”

The documented Western history of Nantucket Island goes back to a potential sighting of the land mass by Norsemen in the 11th century. While tradition holds with this first European encounter, historians never definitively proved the sighting. In 1602, Nantucket Island laid eyes on another European vessel in the form of the Concord, a ship captained by Bartholomew Gosnold of Suffolk, England. Though English vessels held knowledge of the island after this sighting, the original inhabitants of Nantucket Island, the Wampanoag Indians, continued to live on the island in relative peace and solitude until 1641, when the English government deeded Nantucket to Thomas Mayhew and his son, who served as merchants in nearby Watertown and Martha’s Vineyard. Gradually, Nantucket Island grew to become the whaling capital of the world and enjoyed a booming economy from the industry until the decline of whaling circa 1850.

[Public Domain] Photograph of Nantucket street, circa 1870s, taken by C. H. Shute.

Today, Nantucket Island serves as a popular tourist destination, with its numbers regularly swelling from 10,000 to 50,000 during the summer months. Drawn to the island’s natural beauty, people from around the world travel to Nantucket to sail, fish, relax on the beach, and walk the high bluffs overlooking the Atlantic.

[By Bobak at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], from Wikimedia Commons] Nantucket harbor scene, August 2004. Photograph taken by Bobak Ha’Eri.

The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation

December 8, 2010

Committed to giving back to his local community, Mr. Bart A. Grenier contributes to the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, a nonprofit that supports visual and performing arts in Nantucket. Directly supporting the Dreamland Theater, the foundation provides a communal entertainment venue at the very center of the city, offering recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Currently under reconstruction, the new Dreamland Theater will blend seamlessly with its historical surroundings while embracing innovative green building fundamentals. For generations, the Dreamland Theater has served as a landmark of downtown Nantucket, and the foundation’s existence ensures that it will continue as a central venue for decades to come. Reconstruction of the theater has also economically revitalized the Nantucket community, creating many new jobs. When the Dreamland Theater was built in 1831, it served briefly as a Hicksite meetinghouse before another Quaker faction, the Gurneyites, claimed it. During this time, the building also served as an important civic congregation center, hosting several political speakers and demonstrations. Later, the construction became a straw-hat factory and a roller-skating rink until it was converted into a theater in 1911. For almost a century, the theater operated as a nucleus for the performing arts and cinema for the entire island of Nantucket. The Foundation’s reconstruction plans will secure the theater’s continued prominence in the community for at least another century. To learn more about the Nantucket Dreamland Foundation’s goals, watch the following video or visit

Michael Lewis (2/2)

November 19, 2010

by Bart A. Grenier

After settling into his role at Salomon Brothers, Michael Lewis demonstrated a notable aptitude for finance, soon placed in charge of millions of dollars in investment funds. In 1987, Salomon Brothers experienced a near-hostile takeover, an event that resulted in a great deal of upheaval at the company. Michael Lewis maintained his position at the firm despite the tumultuous atmosphere, nonetheless growing restless with his work. Determined to create a satisfying career path for himself, Michael Lewis chose to leave Salomon Brothers, penning his first book, Liar’s Poker, shortly after decamping from a professional life on Wall Street. Michael Lewis published Liar’s Poker in 1989, additionally sustaining himself through financial journalism. Garnering praise for his astute insider’s view of the financial industry, Michael Lewis quickly established himself as a cultural critic of sorts, unflinchingly describing his time at Salomon Brothers in a manner that shed light on the excesses of major fiscal players. Ten years after writing Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis completed The New New Thing, an investigation of the Silicon Valley technology boom. In 2003, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game hit shelves. Extremely well received, Moneyball delves into the complex world of Major League Baseball, specifically focusing on the Oakland A’s, an under-funded yet highly successful team tin comparison to other franchises. As a financial professional myself, I like Michael Lewis’ journalism and nonfiction as it is keenly observed, appropriately objective, and enjoyable to read. His writing eschews sensationalism in favor of logic, a feat that sets him apart from many authors working in his genre.

(Part 1 of this entry here)

Hello world!

October 6, 2010

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!