Feeling the pain of rising fuel costs? Oil is around $70 a barrel and with instability in the vast majority of large oil producing regions (Iraq, Iran, Saudi, Nigeria, Venezuala, Russia) causing supply shortfalls I think we're all painfully aware that oil is very unlikely to decline to the $15 - $20 per barrel with equivalently low gas prices we've seen over the last few years.
So what can you do? How about locking in the price of gas at something reasonable? This is essentially what energy companies do today. They will buy gasoline in the futures market as a hedge to lock in a particular price point. I'm not familiar with the details of how the big guys do it but have at least the beginnings of an idea about how you and I can do it.
Let's say oil producing regions stabilize and production goes back up, enough to make gas fall to $2.00/gallon. Also, in our sample scenario assume our hedger (H) has a car that gets 20mpg and drives 15,000 miles per year. With a little 3rd grade math that comes to 750 gallons of fuel and at the current price would be a spend of $1500/year. Let's also assume our protaganist can find a stock in the equities market that moves in a highly correlated fashion to either oil or gasoline (company A). H purchases $1500 in company A's stock. Now if gas prices rise by 10 or 20 or 50 percent, H's stock will also rise in lockstep. The critical point now lies in profit taking and averaging down. I haven't got all of this worked out yet, but am thinking that if H were to take profits around 5% intervals over the initial purchase price and average down by buying more stock when the stock falls on 5% increments from the purchase price, discounting transaction fees and taxes, H's total fuel costs - stock profits + stock losses would end up with an average cost per gallon near the locked in price.
Anyone out there have more ideas on this?