Why Physical Commodities?
We are presently seeing an unprecedented move from paper assets to physical hard assets.
MF Global exposed the rehypothecation frauds that are rampant throughout the financial industry. "Allocated storage" has now been proven to be a fraud that is settled in cash not bullion. There currently is a run on gold at the COMEX and LME that is forcing cash settlements.
The LIBOR scandal has exposed manipulation in the currency, interest rate, and metals markets.
Cyprus has introduced the concept of "Bail-In's" that will be used in other countries (including the US and the EU) when major institutions fail -- something that will happen as the current currency war takes its next set of victims. Even the largest banking institutions cannot be trusted as their derivatives exposure exceeds their nation's GDP and in some cases, the GDP of the entire planet.
Most central banks, led by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, are using quantitative easing policies to print paper currency to inflate their currencies.
All of these have exposed the reality of counter-party risk. Physical commodities have no counter-party risk and no currency risk. If you do not physically possess your assets, you do not own them -- your counterparties effectively own them any you are a junior, unsecured, subordinated creditor to your counterparties.