Investors trading commodities in the 1990s knew that the only way to place a trade in the commodity markets was to pick up a phone and call a broker. Because brokerage firms relied on paper tickets and statements, they weren’t necessarily able to keep close tabs on client trading accounts throughout the trading day. This posed large risks to traders and the firm. Accordingly, commodity trading was typically reserved for well-capitalized and sophisticated investors. That simply isn’t true anymore. Anybody with at least a thousand dollars and an operable computer can buy or sell commodities online without ever picking up the phone.