Tim Bishop – Hedging Commodity Price Risk: A Small Business Perspective

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Though I was first introduced to Tim Bishop by the travelogue Two Are Better, which he and his wife Debbie wrote as newlyweds on their coast to coast bicycle honeymoon, Tim requested me to read and review his other book Hedging Commodity Price Risk. Quite different stuff to put your teeth in. Bishop’s target audience is owners or managers in SME facing the challenges of changing commodity prices, interest rates, weather conditions. Hedging instruments to offset or mitigate these risks, and accompanying accounting rules can be perceived as too difficult or understandable for mere mortals. To be honest, that part of business economics wasn’t my favorite during my master’s study.

Hedging Commodity Price Risk is quite accessible, without simplifying or bypassing tough topics. Bishop deals with the several risks you run as business. Then the concept of hedging and the several instruments are dealt with. Specific examples in tables or illustrations help to understand the effects. Pitfalls and opportunities, stakeholders and the relationship you need with them, accounting principles and consequences of hedging for tax filing.

A practical book, with a glossary included and lots of references to web sites providing background information, up to date rates and conditions. The book’s written from a US perspective and (relatively) small business in mind. Readers from abroad need to seek local advice on country specific rules and details. The book’s a great source of information from a seasoned practitioner.

About the author

Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.