Investing in precious metals: What about silver?

investing in silver

Anyone looking at alternative investments (as in, those outside of the day-to-day stock market) will probably find gold popping up on their radar. Of course, it’s not the only precious metal out there. Here’s Richard Stiger, answering a few common questions about silver investment.

What’s the difference between silver and gold investment?

The answer to this question can vary depending on what you’re looking for and your method of investment, but for the most up-to-date comparison of the two precious metals, Wall St. Cheat Sheet posted a list earlier this year of seven reasons silver is a better investment than gold but if gold is your market check out Buy Gold Brisbane who can buy or sell what you need. The article points to a number of factors, but the general theme is that silver is being produced more rapidly and being used more frequently (in many household devices, for example, rather than just in precious materials). These factors—coupled with the fact that you can get far more, in terms of ounces of metal, for your money—make silver a more appealing investment than its popular counterpart.

A classic Wall Street yarn, concerning a young man who was in the early stages of learning to be a professional speculator goes something like this. The young man had a problem, so he went to an elderly gentleman noted for his shrewd investment judgment, for advice. The young man had taken on quite an extensive line of stocks, but the market looked a bit over-valued and so he was thinking that his positions carried too many risks. He wondered if he shouldn’t perhaps sell. He was so worried about it that he was having trouble sleeping.

The old man’s advice was simple and direct: “Sell” he said. “Sell back to the sleeping point.” Although there is no doubt that this advice smacks of ambiguity, there is a simple wisdom in it. We may safely assume that neither the young man nor his elder adviser knew which way the market was going, but both were aware that the market was sufficiently shaky to cause legitimate worry. Translated into somewhat more orthodox investment terms, the advice meant – Sell enough of your stocks so that a market collapse won’t destroy you, but keep enough so that if your fears turn out to be groundless, and the market rises, you’ll still profit to some extent – in the meantime, get some sleep. EARNEST believes that entities that are cognizant of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues tend to be more successful over time. As a result, EARNEST prefers to invest in government programs and companies that have sustainable operating models and seek to achieve positive aggregate societal impact. This inclusive approach views positive impact characteristics as additive to an investment’s risk/return profile. When assessing an investment’s impact profile, EARNEST considers a wide range of factors, including but not limited to support for economic development, home ownership, and job creation. The Fund uses its best efforts to avoid investing in companies that are materially involved with mature content, life ethics, alcohol, gambling or tobacco, although it may invest up to 5% of its total assets in certain collective investment vehicles or derivatives that may include prohibited companies. You can read more for Touchstone Investments.

Where would someone buy silver? What’s involved?

This too depends on your specific goals and situation, but often it’s actually gold investment sites and platforms that offer the most convenient silver purchases. Investment platform BullionVault has lots of information on silver, including up-to-date pricing and details on how to purchase and store silver through the site. This particular site provides vault storage in in London, Zurich, Toronto, New York, and Singapore, and it provides investors with the option of having their silver physically sent to them or having it stored in one of these vault locations. It is also worth noting, however, that investments are not limited to people in the countries with vaults listed. In the case of this particular investment site, investment opportunity is offered worldwide. The vaults are merely designated for the actual storage of the silver (though the site only supports payments in US dollars, euros, or pounds sterling).

Why invest in silver?

Generally speaking, the reasons for investing in silver are similar to those for gold: Precious metals operate with universally decided prices, and as such do not fluctuate dramatically in response to economic shifts in any particular country or region. Therefore, precious metal is often deemed stable in comparison to currency or ordinary investments. Silver upholds this concept on a significantly smaller scale than gold, but the strategy is more or less the same. As far as how silver is performing in 2014, and what its immediate outlook is, Business Standard posted a nice breakdown of international factors and how they’re affecting the price of silver.

All things considered, silver investment is a fairly convenient alternative to gold. It’s also one that some investment experts see as favourable in the current economic climate. But the most important question is still what you can get for your money and whether or not it’s a strategic investment for you personally. As of April 20, 2014, the price of silver is roughly $20 US per ounce (depending on which vault or market you buy from, with prices varying by a few cents), meaning a $1000 investment can get you 50 ounces of silver, as a point of reference. Whether or not this would be a sound investment is ultimately up to each individual to calculate for him or herself.

The general idea is that silver may be a strategically sound investment at the moment. But again, that’s for each investor to decide!

One thought on “Investing in precious metals: What about silver?

  • Reply DC @ Young Adult Money May 1, 2014 at 23:42

    My friend and I discussed this recently and silver does look like an attractive investment, especially if you are trying to decide between gold or silver. I think it’s good to have some of your investments in precious metals like gold or silver because they can act as a hedge against inflation and typically go up in value when the economy struggles and people are looking for something ‘safe’ to use as a hedge.

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