Silver and Precious Metals

Typically, when you think of investing, you first think of the stock market. Stocks and bonds have always been one of the most popular forms of investment, and the ones you hear about the most from the mainstream media.

That is until lately.

Even the mainstream media has grudgingly admitted that investing in gold, silver, and precious metals have outperformed stocks and bonds repeatedly over the last several years. Things are changing.

Silver and precious metals have become very strong investments. Gold is the darling right now, as it has been the “star” for centuries. With the attention on gold, its value has increased sharply and is now at a point where buying physical gold for the middle class is all but out of reach.

This is not the case for investing in silver and precious metals
Investing in silver is still an easy thing to do, even for the small investor. Investing in silver has all of the upsides that investing in gold has. It is a good hedge against inflation; it is easily liquidated when you need to do so. It is a finite resource that must be mined, and cannot just be “printed” as paper money has been and so it cannot be artificially devalued by bankers or governments at a whim. It is necessary for industry and electronics, giving it great industrial value.

When deciding where to put your money; you need to place it side by side with other investments. How have these investments performed over time? Stocks and bonds have had their ups and downs, but as of late have not performed well. Over this same period, gold and precious metals, specifically silver, have shown strong gains. Silver alone, over the past couple of years, has enjoyed a 300% increase in value, which has even outperformed gold.

Silver and precious metals: the ”regular guy’s investment!
The fact that the average person is still able to pull money out of his wallet and buy an ounce or two or three of silver, makes silver a very attractive investment. With the dollar remaining weak, and confidence in the stock market remaining low, silver shows no sign of losing its momentum.

So how do you begin to invest in silver?
It is very easy. In your area, there are many places you can go to buy silver. Pawn shops, coin shops, and jewelers that advertise that they buy and sell gold and precious metals, all would have physical silver for sale. Silver ingots (small silver bars) are possibly the best value. Silver coins are available, but coins often command a higher premium (dealer markup) than do ingots, as they have more workmanship involved in their production. Many times you can also find silver for sale at gun shows, flea markets, etc.

Before setting out to buy silver, take a look at that day’s spot price. The spot price is the term for the amount that silver sold for that day on the commodities market. Use this price to know if you are getting a good deal. Expect to pay a bit more than the spot price, but it should be a reasonable amount. When looking at the silver bar you are considering, know that it should show a mark on it indicating that it is .999 (99.9% pure silver) this lets you know it is as pure as it gets.

Turning a portion of your savings into physical silver is a fantastic way to help manage your money. Silver and precious metal investments should be considered long-term investments, though some of the big traders do day trade just as they do with stocks. My advice is to buy a bit at a time and stash it in a safe place. Then you can periodically check the spot price, and know how you are doing.

That’s the fun part.
The other fun part, as opposed to the stock market, is that you can hold your silver, feel it’s weight, and know that the weight you feel is real value and not just numbers on a piece of paper that seems to go down daily. Silver and precious metals are REAL money, not just numbers on a piece of paper.

Interested in Investing in Gold and Precious Metals

Metal bullion, in its basic form, is just whatever precious metal, in an easily handled bulk form. This bullion can also be stamped, carved, and otherwise adorned to make it more artistically appealing, but the important part is its verifiable weight. Precious metals like gold and silver, can be turned into ingots, bars, or coins for ease of trading. Many people who are looking at investing in precious metals begin by acquiring some small gold bars or ingots, eventually acquiring a large collection for a long-term investment.

For many investors that prefer to invest in coins, the gold coins from Vienna, South Africa, Canada, and the United States are quite popular. This is because of their beauty, the ease of transportation, their easily verifiable value as well as how easy they are to acquire. They are, however, quite expensive compared to gold ingots. Coins trade at a price well above that of raw metal. As with all precious metals, you get no return from them as you hold them: there are no “dividends” or interest payments. The money you make is the difference between what you originally paid, compared with the value you receive for it when you finally sell, much like real estate.

Quality is something you must consider when buying gold or precious metals.

This is especially true when investing in coins. Coins are graded depending on how perfect and pristine they are. Any sort of defect can affect the value of the coin dramatically. You must either be well versed in the coin grading systems or have a professional help you to get the best and safest value for your money.

Some people look at jewelry and wonder if it can be looked at as a precious metals investment. Jewelry, however, is valued for the workmanship that went into its making, and its sentimental and artistic value. This is similar, in a way to gold coins, and a reason why gold coins are far out value their per-ounce value. Jewelry usually does not appreciate at the same rate as bullion, unless melted down at some point.

Some people choose to “get into” gold and precious metals by investing in the stocks of precious metals mining companies. The stock prices for these companies, and their profits, tend to rise when the bullion prices for their mined products increase. This is one area where you can see a return, as you can receive dividends. However, since you are dealing with a presently-volatile stock market, and so you lose the “insurance policy” factor that investing in gold and precious metals provides.

You should certainly start small when learning how to buy gold bars and precious metals.

Many people even begin their search by looking at eBay! When you get an idea of what you are looking for, I recommend that you ally yourself with a reputable company that can walk you through the learning process. This sort of company is ultimately a customer service company, as they know they make far more money by serving their customers well and having them return over and over again. to purchase gold and precious metals.

How to Buy Gold and Precious Metals

The price of gold continues to increase as more and more people see it as the only investment making money right now, and precious metals of all sorts are riding gold’s wave of investor interest. There are many companies out there that are competing for investors’ interest. For the person just beginning to consider moving some of their investments into gold and precious metals, there are things you ought to consider before making a choice.

National and worldwide political and economic events all impact the price of gold. During stable times when unemployment is low, the stock market is up, and your Government’s current administration is enjoying high popularity figures in the polls, the price of gold usually stays stable. Gold may trend down as people move some money away from a stable investment to one (a growing stock market) that might make them a higher return. However, when instability rules the day, demand for gold and precious metals increases, and prices start to rise.

Why invest in gold and precious metals?

People may decide to invest in gold for many different reasons. Some may see investing in gold as insurance for their savings. They view it as a hedge against the loss of buying power for their paper currency, and a way to continue to build wealth even in hard times. Others may simply be investing wherever they see they can make money and might sell off as soon as the next big thing comes along.

It is very easy to begin investing in gold and precious metals.

You can search for companies that trade in precious metals, and see what they have to offer. As with all industries, dealers provide a wide variety of products and services. You can make an online gold buy as well but that is a different conversation. Once you find a company you might like to deal with, contact them for a quote. These companies often act as middlemen, and will then contact one of their clients that have shown a desire to sell their gold, and they will see what their seller is asking for their holdings. After they get this figure, they add their transaction fee, called a “Premium”, which is how your “middle-men” make their money. When you as the buyer, agree to the quoted price, your company will lock in the price, and proceed with the transaction. You can often choose several different ways to do business with your company of choice: Online, by e-mail, via the phone, or even in person. Many times you will find yourself using a combination of these methods of contact as you progress through your purchase.

Be certain to check the reputation of any company before deciding which to use. A reputable company will be happy to provide you with a list of references, and it is easy to do online checks to see how many times a company has been in the news, both for good and bad. A company that has run afoul of its local or national government might at best tie your money up at an inopportune time, and at worst, your funds might be at risk.

After deciding on a company, you need to decide how much money you wish to invest in gold and precious metals. You can start very low, say in silver coins, or small-weight gold coins. You may pay a higher premium than you might with a big purchase, but is usually not a problem. As the amount of gold and precious metals you purchase goes up, storage may present a problem.