With the price of silver near the midpoint of it’s recent (16-month) trading range and on a strong uptrend off September lows, it’s an excellent time to consider the value of silver as an investment.
While gold typically commands the “safe-haven” label, the sister metals often move together. And, given the wide variety of applications for silver, it remains a critical commodity in the global economy.
So, let’s look at the uses of silver, how investors can get exposure to the white metal, and the factors that determine whether it deserves a place in your portfolio.
One of the first factors to consider is that silver can act as a hedge against inflation, especially in a dollar-based portfolio. This is the case because if the dollar gets weaker, then the value of precious metals tends to go up.
Consider Investing in Silver Coins or Bullion
The nice thing about silver is that it holds value as a currency in its physical form. In situations where the markets are uncertain, and investors believe a crash is coming, silver is highly desirable. Bullion and silver coins become targeted investments in those cases.
Owning physical silver in coins or bullion has some additional value. First, silver has a long-term use in the monetary system. Silver also has a myriad of applications from an industrial standpoint, further solidifying its tangible value. Being a hard asset means there is no counterparty risk. No contract or promise needs to be fulfilled when the physical asset is in your possession. Silver is a viable commodity throughout the world, so its value remains regardless of location.
Furthermore, owning physical silver has no default risk. This is not the case with the majority of other investments.
Silver ETFs Can Work for Investors When the Markets Are Stable
If a person wants to invest in silver but doesn’t want to bother with coins or bullion, investing in a silver ETF may be the … silver lining (sorry – couldn’t resist). Silver ETFs are typically made up of top silver mining companies and are diversified with their holdings. For instance, an ETF like Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) includes silver mining companies from all over the world.
Other silver investments can be worthy buys if the mining stocks have strong balance sheets with low or manageable debt. It is even better when these companies have established mines with a historical record of producing. You will always want to ensure that your mining stock investments involve an experienced management team familiar with mining industry success. Well-financed mining companies with experience and a record of success will be your best investment opportunities.
Industrial Use Continues to Grow
Silver is more ubiquitous than you might realize. Look around your house and you’ll likely find it in any number of items. The industrial markets involve the majority of silver’s usage. Silver is a highly conductive metal, making it valuable to use in many electronics, cell phones, batteries, solar panels, and biocides. Then, of course, there are the jewelry and silverware markets, where silver is also very popular.
Is silver a good investment? This unique metal has a lot of intrinsic value, from industrial use to monetary inclusion. Due to its versatility, there is no other precious metal quite like it.
Do you think it is better to invest in silver in its physical form, or invest in industries that are using silver to produce goods?