Silver has a wide variety of uses in today’s world, both in industrial applications and for a variety of aesthetic purposes. Much like gold and other precious metals, its price is closely associated with investor’s perceived view of economic health.
During times of economic hardship, silver price generally goes up, considered as a hedge against future inflations. Like all commodities, a combination of speculation along with supply and demand is the driving forces that affect the price of silver. It is also used for a variety of industrial uses, and can be found in many of the electronics being made today. It is also widely used for photography, but with the recent transition from film to digital photography, this use has decreased in recent years.
Physical silver bullion is generally considered the most popular investment metal. A large percentage of silver investors prefer holding the physical metal. With its relatively high value per troy ounce, storing physical silver is relatively easy to do. As a popular commodity, silver bullion is very easy to sell for cash; any coin shop will gladly buy your silver based on prevailing market costs. Investing in physical bullion also gives a person the option of buying bars and coins in a variety of sizes. Additionally, many silver coins minted in the past hold numismatic value that is far above the physical value of the metal alone.
Another popular way to invest in silver is to purchase stock in the mining companies that find it. Mining stocks are directly tied to the cost of the metals that they mine, so investment in companies that recover silver is a viable way to invest in future price increases. It is important to keep in mind that most mining companies mine a variety of metals, so the price of other precious and base metals will also have impact on individual stocks, as well as many other internal factors.
To reduce risk, many investors prefer to buy mutual funds with an emphasis in silver. Although these mutual funds are not directly tied to the physical price of silver, they also reduce risk and generally fluctuate less than the spot price of silver. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) also work similarly to mutual funds, but are generally tied more directly to the physical price of metals.
Regardless of the way that you choose to invest, many believe that silver is one of the best metals to invest in during difficult economic times. Since it has uses in both industrial applications as well as for precious metal investors, along with its relatively low cost-per-ounce, many prefer it to other types of precious metals like gold and platinum.
Remember, all investments require risk. Always understand the risks involved prior to making any investment. This article is for informational purposes only.