Image by: Rob Lee
By Steven Morrison II
Gold prices have been going through the roof, as high-profile talking heads have been saying that the precious metal is the only way to beat inflation. Guys like Glenn Beck won’t shut up about it (and for good reason, I guess). That’s good for gold investors and speculators, however, as dire predictions about the economy continue to push prices to astronomical levels.
But gold isn’t the only shiny object on the menu. What about silver? Sure it is not as sexy as gold, but what is?
Over the past year, silver prices have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride. At the kick-off of 2012, silver was at $27 an ounce but had risen to above $35 by Feb. 19. This summer, it bottomed out at $27. Since Oct. 25, the price has fluctuated between $30 and $32 per ounce. A good resource to follow live prices and to peruse historical data is the Silver Price website.
“… Silver is highly volatile and even more susceptible to wild price swings than gold,” says Simon Black of the Sovereign Man blog.
Volatile indeed. However, some metal heads are quite bullish on the future of silver prices.
“With gold having passed $1700 (twice the 1980 high of $850) already, given the above analysis, it stands to reason that $100 (twice the 1980 high of $50) silver could be virtually guaranteed,” says Hubert Moolman of HGM and Associates.
Bottom line: You have to have a strong stomach when dealing with silver. Plus there are many ways to get in the game – you can buy coins, junk silver or by the bar. Each has its upsides and drawbacks. As always, do plenty of research before you get in the game.
Here’s a quick run-down of three major silver formats:
Pre-1965 silver coins are certainly on the menu, but watch out because if they were in circulation, they could lose as much as 5%-10% of their value.
Many consider this the best bet because you can head down to the local pawn shop and buy a bag to fit your budget.
These have a high entry level and are expensive to ship. You may want to leave these to the big boys. If you are a big boy, this can be the safest way to buy silver because you know exactly what you are getting.