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Precious metals earn their precious description because they are rare and in finite supply. There is only so much gold or silver. Harvesting silver, gold, palladium and other precious metals is a very expensive endeavor. This is one of the reasons that precious metals are expensive when compared to other naturally occurring metals which are in greater supply, are easier to harvest, and are not deemed to be as valuable because of supply and demand.
Unlike company stock or government-backed currency, there is a limited amount of each precious metal. This is what has made these metals such a great investment over time. If you purchase company stock, that company may at any time begin buying back its shares. This usually drives up the stock price, because there are fewer shares available to the public. The company may do the opposite, and issue more shares. This can drive the share price down.
In both of those situations, you have no control over the amount of stock which will be available to investors from one day to the next. The same is true with government-backed currency. Every time your government issues more currency, the value of the money you hold drops. This brings to light one principal factor which drives the price of precious metals ... they are in rare supply, and there is a finite amount of them.
If you are new to the world of precious metal investing, this guide was made specifically for you. In it you will learn why you may want to consider adding precious metals to your investment portfolio, as well as how much of your investment capital you should spend. You will get to know the most common precious metals for investing, and a few facts about each of them.
You may be surprised to find that you can purchase "paper" precious metal investment vehicles in addition to physical products. We will cover whether you should be purchasing silver, gold or some other type of metal, the differences between bullion, bars, coins and other precious metal investments, and the pros and cons of buying online vs. at your local dealer.
Finally, we will recommend the top online precious metal dealers, those which have been rated the highest according to customer satisfaction. Then we will walk you through making your first precious metals purchase, whether you choose to do so online or off. In case you are still on the fence about whether this is the right type of investment for you, let's look at some good reasons for investing in precious metals.
Reasons to Invest in Precious Metals
There are plenty of good reasons to add precious metals to your investment portfolio. Here are just a few of the more common reasons precious metal investing is on the rise in the 21st century.
Protection against Economic Collapse
One of the main reasons some people invest in precious metals is because they provide a hedge against monetary currency. As mentioned earlier, your government can decide at any time to improve the value or to devalue your currency. Additionally, if some cataclysm occurs, such as a zombie apocalypse, electric grid breakdown, or some other end of the world scenario, paper money may become worthless.
You need only pick up a recent newspaper from just about anywhere in the world to see examples of civil unrest and political shenanigans. You may recall the Greek government announced in 2011 that they were on the verge of bankruptcy. That crisis worsened after that announcement, and it took other governments forgiving massive amounts of Greek debt for that country to begin rebuilding its economy.
That is just one example of government-backed currency becoming severely devalued. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. Having physical gold, silver, and other precious metals on hand, especially in 1-ounce bullion pieces, gives you a globally recognized source of currency which will only rise in value if there is some severe economic calamity that strikes in your area.
High-Value, Small Size
One Troy ounce of gold traded at $1,200 in July of 2018. One ounce of gold bullion is about the size of a silver dollar, it is extremely portable, and it carries a lot of cash value. Precious metals provide a lot of purchasing power and they don't take up much storage space, whether that be in your pocket, purse, or in a safe at your home.
Diversification of Investment Portfolio
The wealthiest investors in the world will always tell you to diversify. They recommend holding some position in government bonds, stocks which pay dividends, small business stocks, real estate, cash, precious metals and other investments. Precious metals give you one more safety net to fall back on if some or all of your other investments don't pan out.
Gold and Silver Have Industrial Uses
Silver, gold, and some other precious metals have multiple uses in industry. Much of palladium’s value is driven by industrial use. They are also used to make coins and jewelry. This cannot be said for paper and coin currency, stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles. The more widespread the use of precious metals becomes, the higher the value of those metals will rise. There is a limited amount of each precious metal, which means that as industrial usage continues to climb, so will the value of certain precious metals.
You Can Get Started with Very Little Money
Silver was trading at around $14 per ounce in July of 2018. This means that you can begin your precious metals investment education with little to no risk or financial outlay. Any time you enter the investment arena, you learn lessons about money management. This is an extremely cheap and proven method of investing that has shown excellent returns over time, and can get you thinking about saving and investing for your future.
How Much Should I Invest in Precious Metals?
The decision on how much money you should invest in precious metals is a personal one. If you have a definite belief that global economies are going to crash sometime soon, and the economy of your home nation is in peril, you may want to spend more money investing in precious metals than stocks and bonds. Generally speaking, most investment advisors recommend not spending more than 10% to 15% of your entire investment capital on any one type of investment.
Diversification is the key to money safety. Diversification will often deliver a safe and steady return over time. If your investment portfolio includes real estate, cash, precious metals, stocks, cryptocurrencies and collectible coins, some of those investments may make money while others may stagnate or lose money. Since you are diversified in several different investment vehicles, the chances that you could lose all your money are very low.
On the other hand, you may have done a lot of research that leads you to believe platinum, gold, or silver is due for a massive upturn over the next year or so. If this is your belief, you may want to increase the amount of money you are investing in precious metals. The amount of money you are going to spend will also have to do with whether you are investing for the long term, as a hobby, or as a protection against economic or civil collapse.