Invest in Silver, Oil
Over the last few days, I have been looking into various investments I could make.
Invest in the silver ETF (Exchange Traded Fund), which runs under the symbol SLV, or in the oil ETF which runs under the symbol USO.
The silver ETF works like this:
The investment firm/bank buys a certain amount of silver, and stores it. They then sell "shares," equal to 10 oz bars of silver. Instead of having to physically store it somewhere, you own the silver on paper. The value of one share is the spot value of an ounce of silver x 10.
The oil ETF doesn't work exactly the same, but runs in a somewhat similar manner, based on the price of a barrel of oil.
Or, you could just go to your neighborhood coin dealer or jeweler and buy the physical bullion itself.
With inflation, Iran fears, and a weakened economy, now is the time to invest in the energy sector or in precious metals.
Silver is extremely undervalued, based on what I have read.
"Today, for less than $20, anyone can get into the silver speculation game. On top of that, silver is easy to buy and somewhat liquid. All you have to do is find your neighborhood coin dealer and start trading.
My question is: Do you understand silver? Do you know why silver is a good investment? Do you also know why it's a bad investment? If you don't know the answers to these questions, I would recommend that you stick with what you understand.
Although not a silver expert, I'll share with you the reasons why I'm bullish on the asset:
1) Silver is a consumable precious metal. Unlike gold, which is hoarded, silver is used industrially. For years, before digital photography, it was used in film for cameras and movies. Today, silver is used extensively in electronics.
The reason this is a good fundamental reason to get into the metal today is because silver stockpiles are dwindling, so its price is driven by supply and demand.
2) It's a precious metal. Silver has been used as real money for centuries. We humans have an ancient fascination with this metal, as we do with gold. For years, I have visited gold and silver mining sites all over the world. That's something that has always amazed me, regardless of whether I was in China, South America, Mexico, Africa, or Canada.
I still remember standing on a mountaintop in Peru, doing my due diligence on a gold mine and looking at tiny caves dug into the side of a mountain. The caves were the mines of ancient Incas who were seeking gold, long before the Spaniards came and stole their wealth and country from them. Standing on a 14,000-foot mountain, where I could hardly breathe, I wondered what motivated those ancients to live in such an arid and hostile environment and delve for gold. Then I realized I was there for the same reason, only centuries later.
3) The primary reason I'm in real estate, oil, gold, and silver is because the U.S. dollar has become the peso the world. It's becoming more and more worthless as the U.S. is the world's biggest debtor nation.
Just how badly is the U.S. borrowing money? According to the Treasury Department, America's first 42 Presidents (from George Washington to Bill Clinton) borrowed a combined total of $1.01 trillion from 1789 to 2000, Between 2000 and 2005, President George W. Bush has borrowed $1.05 trillion -- and he's got a few more years left to go.
I'm not confident that our political leaders have the guts to do what's required to put the U.S. back on a sound economic footing. This is not to blame either Republicans or Democrats. I blame Americans for wanting their Social Security cake and Medicare ice cream, too. It's the entitlement mentality that grips the U.S., from the President on down, that needs to be changed. Too many Americans have come to expect the government to solve our personal problems (see "Why Many Aren't Securing Their Financial Future").
So if you think America's politicians and citizens are willing to make the changes necessary to strengthen the U.S. dollar, then don't buy silver. But if you're like me and don't expect us, as a nation, to take our medicine, then short the dollar -- and the way you short the currency is by going long on gold and silver.
4) Equities (stocks) and commodities (gold, copper, oil, and silver) are counter-cyclical. On average, equity prices go up for 20-year periods, and commodities go down. Then they reverse directions. Looking back in time, equities (stocks) began their run-up in 1980 and imploded in 2000. In 2000, commodities began their run-up, and equities headed down. In other words, around 2016 to 2020, start getting back into stocks and out of commodities.
5) A silver exchange traded fund (SLV) was launched on Apr. 28. That means silver, the commodity, can be traded as a paper asset. This makes silver easier for the masses to buy. They don't have to take delivery of the physical metal. Millions of pensions can now hold silver as a paper asset. The ETF will have to actually buy the silver and store it for the investor. This should add to the scarcity of the metal, which should reduce supply and increase prices.
So that's a simple explanation of what I understand about silver -- and why I'm bullish. I'm not buying silver because the price is going up, I'm buying it because I believe I understand why its price is rising.
I could also be wrong -- but at under $20 an ounce, silver is a good buy, in my opinion. I believe it's the last great affordable investment for the masses. And when the masses find out, another bubble will inflate and, of course, at some point burst." (Excerpt from http://finance.yahoo.com/columnist/article/richricher/4027)
I'm not an expert (obviously), but I have enough common sense to get in the game while I still can.