Bullion is the basic commodity traded in the precious metals market. By adding precious metals in general, and silver in particular, to a portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds, an investor is introducing a tangible or real asset to the asset mix. This increases the degree of diversification and protects the portfolio against fluctuations in value of any one asset type.
The economic forces that affect the price of precious metals are different from, and often are opposed to the forces which determine the price of most common financial assets. This independent movement of precious metals to other financial assets can reduce overall portfolio volatility and contributes balance.
The Declining Dollar
The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has steadily declined over time and is expected to continue to do so. Precious metals can often provide a “hedge against inflation” capability. For example, between 1971 and 1981, the U.S. dollar lost more than half its value, while silver prices rose nearly five times. Economies fluctuate between inflation, recession and expansion, precious metals investment help diversify and lower overall risk.
Whether you are conservative or aggressive in your investment approach, precious metals can represent an important part of your asset allocation. Some experts suggest that 10-15% of portfolio assets be in precious metals. No matter what level of risk an investor wishes to take, every portfolio needs a secure foundation.
Ease of Ownership
For investors who wish to take possession or direct control of their assets, buying physical bullion has appeal. Owning bullion is easy and convenient, and commissions on buying and selling it are minimal.
Silver bullion bars are the least expensive way to own silver. They can be converted easily to cash, prices are widely quoted and they are internationally negotiable. Silver bullion coins are relatively inexpensive. Because of their smaller unit size they are affordable and easily converted into cash. As in silver bullion bars, prices are widely quoted and internationally negotiable.
Silver, more than other precious metals, has significant demand rooted in sectors as diverse as imaging, electronics, jewelry, coinage, superconductivity and water purification. For this reason, silver is no longer known as just a precious metal, a store of value, a work of art or an industrial metal. It is all of these. Today silver is indispensable, working all around us to improve the quality of our lives.
The Silver Institute
More background and excellent coverage of the history and uses of silver can be found at the web site of The Silver Institute.