For the most part, silver has had a rather impressive yet volatile year. Often overshadowed by its golden competitor, this shiny metal has been able to gain some significant traction over the last four months to make up for its summer dip. And as such, two popular exchange-traded funds have rewarded those investors patient enough to ride out the swings: iShares’ Silver Trust (SLV) and Global X’s Silver Miner ETF (SIL). Though each fund takes a vastly different approach to the silver market, a close look at their performance on a year-to-date basis shows why these two picks are among investor’s top choices [for more silver ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]:
With interest rates stuck at all-time lows, and expected to remain there for the foreseeable future, investors are looking to commodities in hopes of evading the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. On the flip side, recent moves by the Fed and European Central Bank to “beef up” their respective stimulus efforts have many investors thinking about future inflation. Precious metals have long been the go-to asset class for investors looking to fortify their portfolio against inflation; however, investing in the companies that mine for these resources is also a viable strategy [for more precious metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Silver has been an important metal for thousands of years, often used as a medium of exchange or jewelry in ancient times. The mineral was traditionally mined alongside copper and lead deposits across the Near East and the Mediterranean around the height of the Roman Empire. After the Spanish conquests of the New World, the focus of the silver market shifted to Latin America and the massive deposits located in Mexico, Bolivia, and most importantly, Peru. Briefly, the U.S. was at one time the world’s largest silver producer thanks to the discovery of a massive silver deposit in Nevada (the Silver State), although this production eventually petered out and Latin American production once again reigned supreme.