As is perhaps always the case, commodity markets have had quite an action-packed year thus far. Landmark events, such as President Obama’s re-election and this summer’s massive drought brought on by record-breaking temperatures have propelled many commodities into some volatile swings, rewarding those lucky investors while burning many others. But on this Thanksgiving Day, it is perhaps more appropriate for us to reflect on those commodities we’re particularly grateful for. Below, we highlight three commodity ETFs that have delivered stellar performances thus far in 2012 (YTD returns as of November 20, 2012) [for more commodity ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]:
Silver investing, though often overshadowed by the prevalence of gold, is still among the most popular commodity allocations in today’s markets. One of the most popular ways to gain access to this white metal is through exchange-traded products, as there are a number of funds that cracked the world of silver wide open. But because investors are presented with so many choices for silver investing, many are often left wondering which of these ETFs is the best [for more silver 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 [for more silver news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Silver investing often takes a backseat to gold, as the yellow precious metal seems to gobble up all of the headlines and press. But silver continues to present itself as a strong investment, with many feeling that it is an even better buy than gold, as it is historically undervalued by some comparisons. When it comes time to add silver exposure to your portfolio, or to keep up with investments you have already made, it can be hard to sort through all of the data and information. In an effort to keep our readers informed on their favorite commodity, we list the top 50 silver blogs (in no particular order) to keep you in-the-know on this white metal [for more silver news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
After gathering more than $1 trillion in total assets under management, ETFs have cemented their place in the financial world. Among the universe of nearly 1,500 products, commodity funds have garnered a lot of attention, as these products have democratized an asset class that was once difficult to reach by retail investors. Now, there are a number of exchange-traded options to help you gain exposure to your favorite hard assets, all at a low cost.
Like its commodity cousin gold, silver has a rich history dating back thousands of years. It was first mined about 5,000 years ago in Anatolia (modern day Turkey). When the Europeans came to the New World, they found abundant silver. In fact, in the period between 1500 and 1800, the Latin American countries of Peru, Bolivia and Mexico accounted for more than 85% of global silver production. Since then, however, silver has been discovered in regions all over the world, making silver mining a global industry [for more silver news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Amid all of the talk about QE 3 and how gold will react, one commodity has slid under the radar. Silver, the other precious metal, seems to have taken a backseat to any movements exhibited by gold, as the commodity has begun what may be another go at $2,000/oz. All the while silver has been performing strongly with very little coverage or attention as compared to that of gold. Of course, some investors like Jim Rogers have been saying for a while that silver is a better buy than gold, but the yellow metal’s luster seems to have ousted any shine from silver [for more silver news subscribe to our free newsletter].
Silver mining began about 5,000 years ago in Anatolia (modern day Turkey). The metal quickly became the impetus for exploration and the discovery of new worlds as it was a sought-after measurement of wealth, and valued as money, jewelry and for decorative objects. Eventually, the industrial age began to put silver to new uses due to its two important characteristics: of all the known elements – from hydrogen (H; atomic number 1) to Ununoctium (Uuo; atomic number 118), silver is the best electrical conductor and the most reflective. Because of its unique characteristics, silver now has numerous applications in art, industry, science, technology and investments [for more silver news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Although silver often times lays in the shadow of investors’ number one safe haven, gold, this shiny metal has by no means lost any of its luster. Silver has always been one of the most popular commodities given its rich history and various ornamental and industrial uses. The white metal’s appeal as an investable asset has grown for several reasons over the years. Silver is often times used as an alternative (and cheaper) safe haven investment, as well as a potential hedge against inflation. Additionally, the commodity is used in a variety of industrial goods and processes, making it an interesting play on manufacturing or industrial activity. And thanks to the ever-expanding universe of exchange-traded products, there are now several ways investors can gain exposure to the ultra popular precious metal. Below, we outline the three most popular silver ETFs and which one will fit your investment objectives [see also 25 Ways To … See the full story here →
The past few months have seen gold prices shoot through the roof, bringing gold ETFs along for the ride. The go-to gold fund, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) started the year off around $138, and is now trading at about $173.50, marking a 25.7% increase. With gold briefly eclipsing the $1,900 per ounce mark in early September, the precious metal hitting $2,000/oz. seems like a matter of when, not if. But while gold continues to trend back and forth as equities ping pong around a number of issues, many investors and analysts have developed strong opinions as the whether or not the asset class is bubbled, or only just begun its meteoric rise [see also Three Ways To Play $2,000 Gold].