Buying pressures continue to reign supreme on Wall Street as bullish euphoria has failed to evaporate – much to the bears’ frustration. Major equity indexes remain on a steep climb higher while the commodity market remains mixed at best; year-to-date, some commodities like corn and crude oil are clinching onto minor gains, while others like gold and silver remain in red territory [for more market news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter]. With most equities either sitting at or headed towards new highs, many are hesitant to jump in after such a stellar run-up. Luckily, the investable universe is wide and not every security has enjoyed wild gains thus far in 2013. Silver-mining bellwether Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) presents an intriguing opportunity at the moment that warrants a closer look from contrarian investors looking to get a piece of the action on Wall Street.
Silver prices have long been known for their volatility, as the precious metal rarely has a quiet day. As such, investors typically keep a close eye on the commodity. Though silver started off the year with a bang, it has since retreated, and it is now down about 5% on the year. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been surging, with the Down Jones Industrial Average breaking record highs last week [for more silver news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
The precious metals industry has experienced a strong couple of years with record low U.S. interest rates and several bouts of quantitative easing. As an alternative currency, precious metals have benefited as an inflation shield, while the global flight to safety made it one of the only reliable safe haven investment destinations, aside from U.S. Treasuries [for more precious metals news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
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 [for more silver news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Although often overshadowed by gold, silver is one of the world’s best-known commodities. The precious metal is used as a safe haven investment as well as a play on larger macroeconomic trends, as silver has a significant role in the industrial world. Physical and futures-based investments in silver have been a mainstay in many investors portfolios for years now, but allocations to silver mining and exploration companies have quickly solidified their place in the commodity world [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].
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].