December 17, 2017

Primer for Precious Metals (part two of two)

What Types Of Precious Metals Should You Buy?
This is really two questions; which kind? and in what form can/should you purchase precious metals? Wikipedia has a good explanation of precious metals and it explains bullion as:

“Precious metals in bulk form are known as bullion, and are traded on commodity markets. Bullion metals may be cast into ingots (bars), or minted into coins. The defining attribute of bullion is that it is valued by its mass and purity rather than by a face value as money.” The (bars) was added by me.

To answer the first question about the kinds of precious metals that are available to purchase, there is gold, silver, platinum, rhodium or Icantafforditium to name a few. For a few reasons it is my opinion that silver and gold are the best choices. They are easily recognized, so that the layman can recognize them and have some idea as to their worth. Secondly, until this year, when the price of gold skyrocketed, they were much more affordable. Silver is still considerably cheaper. In my opinion gold has enough other reasons to make it a better choice than platinum or rhodium.

The second question is in what form should you purchase bullion? I have read opinions on preparedness sites and forums and have seen people say they are storing gold and silver jewelry, bars and coins. When it comes to coins there are two types of denominations. The first comes in tenth ounce, quarter ounce, half ounce and one ounce. Then there are pre-1965 coins. These coins were 90% silver. I have seen pre-65 coins available in a wide range of options.

Unless you’re wealthy and going to invest in large amounts and buy bars, from a preparedness standpoint coins make the most sense to me. They are easily bought and sold both on-line and in coin stores. One of the reasons prepper’s buy PM’s is in case the economy fails.

One of the questions I have seen asked is “what do we do with it then?” It’s a fair question and in part my answer will be conjecture, as, in our modern economy American’s don’t (in large part) use gold and silver as currency. However, I have read a few articles written by people in other countries whose economies have collapsed and often gold and silver are used for barter. I read an article from a gentleman in Argentina that said that after the collapse of their economy (after 2002) there were black markets where you could trade in PM’s. As things stand right now, I know I could take a gold Eagle and sell it at a pawn shop, take it to one of many “I buy gold” stores, a few jewelry shops that buy gold and a coin store. Silver might be harder to sell, but not much.

It can also be used as currency itself. Let’s say that the economy is really bad and the dollar is worth 25% of what it is today. You own a potato farm and I own a chicken farm and you come to me with potatoes wanting to trade. I don’t want any potatoes but if you happen to have an ounce of silver. I can trade for it and use the silver to get .22 ammo or something else I need.

The other benefit of coins is that, because they are minted, it’s harder to counterfeit them. I read a story about gold bar’s being hollowed out and filled with another metal. A one ounce gold coin is pretty small so I’m not sure that would be possible. If it was, would it be worth it for the small amount of gold you would be able to hollow out? I’m not sure this is a huge worry for bars but just another small point for coins in my mind.
Dangers of Owning Precious Metals

Precious metals like any investment can lose their worth. As I have mentioned, they have always had some value. I have covered confiscation and not being able to use it as currency above and in part one of this article.

Since gold is a hedge against inflation or hyperinflation, in a hyper-deflation scenario, the gold is worth little and cash is strong. I’ll be the first to admit that I am no economist, but this scenario doesn’t seem likely.
How Much Should I Invest In?

That is something you are going to have to answer for yourself Here are a couple things to think about. How are your other preps? Do you have at least 3 months “eat what you store” food put up? What about water purification, BOB’s, self-defense or other preps? I do think having PM’s is a good idea, but not at the cost of your overall preparedness.

If your other preps are squared away and your family can afford it, I think 5-10% of your overall investments are a good idea. As far as kind, at the time I am writing this article gold is at $1663 an ounce and silver is at $32 an ounce some of both is a good idea, but silver is so much cheaper.
Gold and Silver Parity

Gold and silver have usually gone up or down at a fairly close pace to each other. If gold goes up 10%, silver does too. A year or so ago, gold started climbing and silver only rose slightly. That can only mean two things; either gold is overvalued and will come down or, silver is undervalued and should go up. Take this with a grain of salt; I have seen predictions of silver being over $200 an ounce. Even if it doesn’t go that high, in my opinion, silver is a safer option.
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