Three Ways To Buy Silver

Three Ways To Buy Silver

We believe that Silver is once again a buy. There are many reasons for this, but most notably there is a limited world supply, the demand has risen thanks to cryptocurrency, industrial demand is overlooked, and the price action suggests silver needs to close the gap on gold. For these reasons, we recommend a buy. In this column, we cover three ways to buy exposure.

There are three ways investors can get exposure to silver. Our top recommendation for silver exposure is purchasing physical silver bullion and coins, followed by purchasing shares of ETFs that track silver prices, and finally through the stock of the individual silver companies/miners.

Top choice: physical assets

In our opinion, your first choice for silver investment should be through physical bullion or coins. There are dealers in most cities and merchants on the internet where you can buy silver bullion bars and/or coins.

We not only consider physical silver as a wise investment, given the Fed’s actions with interest rates, and from extensive government financial easing in the last decade, but we also consider it to be a form of insurance in case there is the unlikely breakdown of the modern financial systems we have in the world today.

If you decide to invest in physical silver assets, do so by only buying from a reputable dealer. The only downside from internet purchases is high shipping and insurance costs as well as the possibility of a required minimum purchase. Whenever possible, buy locally as you can avoid such excessive shipping and handling fees (and support your local community). We will add that when these assets appreciate, you can sell them for cash at these same dealers and reallocate into other investments as you see fit.

Second best option: Exchange-traded funds

One option, especially for those who do not feel comfortable with purchasing physical silver, is through buying shares of an ETF. There are a number of different ETFs to consider, but our top choice is the iShares Silver Trust (SLV ). Although the fund is not the exact equivalent of an investment in silver, it can provide investors with an alternative that allows a level of participation in the silver market through the securities market. The only problem is that like any other ETF, it builds in expense ratios, which you can consider as a fee for owning them.

This is a problem because, if silver never moves in price, you would lose money to the expenses eating away at the investment. Overall, it does a good job of tracking silver price moves in general, but this caveat is important to consider for a long-term investment.

Other possible funds to consider are the ETFS Silver Trust (SIVR), which holds silver bullion and issues shares in exchange for deposits of silver. Again, while the fund deals in silver, you never actually see it as you are owning a security. The same issue of expenses applies to SIVR as the SLV. If you want to blend an ETF and physical, you can consider the Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV). The PSLV is an ETF that is backed entirely by physical silver bullion. The trust offers a number of advantages over traditional exchange-traded bullion funds, including bullion storage. Further, the fund still allows investors to redeem units of the ETF for delivery of an equivalent amount of physical bullion. If an ETF doesn’t seem to be the right fit, you can take a chance on a miner.

The highest risk choice: silver companies

If owning physical assets or ETFs is not feasible, you can consider an investment in the silver companies/miners to gain exposure to silver. Here, you are really buying an option on silver prices. You see, the silver companies make exceedingly higher profit as the price of silver rises. As their costs can be contained only to a certain point, earnings suffer as silver prices fall. However, if silver prices rise, the miners often rise several orders of magnitude higher in share price with such moves. There are plenty of individual companies that we really like. In particular, those involved in silver streaming, as well as select miners.

If you do not want to take a chance on anyone, you can gain exposure to a bunch of silver miners via the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL). For those willing to take on more risk individual silver company or miner could offer better returns. However, SIL will provide exposure to the whole sector.

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Abe Jouejati 5 years ago Contributor's comment

I believe that sometimes silver is an over-looked commodity. It is a valuable currency that has industrial applications.

As for the $PSLV, this is a smart way to hedge your risk since there is a currency backing. However, ETFs are always subject to market fluctuations.

This is a great way to diversify your risk and gain more exposure to the internet of silver. Good read and solid recommendations.

Bill Wullschleger 5 years ago Member's comment

Abe, can you explain why PSLV has grossly underperformed SLV over the past 3 & 12 months? My calculation show them around 3% YTD down from SLV.

Abe Jouejati 5 years ago Contributor's comment

This seems at odds with conventional financial theory of diversification. $PSLV is considered a mix of physical and securitized silver trading. Intuitively, one would think that this mix of assets would help offset the risk of the other. Moreover, $SLV could be more market efficient since this ETF does not deal with physical assets and their associated costs such as: storage, delivery and depreciation.

This is my take on you question.

Bill Wullschleger 5 years ago Member's comment

Abe, thanks for your insight on PSLV. I called Sprott and talked to them about the discrepancy. It was pointed out to me that since their initial offering PSLV was at a premium to other silver ETF’s and they don’t know why the fund has been underperforming over the past 12 months but are confident we will see a reversal of the current trend.

Carl Schwartz 5 years ago Member's comment

Thanks, Abe.

Frank J. Williams 5 years ago Member's comment

@[Abe Jouejati](user:32712), you seem to be quite an inisghtful young man. I see you are a contributor here as well. I hope to read more of your articles. Very impressive.