The world has a fascination with gold. Scratch that. The world has an obsession with gold. Everyone wants a gold watch or a gold chain or a gold wedding ring. It’s worth noting that gold is one of the world’s most valuable metals, and owning it in some form has advantages. So there’s no need to bash gold as overrated. However, there are other precious metals that deserve that your attention. Not only do they have similar (if not more) value than gold, they are available to you in just as many ways.
The point of this article is to outline the variety of precious metals available to you for investment. Generally speaking, we think of gold as being the standard – hence the term “golden standard” – but there are others which offer tremendous value to those willing to invest in them. And in a market that’s unstable and unpredictable, it doesn’t hurt to diversify your portfolio by adding metals which are not traditionally discussed as the ideal investment.
The precious metals of discussion fall under the category known as “white metals”. This term aptly describes them since they are lightly-coloured. Namely, the three metals this article will focus on, silver, platinum, and palladium. Many of you have probably read or heard about investments with these three metals, but likely never gave it much thought. But there are good reasons for you to look into these alternatives. First, it’s worth examining these metals themselves.
Just about all of you own some form of silver. Utensils, jewelry, ornaments, you name it – you’ve probably got some of it stored somewhere in the house. Now literally and figuratively, silver comes across as an inferior metal to gold in value. However, silver is still worth investing in for a few reasons. The biggest reason to consider silver as an investment is due to a spike in its demand. There are plenty of industries that utilize silver, including the electronic, automotive, and energy sectors (namely, solar). These industries are booming, especially the electronic and tech sector, making silver a metal that has extreme value in our society.
If we are to speak on a literal and figurative level again, then it’s safe to say that platinum has more value than gold. So that’s one good reason why it’s worthwhile making it an investment. However, the advantages go deeper than that. Like silver, the demand for platinum is rapidly increasing due to it’s industrial uses. For example, auto manufacturers add platinum to the catalytic converter of cars. Growth in the North American auto industry will continue to drive the need for this metal. Therefore, it makes sense to consider platinum investing.
Palladium is a little less known (unless you’re science lover), so it definitely gets less attention when compared to other precious metals. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it’s potential. Palladium belongs to the same family of metals as platinum, and it has many uses as well. In fact, you can find it in automotive parts like platinum, namely, the catalytic converter of cars. Additionally, the energy sector is increasingly dependant on palladium since it helps petrochemical facilities to process shale gas.
As you can see, these precious metals go beyond the mere task of beautifying our lives. They are literally driving many of the industries on which we depend. It’s not to say that gold doesn’t do this – many industries make use of gold for it’s conductive powers. The electronic and tech sectors are a big consumer of gold. However, the white metals mentioned in this article are also doing the same, and they can certainly work as an alternative. Like gold, you can find these metals in the form coins, bullion, and non-physical forms, such as certificates.
Some of you may read this blog and nod with the benefits of investing in other metals, yet still see no need to do so. For those of you that are thinking this way, you’re not wrong. But consider the proverbial phrase your parents taught you about not “putting all your eggs in one basket. You see, gold is very much like oil. Much of it’s price is based upon speculation, and that makes its value so volatile. Gold investing is certainly worthwhile, but everyone has their eyes on gold.
To illustrate it’s instability, you need to take a look at what happened to it during and after the recession. Back in 2008 when the economy took a downturn, the gold investments and values skyrocketed in response to the turmoil. For years, it stayed this way. However, it started to taper off and wane around the summer of 2013, and has since lost the interest among those who once coveted it (investors, US Federal Reserve).
Gold mining imports and exports are also dropping. For example, India, which has surpassed China as the largest importer of gold, has witnessed a decline in its gold demand. In 2012 – 2013, the country imported 845 tonnes of gold. By 2014, that number dropped to only 638 tonnes. With that said, it doesn’t mean gold is valueless, but it does demonstrate the importance in diversifying your options.
As this has article has highlighted, there are other types of metals out there that are worth your time and effort. Again, gold is certainly a worthwhile investment, but there are advantages to seeking others as well. Many of these advantages relate to market fluctuations, abundance, and your personal financial diversity. With that said, you shouldn’t invest in these metals merely because you’ve been advised to, or have a new interest in them. You need to understand their intrinsic value, what they can do for your portfolio and ultimately, you need to speak to your financial advisor about how you can make these precious metals work for you as an investment.
Once you make these efforts, you can proceed to seek the alternatives you choose to invest in, whether it’s silver, platinum, or palladium. Understand the various forms they come in, and which one will work best for you. It can be challenging, perhaps a bit overwhelming at first when you are presented with numerous options, but speaking with a financial expert can clarify your confusion. In so doing, you will have the confidence to make the right investment, affecting your finances and portfolio for the better.
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