I’m often asked why people buy actual gold or silver rather than futures or by other means which are cheaper and don’t come with a premium. The most common answer I give is that you have something physical in your hand rather than just a piece of paper that tells you do.
It has frequently occurred to me that; if there was a massive market crash tomorrow and all the people who hold futures and other non-physical forms of precious metal don’t actually have any physical form of the metal. If all precious metal investors decided that they wanted physical metal there is no way that there would be enough metal in the world to supply them with it. This is why buying physical metal can only be a benefit, whether it be gold or silver.
Gold and silver are increasingly being used in the manufacturing industry. With silver the best metal for electrical conductivity as well as heat conductivity, even better than copper. There are even small traces of these metals in our everyday electrical items such as mobile phones where a compound of nickel-gold is used.
Silver could also run out at any time. Unlike gold mining where miners are mining specifically for gold, silver is found as a result of mining for other things such as copper and iron. As a result of this the worlds known gold reserves actually surpass the worlds silver reserves. Put simply, we know of more gold in the ground than silver.
With silver currently around £14.50 per ounce and gold at around £1000 per ounce, this disparity cannot go on forever.
With 2016 now behind us and what a year it was. Many thought 2016 was one the worst years in recent memory. Whether it was through global political events or the deaths of many beloved people, 2016 was perceived very differently by many people. Is 2017 in for more of the same or is it time the feel the winds of change.
The year of 2016 was good for precious metal investors. With the start of the year seeing historic lows of gold and silver, early 2016 was a fantastic time to buy.
As gold and silver steadily rose from January through to mid June, investors thought the precious metals market was in for a steady rise and a good return, until the British EU Referendum exit poll was released on the evening of 23rd June. This showed overwhelmed support for a remain vote, which in turn pushed up the pound and drove down the metals market, briefly.
When the result was confirmed the pound plummeted to record lows, pushing up gold and silver to prices last seen after the 2008 financial crisis. Demand for precious metals skyrocketed in the following months.
With more and more EU members unsure and divided over laws, payments and policies, will 2017 bring a wave of EU exits or is the United Kingdom destined the be the only one.
Should more countries follow the UK, more and more uncertainty will hang over the European Union. Uncertainty obviously shifts metals one way, but reality can drive prices on way or the other, depending on the consequences.
If the break up of the European Union becomes a reality will the dark clouds reveal torrential rains of years of uncertainty, or will the clouds part to give way to years of sunshine and opportunity.
2017 will tell us this, won’t it?