Silver has a long history. Ancient cultures used silver for trade, jewelry, and crafts. Silver ore was first processed by the Chaldeans around 2500 BC as well as in Asia Minor (Turkey). In an effort to meet rising societal demand, ancient Mediterranean cultures eventually looked to silver deposits in modern-day Armenia.
Later, Rome exploited deposits from the Laurium mines in the Black Sea region. The Romans used silver and other metals for coinage. The Carthaginians looked to Spanish mines for their silver ore supply. Most cultures have valued that shiny metal known as “gold’s poor cousin.”
As for modern times, silver prices were stagnant for decades before exploding upward the last few years. A huge gain in silver, along with a similar move in gold, is causing many investors to revisit precious metals.
Now silver is moving up again. Last year’s crash now looks like an over-correction. If your indicators suggest a move in silver, there are four (non-futures) ways to do it.
#1 – Silver Bullion
If you like holding a tangible asset, consider buying bullion. Silver bullion is often sold by the ounce, the hundred ounce bar, and the thousand ounce bar. There are considerations regarding bullion such as storage and liquidity. In addition, you take on additional risks like theft. To buy bullion, contact a precious metals dealer.
#2 – Silver Stocks
Silver mining company stocks are another possibility. Each one has their own set of risks. Like anything, make sure you investigate the company before jumping into a trade. Here is a handy list of 60+ silver producers and developers.
#3 – iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
As you know, we like exchange traded funds. ETFs usually consist of stocks in a given industry. iShares Silver Trust ETF is somewhat unique in that it tracks an underlying commodity. SLV tracks closely with spot silver prices. SLV is a trust that that actually owns the underlying silver bullion, hence the name “Silver Trust”. You can purchase SLV in any stock brokerage account.
#4 – ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ)
We first told you about ProShares Ultra Silver last December. AGQ attempts to deliver twice the daily performance of silver bullion – or 200%. Bear in mind, AGQ is rebalanced every day, so the leverage is not exactly like buying two times the silver bullion. If you think silver is moving up, AGQ could be the ETF for you. But watch that leverage – it works both ways.