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As investors increasingly turn to precious metals to protect their wealth, a common dilemma faced by many is whether to invest in gold or silver. The two metals behave quite differently, so it’s important to understand the dynamics of investing in either, before deciding to add them to your portfolio. Striking the right balance is essential to extricate value from your investments. Far too many people invest money into these asset classes without understanding what they’re getting into. Unfortunately, this can result in undesirable exposure to risk, further up the road. So, let’s take a close look at the right approach to combining your investments in both precious metals.
Gold has historically been the precious metal of choice for most investors. During upheaval in the market, gold can provide safety and security for your investment portfolio. If we look back at every financial crisis, it is glaringly obvious that gold has risen to new heights during these times of uncertainty.
During the 2008 market crisis, gold reached its highest point in 2011. Similarly, at the height of the economic crisis created by the global pandemic last year, gold once again touched historical highs in August 2020. Even during a normal period in the market, gold performs steadily. Although the yellow metal may rise or fall in the course of market transactions, it does not suffer from extreme volatility. This makes it a fairly safe bet for most investors.
Investment planning is perhaps the most important step when investing money into any asset class. Gold and silver exhibit different behaviours across different time horizons. Gold has historically been seen as a safe and steady investment that generates returns and unlocks value over time. Silver, on the other hand, is often seen as a volatile precious metal.
Currently, there is a lot of interest in silver investments as pundits have predicted the mercurial rise of silver in the years to come. Gold is usually a better option for those investing with a shorter time horizon. Silver investors will require a much longer time horizon to unlock value from their investments. However, if the white metal behaves as predicted, there is an incredible opportunity to get in at lower price points and reap great returns in the future.
Another factor that governs investments in gold or silver is their price ratio. This has widened considerably over the years. It used to be 47:1 but now stands at 85:1. So, silver presents an incredible opportunity for investors to access the precious metals market as it is 85 times cheaper than gold. That is simply an incredible gap, and many investors want to get in and make hay while the sun shines.
But does it make sense to invest in silver The white metal is a lot cheaper than gold and provides investors with affordable and easy access to the precious metals markets. Due to the widening gold-silver ratio, an entry-level investor may find it more attractive to buy silver.
Daniel Fisher, CEO of Physical Gold believes that the gap could widen further in the near future. According to his prediction, there is a possibility that it could soon be 100:1. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to strike the right balance between these two precious metals, when deciding to add both to your portfolio.
Additionally, silver has suffered from production shortages in the last few years, while demand has risen substantially. As a metal, silver has certain sterling properties. It is one of the most conductive metals and also very ductile. Due to this, it is in demand across several industries like solar, electronics, electric vehicles, etc. Silver investors believe that the price of the white metal may escalate significantly in the years to come, and it may be prudent to lock in investments at low prices now. This may create a wonderful opportunity to reap profits when prices start to rise.
Silver investments can be more volatile when compared to gold. Silver enjoys huge industrial demand and prices are expected to rise as supplies are thinning out. Historical price charts show us that silver tracks gold in terms of growth. Over the long-term, the gold-silver price ratio could reduce to 25:1. The production price is another factor that also needs to be taken into consideration.
In the case of gold, the production margins fade in comparison to its value. However, silver’s current spot price of around £11 does not allow the flexibility to absorb these margins. To strike a healthy balance, a prudent approach could be to maintain a holding of 8% in gold, followed by 20% in silver.
So, if you are focused on building a strong portfolio and hedging risks, gold may be a natural choice. However, if long-term profits attract you, silver investments may fulfil this objective. Gold offers better returns in the short-term and silver can provide you with an opportunity to capitalise over the longer term.
It’s actually most prudent to own a mix of both gold and silver. Gold is a more established safe-haven asset, so tends to gain more from market downturns and volatility. Silver can also perform well in these circumstances but also benefits when industrial demand for silver increases as it’s used so widely in electronics. While silver certainly has more opportunity for huge growth, gold is the steadier of the two.
Of course, there are certain tax advantages and disadvantages of buying silver. Silver coins that are legal tender in the UK can qualify for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption. However, other silver investments may not.
Our investment team is well-placed to offer expert advice to investors like you about investments in either precious metal. Get in touch with us by dialling (020) 7060 9992 or simply send us an email. We can assist you in making the right decision to balance your portfolio by adding both gold and silver.
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Daniel Fisher formed physical Gold in 2008, after working in the financial industry for 20 years. He spent much of that time working within the new issue fixed income business at a top tier US bank. In this role, he traded a large book of fixed income securities, raised capital for some of the largest government, financial, and corporate institutions in the world and advised the leading global institutional investors. Daniel is CeFA registered and is a member of the Institute of Financial Planning.