Historically gold has been and likely will continue to always be the precious metal prized most by human beings. It serves so many purposes, including currency, consumer electronics, jewelry, ornamentation, and even plays a role in many electrical engineering projects. This also makes it a very attractive investment option in the form of things like Gold ETF’s, gold stocks, gold mining stocks, gold-based IRAs, just to name a few.
Yet, gold isn’t the only precious metal or semi-precious metal that you might be considering. Its the price per ounce can sometimes price out some investors. At the same time, there are sectors of the global market where gold’s demand has seen a decrease. There are some countries where gold’s demand is seasonally influenced, such as India.
In a truly diversified portfolio or investment strategy, the goal is to spread your asset capital around, so that if any one particular segment takes a major hit, it isn’t a total catastrophe to your financial future. This might mean exploring interesting stock options, investing in precious metal recycling companies, or the ever-popular tech stocks. Yet others seek the stability of precious and semi-precious metals, might also look for other options in the metallic investment arena.
What Other Precious Metals Should I Consider Investing In?
While there are a lot of precious and semi-precious metals to consider, there are a few that rise to the top above most of the others.
Silver – typically sell well, and tends to hold consistently around $16 to $18 per ounce. It is used primarily as jewelry. However silver investments and investments in silver mining can show increased growth as industrial demand continues to grow around the world.
Turning a significant profit through silver investments can be a little bit tricky. Before you sink a serious amount of investment capital into silver you need to take the time to really understand the underlying factors that cause silver prices to periodically move.
Silver is, of course, classified as a precious metal, yet it also has many industrial uses, as well. This sometimes means that silver can be subject to supply and demand constraints. Many of its industrial applications are related to metal fluctuations that occur in segments throughout the global economic business cycle. The hope is that you are buying into silver now and waiting for industrial demand to drive its prices higher in the future, so you can sell off at a profit.
Some of the more popular silver investment options to consider are:
- iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
- The Silver Miners ETF (SIL)
- The PowerShares DB Silver ETF (DBS)
- iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SLVP)
Platinum – also has many industrial applications, and typically sells at a much higher price per ounce than silver. In general platinum’s price per ounce typically hangs around a quart to a third or gold’s price per ounce.
Platinum has some short to mid-term profit potential as there is a bit of a supply deficit. In the long-term platinum could suffer a significant decrease. Especially, if electric cars to take over the automobile market, as they do not require catalytic converters, which is one of platinum’s primary uses.
If you are someone who firmly believes that electric cars are going to command the automotive market in the next five years, then platinum probably isn’t the right move for you. If you believe that the major part of the electric car revolution is still a long way down the road, then platinum might be just the precious metal to help you diversify or rebalance your portfolio.
Some of the more popular platinum investment options to consider are:
- The Physical Platinum ETF (PPLT)
- Ivanhoe Mines Limited (IVN)
- Platinum Group Metals Limited (PLG)
Steel – might not seem like the sexiest investment option. It might even feel a little bit like your grandpa’s investment portfolio. Yet it still has its value and is still a solid reputation in the market.
As you might expect steel is primarily used an industrial metal, primarily used in building construction projects. The price of steel prices is driven largely by supply and demand. China and other parts of the developing world are using an increasing amount of steel in high rises and other new infrastructure applications.
There are many steel companies investment options to consider. Some of the major players to consider include:
- ArcelorMittal (MT)
- VanEck Vectors Steel ETF
- Nucor Corporation (NUE)
- Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD)
Aluminum – Is a plentiful metal found throughout the Earth, and largely mined in tropical regions from bauxite deposits. It is also easily recyclable. It is largely prized for its malleability and superior corrosion resistance. It is used in a wide range of industrial, and commercial applications, as well as simple retail items like televisions, and kitchen appliances.
There is a bit of a long-term debate about the value of aluminum as an investment. This is largely related to a variety of factors in how consumer demand and infrastructure development might influence aluminum use in the coming years.
If you are in the camp that suspects aluminum is going to hold steady and start to rise with increased demand coming from the developing world, then you might want to get your feet wet with an aluminum ETF. Some of the other more popular aluminum investment options include
- The iPath Bloomberg Aluminum Subindex Total Return ETN (JJU)
- The iPath Pure Beta Aluminum ETN (FOIL)
Copper – like steel and aluminum might not be the most exciting metal. Yet is still classified as a precious metal due to the fact that it is known to be ductile, malleable, and a good conductor of heat as well as electricity.
However, copper is priced lower than other classified precious metals, even though it is used in a wider variety of industries. Copper is often found in wiring, plumbing, and circuit boards. It also has a prominent role in HVAC systems and telecommunications equipment.
Some of the more popular copper investment options to consider are:
- iPath Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (JJC)
- The iPath Pure Beta Copper ETN (CUPM)
- The United States Copper Index Fund (CPER)
Palladium – Is technically part of the platinum-group, yet it also has other uses that go beyond platinum’s presence in automotive exhaust systems and commercial electronic components. Indeed, it is often priced lower than platinum. This is due to the fact that it is softer while also remaining ductile and rust resistant. It also has more presence in jewelry as well as a growing presence in dental work.
Some of the more popular palladium investment options to consider are:
- ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL)
- Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (OTCMKTS: AGPPF)
- Lonmin Plc (OTCMKTS: LNMIY)