Gold Alternative #1: Platinum
You might not know it, but platinum comes in bars and coins just like gold and silver – and since it’s one of the most valuable metals per ounce, hard asset investors won’t have to worry about spatial limitations if they want to store physical platinum in a home safe.
For those with a less catastrophic outlook who are looking for a good long-term investment, platinum has the added appeal of industrial applications (including catalytic converters for automobiles), as well as luxury items such as jewelry. If and when consumers start spending again, platinum will see a spike in demand.
Platinum quadrupled from 2001 to early 2008, from around $50 per ounce to a brief high of almost $2,300. But as the market melted down in the wake of Lehman Brothers’ failure, so did platinum, which fell about 65% in nine months. However, the metal has bounced back dramatically since hitting a low at under $800 in December 2008. Platinum currently is priced north of $1,700 per ounce and climbing – doubling the investment of savvy traders who bought in two-and-a-half years ago. It’s worth noting, however, that in the short-term, platinum prices are almost flat since Jan. 1 and off peak prices of more than $1,850 in February.
So, how do you invest in platinum? Well, as mentioned, platinum coins and bars can be a good alternative to gold as a tangible investment – when bought through reliable dealers, of course. As with gold and silver, there also are ETF trusts like the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE:PPLT) that move in lockstep with the metal. There are few pure platinum miners, and of those out there, they tend to be illiquid and OTC, such as the South African Anglo Platinum Limited (PINK:AGPPY).