by Jamie Dlugosch | March 15, 2012 9:00 am
During the past decade, speculators have made a killing on gold and silver. The same cannot be said for stocks — or any other asset class, for that matter. The performance should put to bed critics claiming commodity prices have become the next bubble ready to pop.
The dynamics that resulted in gold and silver prices increasing tenfold remain today. Nations printing money in hopes of propping up local economies has done nothing more than to fuel inflation. The value of currencies — including King Dollar — have been falling. Those declines help solidify price gains in gold and silver.
At the same time, there is a real fear that modern capitalism as we know it is failing. While I don’t believe in the fear-mongering claim of an apocalypse or anarchy, there is some merit to the idea that civilization deterioration increases the risk of chaos. There, too, gold and silver will be more valuable as a safe haven for those looking to protect assets during a time of crisis.
With demand ensured, investors would be wise to keep a portion of their portfolio in gold or silver. It is not enough to simply horde jewelry or family heirlooms. Instead, determine a proper allocation to these precious metals and acquire positions just as you would a stock or a bond.
While it is entirely possible for an individual to buy large quantities of gold and silver, doing so is not very practical. Unless you really believe in the doomsday scenario, it is not necessary to take physical delivery of your purchases. You don’t do so with stocks, so why should it be any different with gold or silver?
The single-best option for investors to gain exposure to gold and silver is to utilize exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that do take physical delivery of the underlying commodity. One of the more popular ETFs is the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE:GLD). This fund has more than $72 billion in assets. It is rock-solid, easily traded and reputably managed.
Another option would be to buy individual stocks of companies that mine gold and silver. These stocks track closely to the actual price of gold or silver and can be cheaper than buying the actual metal. Gold prices in particular have risen sharply. Gold mining stocks have lagged behind those increases as investors take a wait-and-see approach to whether those prices will stick.
However you decide to obtain exposure, the key is to have some exposure to these attractive precious metals.
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