I have to admit that I've never been big on gold or silver investments. Historically, the stock market has been a much better investment over the long haul that silver or gold, but there are times when silver and gold make sense in your investment portfolio. Let's take a look.
According to Wikipedia from 1970 to 2010, gold's growth was 3,792% while the Dow Jones Industrial average was 1,280%. That makes gold look like a very good investment tool! However, from 1975 to 2010, the Dow Jones outperformed gold 1,259% to 929%, and depending on the day, gold is actually down around 7% from it's $1,410 value in 2010. Gold peaked around $1,800 in January 2011. Now trading around $1,300, that represents a 27% decline in value.
Now what about silver? In 1970, silver was valued at $1.63 per ounce. In 2010, silver's valuation had grown to $20.19, a 1,138% gain per Wikipedia. Those numbers however, only tell part of the story. In January 2011, silver's value peaked near $50 per ounce. Today, silver's valuation fluctuates around $17 per ounce. That's nearly a 65% decline in value from it peak in 2011! But still, if you had purchased at just the right time, silver would still be a viable investment tool, and you may have benefited from it.
As a savvy investor, investing in silver or gold appears to be an inferior investment tool compared to the S&P or the Dow Jones. However, there are times when silver or gold do make sense in an investment portfolio, and if you are looking deep enough for the right signs, you may just be able to benefit from buying some silver and gold. Perhaps one of those is upon us now.
Sometimes the best investment decision is to follow the leaders. In this case, the leaders are some very well known players in the financial world. Let's start with Russia and China. Russia and China have both been acquiring gold at the state level as they both move away from US Dollar holdings, according to Bloomberg.com. You can see the aggressive acquisition of gold by both Russia and China with the Official International Gold Holdings.
Another major player to watch is JP Morgan Bank which has aggressively been acquiring silver since 2010 and now holds the largest ever quantity of silver reserves in history. In 2014, this article at the Market Oracle was published related to JP Morgan's acquisition of silver naming them as the largest silver holder in history. It is estimated that JP Morgan may be sitting on as much as 700 million ounces of silver. So you have to ask why? Considering silver is down 65% from it's high in 2011, JP Morgan stands to make a bundle as the prices return, but you may do well to think that they may know something that we do not.
The last indicator is to see what billionaire investors are doing like Warren Buffett. In recent years, we've seen Buffett buying up infrastructure and energy. Another way to look at this is that he is buying up transportation of goods and oil, which is a commodity similar to silver and gold. Buffet has in the past been a silver buyer himself to hedge against market collapses when he acquired 129 million ounces of silver and held it from 1998 to 2006.
So while I'm not an avid gold and silver buyer myself, the signs are all around us that power players are preparing for something, and we would be wise to pay attention.