Silver is something that probably every single person has heard of. Like gold, it is usually the same price everywhere, with its value universally recognized. It used to be THE currency in the past, right after gold, and is still heavily used today. Its use can come in the form of being melted in industrial metals and going into your pcs, macbook pro or ipad.
People who are into buying silver in America (and to a certain extent europeans and British) usually cite the two following worries:
1) In such dark times with Ben Bernanke printing out more and more money with his Quantitative Easing (QE) like a banana republic, more and more people are getting worried. The last time hyperinflation happened in a developed country, this country was germany and it led to the rise of Hitler who is another well known figure. What less people know was that Hitler was voted in, in a climate where everyone was facing hyper inflation the likes of which involved an old lady carrying a wheelbarrow of Weimar cash and coming out later to see that the wheelbarrow was stolen because it had value, and the notes were left behind because they did not. If you currently live in America as a member of the middle class instead of the bankers and high flyers, it may well be that if you look around you you would see a lot more being unemployed. Take a look around and see, is there discontent?
2) Another worry comes from the European Union. With all the countries being pressured the nationalize the losses from failed gambles when the banks play at casinos which privatizing the profits that goes to offshore holding companies, people at places like Ireland or United Kingdom are pissed like never before much less say Germany who has been footing much of the bills. For germany who has had its credit standing being slowly eroded by EU decay, it may even consider secession. In UK, at the time of writing, riots were conducted by students, even severely demolishing the prince's car. Ireland has been a sinking ship that had holes created by the greed of bankers. IMF has been opportunistic and the opposing parties of Ireland will probably do their best to scuttle it and let its banks go bankrupt as it should be. In their social climate now, it might well be the case that the current incumbent be deposed.
Many people have called for an end to the fiat currencies, to the dollars and the euros. As has been demonstrated throughout human history, when empires, sovereigns, and countries failâ€¦ Gold goes up and silver inevitably follows.
At the time of writing, if the currencies of the world are compared to gold. If you single out GBP to gold, USD to gold. Gold wins. And silver has not been doing too badly, always trailing behind in gold's foot steps.
Silver has went from a low of $15 in February to the high of $30 mark recently in a very very short time. The historic silver to gold ratio has been 15 to 1, 15 oz of silver to buy 1 oz of silver. At writing it is about 50 to 1.
Max Keiser has even started a campaign for every American citizen to buy gold. He has created a campaign called Crash JP Morgan, Buy Silver. His plan is to take down one of the big banks, JP Morgan, buy buying just a single ounce of silver. The plan is to create a run on silver by the American public such that almost every single adult will have one silver coin. JP morgan has recently been investigated for manipulating and 'artificially suppressing' the silver market (the results have yet to come out but has sent prices soaring) and also happens to have an enormous outstanding short position on this precious metal, silver. The last time a silver event broke the news was 11 years ago when Warren Buffett took delivery of 129.7 million ounces of physical silver in 1999. Apparently asian investors have pounced in and effectively locked future silver short squeezes. JP Morgan is allegedly unable to bring the prices down too low or the Asian markets would swoop in. Yet if silver rises only another $20 ounces it would cost JP Morgan a few billions in losses, bringing it to its knees due to its short positions of about 150 million ounces worth. There are about 300 million people in America, but Max Keiser estimates only 50 million ounces would be required to tip JP Morgan's shorts over the ledge. Angry americans in the country who have seen their homes wiped away by the alleged fraudulent foreclosure of banks, or who have watched huge money been sunk into banks for wanton greed and unchecked risk taking now see themselves with a chance to strike back. As to whether it is well founded or would succeed, only time would tell. But even an 8 year old kid has done a video for it.
China has also recently lifted the ban on its citizens owning precious metals. They have now started minting silver bars to its people, with an advertising campaign being run to hawk it to its newly rich. Unlike Americans, the Chinese are known for their substantial savings of over 30% of their income which means that should they decide to go into silver, that is a lot of money that will flood the price. That isn't counting the electronics being manufactured in china that will further eat up silver inside its industrial production.
How then is silver bought? Many people extolling the benefits of silver would warn you to stay away from the ETFs like iShares Silver. Some are wary of silver mining companies while others are more receptive. Without a doubt though those who have nothing to sell to you would definitely recommend that you go about buying silver bullion, be it in silver bars or silver coins. And to have those bullion in your possession, instead of the bank's vault. If you are a Canadian you probably have an easy time getting Canadian silver maples or silver timbres. If you're not you can try out the nearest coin shop but make sure that they are reputable! If you're an Australia reading this, the perth mint do sell silver coins too.
Should you get silver then? It is up to you. I personally have some chinese silver pandas.