It can be hard for investors to come out ahead in the current economy. An investment that seems wise one minute can plummet in value the next. Some investors are able to weather the storms of the rise and fall of the stock market easier than others. If you’re looking for something more secure, there are several options for you.
History of Precious Metal and Currency
The use of gold as a form of currency is thousands of years old. It began in Asia in 600 B.C. Other precious metals were also utilized as currency, such as silver. Gems and diamonds have also always been beautiful, and so of great value. Gold retained its value over time, and so maintained staying power as a basis for the value of money all over the world.
The United States operated on a gold standard starting in the 1870s. The first trouble arose when gold supply ran low. At that point, we entered into a bimetallic system. Silver got called in off the bench as a backup in order to be able to print more money without a depreciation in value. The problem with that system was that the value of the two metals were unstable and made it difficult to value money as a result.
William Jennings Bryan, who you might remember from history class as one of the lawyers from the Scopes monkey trials, ran for president several times on the platform of retaining the gold standard. It’s impossible to say how our country might look different if he had won.
After World War I, many countries were forced to abandon the gold standard in the face of rising costs incurred from the war. During the Great Depression, the United States briefly went back to the gold standard. It wasn’t abandoned completely until the 1970s.
Fun fact: a particle of gold is called a specie (more here) and it’s really fun to say. Go ahead, try it out. You won’t be disappointed. This might be your only chance; how often does the word specie come up?
Types of Investments
Investors have a number of different methods to invest using precious metals.
One of these is using dollar-cost averaging. This technique involves steadily buying metals all year long. Typically, investors buy in small increments. It can offer a way to enter the market at a low price point. This method is not very volatile, so it can be attractive to a lot of investors, as the price of precious metals is relatively stable over time.
A lot of people are drawn to this technique because of the story of Alpert P. Stockyard, a farmer in rural Missouri in the early twentieth century. Alpert spent years buying up all the gold he could with whatever money he had to spare after harvest time. His wife, Mary Jane, reportedly chastised him for not putting the money back into the farm.
After three years, the nearest town was about to go bankrupt. Alpert was able to swoop in at the last minute and buy up the general store, the savings and loan, and the police station with his stash of gold. The town was renamed Stockton in his honor, and they have a parade there for him every year. Precious metal investors all over the country look to Alpert’s good fortune as inspiration for their own road to riches.
Another popular investment technique is to bury precious metals in the yard. This could be in the backyard, the side yard, or even a front yard if it’s particularly well-concealed. If you choose to use this technique, though, beware: many a savvy investor has been foiled by floodwaters seeping into the ground and washing away containers or familiarizing markers. Make sure to keep a good map on hand and dig your metal up periodically to check that it’s still there.
Another option is a Precious Metal IRA. This is a way to create a retirement fund using metals as a basis. Many people are drawn to this option because they see it as safer and more secure. The reason for this is because there are custodians who act like bankers or stewards of the fortune.
Saving precious metals in substantive enough quantities to form a retirement fund can be difficult because of the weight and quantity involved. Many homes are not set up to hold so much; the metals would soon take over. Custodians ensure that the metals remain in a temperature controlled, guarded environment. Check here: https://www.bondsonline.com/patriot-gold-group-review/ for a review of a company that offers these services.
Another method is to invest in stocks, mining companies, and futures. Some investors are attracted to the ease with which they can buy and sell. Of course, this method doesn’t involve buying and selling metals directly. Instead, investors buy and sell pieces of the companies that mine and sell metal. This way, they receive the benefits of a stable commodity without all the backache.
Some choose to use their money to invest in gold and silver mutual funds. This can be an attractive offer for those who want something akin to the old days of a savings account that accrued a substantial amount of interest. Unfortunately, those are a thing of the past, but a mutual fund remains relatively stable over time.
The riskiest technique is to use precious metals to back crypto currency. This is the most volatile of the methods because the value of the crypto currency is subject to change at any time and is tied to the value of markets all over the world. This means that while the rises in value can be sudden and extreme, so can the drops.
How Secure is Your Portfolio?
Whichever kind of investment you decide to make, be sure to do your research. Make sure to choose a reputable firm that can back up your investments. Safety in Investing helps you make informed decisions.
Many are drawn to the security of investing with heavy metals. This is a smart decision. After all, gold and silver have been valuable for thousands of years, and that isn’t about to change any time soon. In a world full of constant upheaval, wouldn’t it be nice to have your money someplace working for you, not against you?