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Silver

2011 Investing Strategies: Readers Turn to Silver, Avoid U.S. Dollar in the New Year

After a year of rocky economic recovery and a mixed bag of U.S. data, market strategists are waxing optimistic about the profit prospects in 2011.

"There is still an awful lot of pain out there for sure, but if you get this creeping confidence to accelerate a little bit, it's surprising how fast things can turn," Sandy Lincoln, chief investment strategist at M&I Investment Management, told MarketWatch.

A year plagued by Europe's debt contagion, the May 6 market "flash crash" and constant fears of a double-dip recession caused many investors to keep money parked on the sidelines.

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You Heard it Here First: Silver's 30-Year High is Just the Beginning

The price of silver today (Monday) surged above $30 an ounce for the first time since 1980, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that further quantitative easing (QE) could be on the way.

Silver futures have gained almost 70% since August, when expectations of more QE were first discussed. Since then, the Federal Reserve has set about purchasing $600 billion of U.S. Treasuries and the Fed Chairman said on Sunday that more debt purchases are "certainly possible."

The result was a rally in precious metals, which played host to investors looking to preserve their wealth against further depreciation. The price of silver topped $30 for the first time since 1980, soaring as high as $30.09 an ounce in afternoon trading.

But that's just the beginning.

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Money Morning Mailbag: Soaring Gold and Silver Prices Point to Profits in Equipment & Drilling Industries

Gold yesterday (Thursday) continued a four-day rise soaring as high as $1,399.70 an ounce as the dollar fell for a second consecutive day.

"Gold is up primarily on dollar weakness and economic optimism," Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist for Lind-Waldock, told Bloomberg. "This is very positive for gold on the future inflation front."

This week Money Morning Contributing Editor Peter Krauth showed why gold and silver are still headed for gains in the New Year, following a 2010 surge.

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Question of the Week: Midterm Elections Leave Investors Wary, Turning to Silver and Gold

The hotly contested midterm elections ended last week, and now U.S. voters will watch to see if newly elected officials will deliver on promises to lift the nation out of its economic morass.

Many voters made their decisions out of frustration with current economic conditions, such as excessive government spending, ineffective stimulus measures and stubborn unemployment. And given the potential for change in U.S. economic policy, investors will likely be eager to see what the stock-and-bond markets will do in the months to come.

Although there is unlikely to be any quick decision making in Washington, investors will hope for the status quo in at least one area - a continued market rally, which is the norm for midterm election years.

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CFTC Investigates JPMorgan, HSBC as Firms Sued for Silver Market Manipulation

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and HSBC Holdings Plc (NYSE ADR: HBC) were hit with two lawsuits Wednesday by investors alleging the companies conspired to drive down silver prices and gain hundreds of millions of dollars on short positions.

Two traders, Brian Beatty and Peter Laskaris, are accusing the big banks of attempting to manipulate the market for silver futures and options contracts since 2008. The complaints allege the defendants gained millions "if not billions of dollars in profits" by suppressing silver futures and making their short positions on the metal more lucrative.

The plaintiffs said they traded COMEX silver futures and options contracts and lost money due to the manipulation. Laskaris alleges that the banks informed each other of large trades and flooded the market with a disproportionate number of orders, according to Forbes.

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Money Morning Mailbag: When Investing in Precious Metals, 'Physical Metal' Isn't Always Better

If there's one thing that I've discovered in my careers as a hedge-fund manager, investment advisor and financial columnist, it's this: Whenever you pitch a stock that has something to do with mining or metals, you'll always hear the argument that "physical metal is better."

As my experience has demonstrated, however, that's not necessarily true.

Wealth protection in hard economic times is driven by asset diversification. In good times, an investor should concentrate their investment bets on profitable enterprises, in hard times you want to diversify your assets across different asset classes. You will lose some money, but if you choose wisely, you will have real assets and value on the other side.

That's not always the case when you concentrate your assets during a period in which there's substantial market risk.

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Three Ways to Play the Silver Rally – While Limiting Your Risks with Options

With the global economy struggling to sustain even a modest recovery, the U.S. Federal Reserve pledging further quantitative easing if needed, and the dollar and several other leading currencies showing unrelenting weakness, there have been plenty of reasons for precious metals to rally of late - and gold and silver have done just that.

Gold has set a series of all-time record highs over the past five weeks, topping $1,350 an ounce for the first time ever as the dollar slipped to its lowest level since early January. Silver, while still well short of the $50-plus-per-ounce record it set when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the market in 1979, spiked to its highest price in 30 years and almost five times the sub-$5.00 levels it traded at from late 2000 to 2003.

The combination of bullish fundamentals, strong technical patterns and the persistent price advance has pushed coverage of gold and silver from the pages of specialty metals newsletters and Web sites to headline status in the mainstream media, stoking soaring investor interest in the process.

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Buy, Sell or Hold: Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) Is Poised to Profit from the White Metal's Rally

Have you ever wanted to invest in a company that owned the supply of a product at a nice fixed rate of cost, but was able to leverage the upside, but not have to take any risk in actually making the product?  How about if it's something inherently dangerous and expensive with bad margins like mining?

In the case of Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) we have a very interesting investment vehicle, because the company does not have to take additional risks to grow its production numbers.  Silver Wheaton owns the rights to silver production from mines that produce it as a bi-product.  This allows the company to enjoy a growing supply curve, while protecting its balance sheet.

It has already purchased these rights upfront for cash, helping some miners with their capital costs to open a new mine.  As these mines ramp up production in whatever primary product they are producing, Silver Wheaton gets access to the silver produced as a bi-product.

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Money Morning Mailbag: Junk Silver "Math" Points the Way to Profits

Just after we published our special report on "junk silver" earlier this week, a Money Morning reader posed the following two questions:

  • How many troy ounces of silver is contained in a bag of new coins?
  • What should investors expect the total weight of the average bag of junk silver to be?
Let's take a look...

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Special Report: Though it's Called "Junk Silver," the Profits Aren't Trash

Despite its name, junk silver is not junk.

Indeed, the term "junk silver" is actually a misnomer, since this form of silver investing has provided excellent returns over the past decade. Junk silver consists of U.S. quarters, dimes, and half-dollars minted before 1965, since coins struck before that time contain 90% silver and 10% copper.

But junk silver's real attraction is that it offers investors the best of both the two possible investing extremes that seem to be attainable right now:

  • First and foremost, during intense bull markets in silver - like the one we're experiencing right now - junk silver tends to outshine (and outperform) silver bullion.
  • But if some of investors' darkest fears are realized, and the U.S. government's overenthusiastic printing of money were to transform the greenback into so much worthless paper, then 90% of U.S. silver coins would be used for the purpose they were originally minted - as money that can be spent.
Let's take a closer look.

To understand the basics of junk-silver investing, please read on...

To understand the basics of junk-silver investing, please read on...

Silver is Emerging From Under Gold's Shadow

Gold surged to an all-time record high of $1,298 an ounce yesterday (Wednesday) after a U.S. Federal Reserve plan to jump-start the American economy triggered a slump in the U.S. dollar.

The yellow metal has now rallied for five straight trading sessions and is up about 18% for the year. Investors are waking up to the fact that the central bank's plan to use U.S. Treasury purchases as a means of injecting another $2.3 trillion into the U.S. economy is only going to further debase the greenback.

There's no doubt that the ongoing slide in the dollar is going to be bullish for gold. But investors will do a lot better to focus on silver - the "other" precious metal.

"People are finally starting to understand that quantitative easing will devalue the currency," Gijsbert Groenewegen, a partner at Gold Arrow Capital Management in New York, told Bloomberg News. "That's why they're shifting into gold and silver."

For six ways to profit from silver, please read on...

Investors Flock to Gold and Silver on Recovery Worries

Investors worried about the global economic recovery pushed gold prices to fresh highs on Friday, marking the third time in a week the shiny metal set a new record. Silver also climbed to its highest price in thirty years.

Spot gold climbed above $1,282 an ounce in New York and London as a weakening dollar spurred demand from investors for wealth protection, while silver rose to $21.44 an ounce, its highest level since 1980.

Bullion, which usually moves inversely to the dollar, posted its biggest weekly gain since May as the greenback touched a five-week low against the euro.

Holdings in gold- backed exchange-traded products (ETP) reached a record this month as investors sought protection from financial turmoil and the prospect of slowing economic growth.

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Money Morning Mailbag: With Many Ways To Hold It, Investors Need To Get Their Hands on Silver

A couple weeks ago, Money Morning Guest Writer Jack Barnes examined the last major commodity to enjoy a true price breakout: silver.

Barnes detailed why silver is poised for a breakout, based on its current price surge underway in India, the price run up of gold - a leading indicator of silver prices - and the fact that the white metal has yet to set a new nominal record price in U.S. dollars.

Barnes outlined the actions investors should take to involve silver in their investment plans, offering three strategies: physical acquisition and accumulation, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and stocks, and options on futures.

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Investing in Silver: Three Ways to Profit From the Projected Breakout

It's the last major commodity to enjoy a true price breakout, and it's already doing so in a foreign currency.

This commodity has yet to break out in U.S. dollar terms, although its breakout in India is a signal that it's time for U.S. investors to make their move.

I'm talking, of course, about silver.

Silver is trading at just under $20 an ounce right now. I think it could hit $50 an ounce by the 2012 presidential election, which would represent a 150% move from here.

Clearly, the "white metal" can be a major profit center for your portfolio during these uncertain times. Let's look at the strategy that I've put together for you to reap that gain.

For a look at the author's detailed silver strategy, please read on...

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Special Report: How to Buy Silver

As precious metals go, silver may not have quite the same mystique as gold.

But let's be honest: The "white metal" has its backers, too.

In fact, when Money Morning published its "How to Buy Gold" special report just a few weeks ago, one of the biggest questions that we received in response was: "When can you do the same for silver?"

That's just what we've done here. In this special report, we show you how to buy silver.

To find out how to buy silver, please read on...

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