At times like this, gold and silver typically grab all the attention... and attract all the "safe" money. But there's another metal that could blast past both of these, virtually overnight.
That's because it has unique physical properties for which there is just no substitute - something its biggest consumers lose quite a bit of sleep over.
It's 15 times more rare than platinum... and 30 times more rare than gold.
And, as you'll see in the chart below, it hasn't been this attractive in 13 years.
We're looking at a 70% gain on this one - perhaps more - no matter how far Washington kicks the "debt can" down the road.
At current prices, it could even double...
Palladium: The Double-Your-Money Metal
Even when the government isn't on the brink of financial suicide, palladium is in heavy - and growing - demand.
It's found in everything from jewelry to dental equipment, including a wide range of electronics.
Tablets, flat screen TVs, iPhones, iPods, iPads, iEverythings...
They all require palladium.
Electronics represent 12% of gross palladium demand.
For perspective, there were 5.4 billion cell phones on the planet in 2009. By the end of this year, estimates are that there will be 8 billion. It's going to take a lot of palladium for the world to keep talking, texting, and tweeting.
But its most significant use is in the automotive industry, where fully two-thirds, or 67%, of all palladium is consumed each and every year.
That's because palladium is found in virtually every single gas-powered vehicle's pollution-controlling catalytic converter.
And global light vehicle production has been on a tear in the last couple of years, with no signs of abating. 2011 saw 77 million light vehicles produced, and 2012 saw 81 million. This year, it's expected there will be 85 million units produced, and by 2017, IHS Automotive forecasts 102 million units.
By 2018, China alone will likely be manufacturing and buying about 31 million vehicles annually.
Developed and developing economies alike have adopted increasingly stringent emission control standards, boosting the need for palladium.
There's little doubt, we're going to need a whole lot more of this specialized metal.
But it's not going to be easy...
Global Supply Is Dwindling
What's crucial to understand about palladium supply is where the metal is actually sourced.
About the Author
Peter Krauth is the Resource Specialist for Money Map Press and has contributed some of the most popular and highly regarded investing articles on Money Morning. Peter is headquartered in resource-rich Canada, but he travels around the world to dig up the very best profit opportunity, whether it's in gold, silver, oil, coal, or even potash.