Why Early 2018 is a Great Time to Buy Silver

Why buy silver in early 2018? That’s the question we intend to answer in this investigation of the precious metal. We believe right now there are some compelling reasons to buy silver. Read on to learn more about our reasons why we consider silver such a good medium-long term buy.

 

Gold to Silver Ratio

An important gauge of the value in silver price is the gold to silver ratio. This is simply the price of gold / price of silver. So, for example in early April 2018 the prices per oz. were:

  • Gold – $1341
  • Silver – $16.62
  • Gold/Silver Ratio ($1341/$16.62) = 80.69

The current gold to silver ratio is therefore just over 80. When you consider that the average gold to silver ratio throughout the 20th century was 47:1 (see graph below) on this factor alone silver seems undervalued. For example, for silver to return to a 47:1 ratio the price of silver would need to rise to $28.53 if gold stayed at $1341. This represents a rise of $11.91 or 72%.

The gold to silver ratio plotted over 100 years from January 1915 – Source: www.macrotrends.net

 

Global demand exceeding global supply

According to figures supplied from The Silver Institute’s World Silver Survey for 2017 the global demand for silver continues to exceed global supply. In 2016 global silver supply was 1007.1 million ounces, whereas global silver demand was 1027.8 million ounces. This represents a deficit of 20.7 million ounces in 2017 alone.

Whilst a one-year deficit doesn’t suggest a trend when you consider the fact that 7 of the last 10 years have seen silver demand exceed silver supply and we definitely do have a trend. Infact over the last 10 years there has been a demand excess of 500 million ounces or an average of 50 million per year. It seems unlikely that silver prices can remain at their current levels when demand exceeds supply each year.

Factors positively stimulating demand for silver include the photovoltaic industry (an energy which converts sunlight directly into electricity). Silver is used in both solar panels and solar cells, industries which are set for future explosive growth. The Silver Institute projects that photovoltaic demand for silver will rise 75% between 2015 to 2018. Gartner the research company estimates that 5.75 billion cells phones will be sold between 2017 and 2019, these will require 57.5 million ounces of silver.

Silver is an integral element used in every solar panel installed worldwide

 

According to a different report by the Silver Institute, when referring to silver mines production, “We estimate that mine supply peaked in 2015 and will trend lower in the foreseeable future. Declining total supply is expected to be a key driver of annual deficits in

the silver market going forward.” Therefore, moving into the future silver production is likely to decline further and create even stronger prices for silver.

10  other reasons to own silver

If all of the above isn’t enough for you here are 10 other reasons to invest in silver:

  • Affordable – trading currently at only $17 per oz it’s easy to buy and sell even small amounts of silver. It’s much easier than gold for example, which currently sells at $1341 per oz. If you wanted to buy/sell $500 of silver or gold – it’s much easier with silver!
  • Balanced portfolio / spread risk – silver and precious metals (gold, platinum, etc.) in general should feature in any balanced investment portfolio. They are low-risk, highly liquid and whilst offering no yield, history would suggest offer medium-long term capital gain opportunities
  • Collectable – silver in its coin form can be very interesting and collectable. Buying coins from your own country may have certain advantages too. Silver coins from around the world such as the American Eagle, Silver Britannia and Silver Krugerrand are literally worth their weight in silver plus a collector’s premium. A coin collection is an ideal way to create a family heirloom to transfer wealth across the generations

Silver coins are highly collectable and add some fun to silver investment

 

  • Geopolitical pressures and concerns – Whenever tensions arise around the world investors flock to precious metals. With tensions with Trump’s administration, Putin’s Russia and North Korea the time seems right to have a proportion of wealth in a safe haven such as silver. If a global/regional war broke out, silver values would hold well.
  • Inflationary hedge – analysis by BMG Group, showed that for every 1% rise in inflation, silver rose 2% over a 46-year period to 2013. That is a very good inflationary hedge and certainly better than keeping your wealth in a low interest bank account with no chance of a capital gain!
  • Liquid asset – silver like all precious metals is a liquid asset. In times of need the owner can quickly sell for a known published silver spot price. Silver is more liquid than certain other assets e.g. property and owning a business, which both take time to sell
  • No counterparty risk – silver is not like other asset classes which require performance by third parties, e.g. stocks/shares, ETFs, etc. Silver in its physical form has no counterparty risk
  • Real money / currency – silver for thousands of years has been used as a currency. In the event of a financial systems collapse, those owning silver will be protected
  • Tactile – silver is a tangible asset that can be touched, many investors like this. Digital assets can potentially be stolen through cyber-crime and are generally less trusted
  • Tax efficiency – depending on the taxation policies of a country investing in silver can have certain tax advantages. Silver coins are often classed as legal tender in their country of origin so avoid certain taxes. Silver ownership can also be beneficial in areas such as inheritance planning, etc.

For more information, UK based gold and silver dealers Physical Gold have created an infographic titled The Benefits of Silver which provides  lots of useful information on the value of silver and reasons to invest in this precious metal.

Conclusions

For the reasons we have said why not add some silver to your investment portfolio now? Whether you buy bars or coins doesn’t really matter, but adding some silver is likely to reap very positive medium-long term gains. Silver is also a useful way of adding some diversity to an investment portfolio

15 Handy Hacks To Help Out Your Monthly Finances

You have always been so aware of your money, from tracking your income to strategically spreading out your bills across the month. You aren’t frivolous by any means, in fact you’d consider yourself to be pretty money savvy. No matter how smart you are with your savings there are always going to be things that quietly slip through the net. Perhaps you’re looking at

buying a car and you haven’t researched the finer financing details or your business is spending empty money on a particular marketing strategy that isn’t seeing the returns you’d hoped. It is these everyday small things which mount up into larger amounts over time. Assessing the small stuff is really going to help save you money for the long haul. You might think that some of the following suggestions are only going to save you pennies, but it is those pennies which add up to hundreds if you stay consistent. You need to understand that all of your tiny outgoings are adding up to huge amounts over a year or even five years. Get to grips with all of the finer details in your social life, business and home life. You obviously don’t need to jump in head first and try to change all of these things at once, but seriously consider implementing every single one of these handy hacks into your everyday life as soon as you can.

1. Be Smart With Car Payments

If your making regular car payments then you better make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Don’t waste your money buying brand new cars that lose their value as soon as you start driving it. Look into financing for used cars and you will be saving so much more money a month. You can find excellent quality used cars and just pay a fraction of the price per month compared to what you are already paying.

2. Check Your Mobile Phone Plan

You pay your mobile phone bill as if it’s just normal to be shelling out nearly a hundred a month for the privilege of making a few calls. If you’ve been with the same phone company for several years, they will want to keep your loyalty as a customer. Simply as them for a better offer and tell them you’re going to switch to another provider if they don’t decrease your bill. Nine times out of ten they will absolutely agree with you and give you a cheaper deal.

3. Cancel Your Gym Membership

The thought of having a gym membership is nice isn’t it? But when was the last time you stepped foot in your local gym? Your paying a lot of money a month just for the sake of a flashy member’s card you don’t even use. If you do enjoy working out then go for a run in the fresh air or do circuits in the park. Don’t throw away your money on a gym you don’t even go to.

4. Skip The Fancy Morning Coffee

We all need a coffee to wake us up in the morning, but your bad habit is having a serious effect on your bank balance. If you love the brown stuff then invest in a coffee machine for your home. It will work out so much cheaper in the long run and it’ll save you time queuing up in the shop every morning!

5. Expand Your Business

Obviously you’re trying to save money, not spend it, but you don’t actually have to put a tonne of money into your business to expand your horizons. Even if you just start targeting a slightly different demographic for a few months, that small change might just bring you a huge amount of extra income. 

6. Partner Up

If your business is expanding, then so will your workload. You might want to consider getting a business partner to share the financial load. Obviously there are risks involved with this, but you could just be saving yourself a tonne of money if you started sharing your business costs with someone else with the same passions as you.

7. Tweak Your Marketing Strategies

You might not be getting returns on some of the marketing campaigns you are putting out there, if so then why are you still running them? You are losing a whole load of money by keeping something that simply isn’t working. Constantly tweak your marketing strategies and find something that it truly worth the money.

 

8. Reassess Your Commute

Your expensive taxi ride down the street or your unnecessary bus journey to work will keep eating a hole in your pocket if you don’t put a stop to it. Look at your morning commute and find the cheapest way around it. Sometimes things are far too convenient and we end up spending needless money on travel when we could’ve just walked.

9. Batch Cook Your Meals

Everybody loves a convenience meal, whether that’s a huge order from the local Chinese takeaway or a Friday night pizza after a long hard week at the office. The truth is, you are spending way too much money on food whether you choose to believe it or not. You might think you are only eating a sandwich for your lunch so it’s hardly putting you out of pocket, but over a year you are spending an outrageous amount of money by eating out. Do you grocery shopping online and make a meal plan which will set you up for the whole week. Batch cook your meals and make curries, soups and casseroles which you can throw in a Tupperware box and take to work. You will save so much money by doing this instead of forking out for an expensive sandwich or takeout meal every day.

10. Be Savvy With TV Subscriptions

Who doesn’t love switching on Netflix after a stressful week? Everybody has those evenings where we just want to relax in from of the television. But whatever happened to good old live television; we are missing out on the news, amazing documentaries and old school films because we spend all of our time trying to decide what to watch on Netflix or other paid subscription apps. Cancel all of them and see how your month pans out, the chances are you won’t even miss them and it will just become the norm.

11. Shop In the Sales

Sharp suits and business attire is your thing, but they certainly come at a cost. Try not to splurge on unnecessarily expensive clothing and gadgets when you can buy perfectly high quality goods in the sales or charity stores. You will save yourself a lot of money if you curb your shopping habits and start to be mindful about where you go to buy your clothing.

12. Get a Reusable Water Bottle

We all know that our planet is majorly under threat from the influx of plastic which is being tossed into our oceans. Don’t be blind to these problems and invest in a reusable water bottle. Not only will you be helping out the environment, but you will also be saving a lot of money on buying bottled water when you’re out and about.

13. Skip The Social Stuff

Obviously there are going to be social events you really want to attend, but do you need to go to every single thing you are invited to? Think of all the money you could save if your bypassed just one trip to a bar every month. Over a year it would add up to hundreds, so consider that next time you hit the social scene after work every Friday night.

 

14. Loosen The Luxuries

All of those little extra items you are constantly buying, such as magazines, games consoles, fancy haircuts, they aren’t completely necessary. See if you can go a whole month only buying the bare minimum that you need to get by for that month. That’s extra money in your pocket instantly.

15. Book Your Travel in Advance

You shouldn’t deny yourself the odd vacation now and again, after all you’re only human. If you do feel like you need to take a break then make sure you book it well in advance and get the best deal possible. Head to your local travel agents and see what the cheapest flight deals are. If you book a flight for mid week it’s normally half the price of weekend, so remember that too.

You might think that cutting back on these little luxuries isn’t going to impact your financial life at all, but if you manage to stick at it for an entire year you will probably have enough money to pay off your credit card, student loan or another mounting bill that has been hanging over your head for the last few years. Every little helps when it comes to sorting out your savings and becoming financially comfortable again. You can live the high life once you’ve made your first million, but for now it’s time to be smart, make some cuts and consider all of your money decisions carefully before reaching for your wallet.

Making Alternative Investments: The Pros and Cons of Taking Retirement Into Your Own Hands

Self-directed retirement accounts have gained traction as a viable retirement solution as the democratization of finance leads to smarter investors. Self-directed retirement allows investors to control their own retirement by making investments outside of the traditional marketplace. This allows them to make alternative investments such as partnerships and private mortgages. The nature of the self-directed solution may lead to outsize returns, while raising an investor’s risk profile.

Portfolio Diversity

The advantages of self-directed retirement accounts are multifold. The most obvious of these benefits is the diversification of an investment portfolio. Investors are not as dependent on stock or bond market returns as they would be with a traditional IRA. The self-directed solution gives investors access to products that normally only institutional investors can purchase. Investors can build a far-reaching portfolio that allows them to invest in assets in which they may have an expertise. While there are prohibitions on certain investments such as artwork, coins and other purchases, there is a wide variety of permissible investments.

Favorable Tax Treatment

Another major benefit of a self-directed account is the favorable tax treatment. Like a traditional IRA, investors can defer taxes on their investment gains until retirement. This tax deferment leads to a higher rate of return on investment as investments can be rolled over and compounded without having to pay taxes. Also, some self-directed IRA plans allow you to pass wealth to future generations after death with favorable tax treatment.

These accounts are suitable for high net worth investors who hold most of their assets in their retirement account. Generally, investors in self-directed IRA’s should have a certain degree of investment knowledge and savvy. These products are not suitable for every investor.

Drawbacks

There are some drawbacks to self-directed retirement plans. The first is the greater risk that comes with alternative investments. While the reward for these investments can be great, there is also a greater risk of losing one’s entire investment. Alternative investments are not as transparent as more traditional investments, and that increases the risk of this type of retirement account. In addition, because of the nature of the investments made in this account, investors are at a greater risk of fraud. Thus, it becomes all the more critical to find trusted individual retirement solutions.

Another drawback of self-directed retirement account is the complex tax rules. Although these accounts are generally tax deferred, there are some triggering events that could cause a tax liability. The rules regarding tax treatment for these investments are esoteric and difficult to understand for the average investor. Usually, investors are best off consulting with an accountant or lawyer in order to understand these tax rules and not run afoul of the Internal Revenue Service.

Additionally, for those investors who do not have a long-term outlook, self-directed IRA’s may not be the most suitable option. The alternative investments that are covered by this account are generally not the most liquid securities. Thus, it can take a long time to close out of a position. For investors that would need shorter-term access to their money, that would be difficult to gain in a self-directed account.

Conclusion

There are some benefits to a self-directed IRA. In order to explore this option, consult with an investment professional.