For the last 3 years, I have been bullish on Silver, and believe strongly in physical bullion ownership. Because global equity markets are falling into bear markets, I feel especially bullish on Silver for the long term. The safest way to participate in this great commodity bull market is by actually buying the metal, and there are several ways of doing this.
In my opinion, the best way to buy silver is in the form of silver coins minted in the 1960's. In Canada and the United States, most coins minted in this era were 80% silver bullion. I personally like purchasing pre-1968 Canadian Silver Dollars. Each one of these coins contains 0.6 ounces of fine silver, and is 80% pure.
Interestingly, any combination of pre-1968 of Canadian Silver coins that add up to 1 dollar will contain 0.6 ounces of silver. For example, 4 silver quarters has the same amount of silver as a silver dollar, or 10 silver dimes has the same amount of silver as a silver dollar.
The advantage with buying silver in this form is that it is divisible, portable, pure, and carries very little premium. This means that they will sell close to the spot price of silver. Other coins, such as Canadian Silver Maples, usually sell for spot plus 3-5%.
An alternative to buying silver coins is buying silver bars. This method is ideal if you wish to purchase large quantities of the grey metal. Generally, bars are denominated in 1, 10, and 100 troy ounces. I prefer to buy from either Engelhard, or JM.
In terms of buying gold, I think Canadian Maples, and bars from the above mentioned brands are a good bet. There are no Canadian Coins with gold content as mentioned above with silver. The Royal Canadian Mint has also minted Palladium and Platinum Maples, which are metals that are in equally strong bull markets.
In addition to precious metals doing well over the next 5-10 years, I feel that base metals, such as copper and nickel, also have a lot of potential. The best way to invest in copper and nickel is also through Canadian Coins.
Prior to 1982, all Canadian Nickels that were minted were pure nickel. With the price of nickel rising over the last several years, these nickels are now worth, in raw materials, close to 12 cents per coin.
Furthermore, most nickels minted after 1981 are 25% nickel and 75% copper. This makes their intrinsic value approximately 5.5 cents per coin. Nickels minted after the year 2000 are generally steel, and are worth far less than 5 cents per coin. For more exact figures, please refer to Coinflation.com.
I have taken a random sample of 2,000 Canadian nickels, and broken down the proportion of each type in the following pie chart:
In other words, if you were to go to any bank, and ask for $100 worth of nickels, you would receive approximately:
- 500 Nickel Coins at roughly 12 cents each, which is $63.50 in pure nickel
- 920 Copper Nickels at roughly 5.5 cents each, which has a melt value of about $51.50
- 580 Steel Nickels, which can be turned back to bank for their face value of $29.00
After returning the worthless steel nickels to the bank, and getting back $29.00, you would be left with an expenditure of $71.00. However, you have, in exchange for the $71.00 spent, about $115 worth of commodities. This represents a risk free return of 62%.
What is also interesting, is that there are about 100 nickels in a pound, so 500 nickels would be 5 pounds of the commodity. This makes it easy to keep track of how many nickels you have just by weighing them.
Sorting nickels is made easier by using a strong magnet. The pure nickel coins, and the steel coins are both attracted to a magnet. The ones that are not are the copper nickels. From there, the steel and nickel coins must be sorted visually.
Now, you may be wondering if anybody would actually turn around and pay more than a nickel for a nickel. The answer is yes. My local coin store is willing to purchase my nickels, and you can also unload them on Ebay if need be. The seller in that auction was selling pennies, which is also profitable, and a good way to get into copper.
At the end of the day, I believe that holding physical platinum, gold, silver, palladium, copper, and nickel in your portfolio is the safest and potentially the most profitable way to participate in this great bull market.