How to trade silver online

If you're about to start trading silver, this beginner-friendly guide can help you. We've covered how, when and where to invest in silver.
By: Harry Atkins
Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019, drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue… read more.
Updated: May 12, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

Jumping into the world of precious metals trading can be exciting, but it’s important to know what you’re doing if you’re serious about making a profit. We’ve produced this page, as well as a series of other commodity investment articles, to provide a simple introduction to the fundamentals of silver trading.

Compare the best platforms for trading silver

If you’re ready to get started with silver trading, we’ve posted reviews of the best online silver brokers in the table below. Take a look.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Promotion
User Score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Promotion
User Score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

Buy silver bars, right now

If you don’t want to trade silver, you can always take the simple route and buy silver bars or coins. Below, you’ll find a list of reputable websites that sell silver bars and coins.

How to trade silver online – an easy six-step guide

Here are six steps to follow if you want to trade silver online.:

  1. Know your trading strategy. If you’re a beginner, use simpler silver trading strategies. If you’re an expert silver trader, you may be better equipped to use complex, relatively aggressive trading strategies.
  2. Decide your budget. Your trading strategy should be informed by the size of your budget. Figure out your budget before you make your first trade.
  3. Choose your silver type. You can trade silver bars or silver coins. Silver bars come in either the one-ounce size, or larger denominations. Silver coins come in many different designs, from many different countries. Silver bars cost less per ounce, because you’re not paying a premium for the intricate designs found on silver coins.
  4. Select your broker and sign up. Pick a broker with a good reputation, a well-designed silver trading platform and affordable trading fees. Once you’ve found a broker that fits the bill, you’re ready to sign up.
  5. Assess and manage your risk. A stop-loss order is a trading strategy that lets you limit the size of your loss by setting a sell order that will trigger when your silver trade falls to a certain price. Figure out what price you want your stop-loss order to hit at, then be ready to enter that order as soon as you make your first silver trade.
  6. Place your first trade. You’ve done your due diligence and figured out your silver trading strategy. It’s time to make your first silver trade.

Types of silver to trade

Here are some of the different methods you can use to trade silver:

Contracts for difference

A contract for difference is a contract between a buyer and a seller, provided by a CFD broker. In a CFD, the buyer pays the seller the difference between the current value of silver and silver’s value at contract time. 

  • Pros of CFD Trading: You can bet on the value of silver either going up or going down. CFD platforms don’t usually charge transaction costs. CFD trading lets you trade with leverage, enabling you to make larger trades with a smaller amount of capital.
  • Cons of CFD Trading: Leveraged trading can expose you to greater risk. If the price of the asset or position drops below a certain point and you don’t have enough money in your account to support the position, you could end up with nothing. If you leave a CFD position open overnight, you’ll be charged a fee. Large price spreads can sometimes cost you more than trading fees.

Silver certificates 

Silver certificates are certificates of ownership for physical silver. Allocated certificates mean you own specific bars of silver while unallocated certificates aren’t linked to specific silver bars, but rather the dollar value of the silver you own.

  • Pros of silver certificates: With a silver certificate you don’t have to worry about storing and insuring your physical silver bars. Transaction fees for silver certificates are often relatively low.
  • Cons of silver certificates: In the U.S., silver certificates are considered akin to owning collectibles by the IRS, so you’ll have to pay a 28% capital gains tax on your net gain if you sell. Certificates often require larger minimum amounts than straight purchases of bullion. If you buy a silver certificate and the silver certificate issuer goes bankrupt, you may not recover all of your investment.

Silver futures 

A silver futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell silver at a set price, at a set time in the future. 

  • Pros of silver futures: Futures contracts let you hedge against price fluctuation. The pricing model for futures contracts is relatively simple.
  • Cons of silver futures: Unexpected events can cause big price fluctuations that could hurt your trade. Futures contracts have an expiration date, so the contracted price for a silver contract becomes less attractive as the closing date gets closer. 

Silver options

Silver options let you buy or sell silver bullion at a set price on a future date. Silver options aren’t the same as silver futures, however: with silver options, there’s no ironclad contract involved, and you have the option not to buy or sell if you wish.

  • Pros of silver options: Trading with leverage means you might realise bigger gains using smaller amounts of capital. You can either go long or short on your options trades, meaning you’re betting on the price of silver to either go up or down.
  • Cons of silver options: Because options drop in value as the expiration date gets closer you need to be right within a certain amount of time. Transaction fees tend to be higher than when you trade other forms of silver (including physical silver).

Silver ETFs

An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is a type of investment that contains multiple assets and is traded on exchanges like individual stocks.

  • Pros of silver ETFs: If the price of silver rises you’ll almost certainly make money, without the hassle of having to store and insure physical silver bullion. Low management fees keep costs down.
  • Cons of silver ETFs: If the price of silver shoots up, you’d likely make more money if you own physical silver.

Research what affects the silver price

There are many factors that can affect the price of silver:

  • Silver supply and demand. Labour stoppages and mining discoveries are just two of the factors that can affect the global supply of silver. Meanwhile, overall demand for silver can go up when investors feel the need to hedge against economic downturns. The balance of supply and demand is the most common cause of a commodity’s price movements. 
  • Market sentiment. Investor optimism and pessimism plays a significant role in determining the price of a commodity. It’s best to jump into silver when investor sentiment is positive.
  • Market volatility. Periods of volatility can jangle traders’ nerves, even when silver prices are generally trending up. Stick to a sound trading plan and try not to overreact to sudden swings in silver prices.
  • Central bank reserves. When central banks stockpile lots of silver you can usually expect silver prices to rise. When they divest themselves of silver, the opposite can often happen.
  • Worldwide jewelry and industrial demand. Consumers jonesing for silver jewellery and companies seeking silver for industrial uses can also affect overall demand. Watch to see if demand rises or falls, as this will affect the price of silver.
  • Value of the U.S. dollar. The price of silver is inversely pegged to the U.S. dollar. So if the value of the dollar falls, silver prices go up. 

How to sell your silver trade

When selling your silver online, here are five basic steps you’ll take: 

  1. Log on to your silver trading platform.
  2. Open your existing silver trade.
  3. Check the price of the silver coins, silver bars or silver-trading vehicle you own.
  4. Check the spread being offered by the broker to make sure you can sell at a good price. Excessively wide spreads can result in leaving too much money on the table.
  5. Sell your position for either a profit, or a smaller loss than you might end up with if you keep holding in an ugly market.

Silver trading tips for beginners

Here are five tips to follow if you’re a beginner getting ready to trade silver online.

  1. Establish your trading goals. A short time frame designed for a quick buck vs. a buy-and-hold, long-term strategy will necessitate very different approaches to trading. Know your trading goals, so you can build a sound plan and avoid being swayed by emotions.
  2. Figure out your risk tolerance. You can be bold, or you can be conservative. What matters is knowing who you are as a trader. Evaluate your risk tolerance, then you can decide whether you want to make riskier trading moves or play it safe.
  3. Know your budget. If you have a small budget, a trading strategy that lets you buy and hold might be a better bet than a more volatile strategy that’s fraught with risk. If you have a larger budget, you’re in a better position to try different trading methods.
  4. Assess market conditions. Are silver prices trending up or down? Know the market before you dive in.
  5. Pick the silver trading method that works best for you. We’ve been through various trading methods, so you should appreciate how different they are from each other. Make sure you fully understand the trading strategy you want to follow before you make your move.

Try some of our investment courses for beginners

Not quite ready to trade? No problem. Check out our easy-to-follow educational guides to build your knowledge.

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Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Harry Atkins
Financial Writer
Harry joined us in 2019, drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the… read more.