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- 1. How to invest in silver: Buying silver for beginners in 2024
- 2. Why invest in silver
- 3. How to buy silver online – a step-by-step guide
- 4. Where can I start investing in silver?
- 5. How can I invest in silver?
- 6. How do I store silver bars?
- 7. Is investing in silver safe?
- 8. How much does silver investing cost?
- 9. Quick answers to key questions
- 10. Bottom line
- 11. FAQs
How to invest in silver: Buying silver for beginners in 2024
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Silver is one of the most adaptable commodities. From a store of value to an essential component in electronics, demand for the precious metal continues to grow. Investing in silver isn’t as difficult as you might think and there are several ways you can get involved. Use this beginner’s guide to understand and learn how to invest in silver.
Why invest in silverCopy link to section
Silver has been around for hundreds of years, and throughout history, investors have flocked to the precious metal for varying reasons. A store of value and inflation hedge are two of the main reasons most invest in silver; however, the case for allocating part of your portfolio to silver goes beyond tradition.
One of the top reasons you may want to invest in silver in 2024 is the state of the global economy. Global debt is at an all-time high and many central banks are in crisis mode. Investing in silver could protect against inflation eroding your savings. Silver, unlike gold, has not yet reached new nominal highs, which leads to more upside potential.
The growing demand for silver from industrial applications like solar panels, 5G infrastructure, and electric vehicles also bodes well for the metal. Many experts believe industrial appetite for silver will outweigh supply at some point in the future.
Silver has the potential to offer a hedge against an uncertain future where inflation, industrial demand, and global monetary issues persist.
Can I buy physical silver?Copy link to section
Yes, you can buy physical silver and get your hands on an actual silver bar or coin. Physical silver investments typically include minted coins, or bullion bars ranging from small gram-sized to large 1kg bars.
Physical silver is suited to investors who want an alternative hard asset outside the financial system, as a hedge against inflation or a long term store of value. However, it’s not as practical as investing in silver stocks, ETFs or digital contracts. When you buy physical silver you need to consider storage, security, insurance, assaying, and delivery or shipping.
How to buy silver online – a step-by-step guideCopy link to section
Investing in silver is a simple process. Before you begin, you’ll need to register with a trusted online broker to access the silver market. Follow the steps below to learn how to invest in silver.
Step 1. Open a silver investment accountCopy link to section
The first thing to do is to decide where to buy silver. We recommend eToro as the best silver investing platform. You can invest in a range of silver stocks, silver ETFs, and silver mutual funds from there.
Step 2. Choose your silver investment vehicleCopy link to section
You can invest in silver using various methods. Most investors prefer to invest in silver stocks, ETFs, or funds. You can also directly invest in silver through futures contracts or even by buying silver bars or coins. Our guide below explains more about each option.
Step 3. Make your investment in silverCopy link to section
Once you decide how to invest your money into silver, it’s time to make your investment. To do this, simply log into your online brokerage account and use the search bar to find your chosen investment. For example, if you’re planning to invest in a silver ETF, just type its name or ticker symbol and you’ll be taken to its trading page.
Fill out your order details on the trading page and hit the buy button. You’ll usually be able to decide how many shares you want to buy if using stocks, ETFs, or funds. Alternatively, you can enter a dollar amount and the brokerage platform will take care of the rest.
Step 4. Monitor your investmentsCopy link to section
Regularly review your investment portfolio and its performance. Keep an eye on the silver price to stay updated with the latest changes. If its price drops, you could use it as an opportunity to add to your investment. If it rises, you may want to consider taking some profit.
Where can I start investing in silver?Copy link to section
To invest in silver, you need to register with a silver investing platform. These are the best silver investing platforms, ranked by our team of commodity experts according to their value for money, user experience, and security features.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
How can I invest in silver?Copy link to section
There are several options available, ranging from investing in silver stocks to buying silver bars or coins. The right approach depends on your personal budget, risk tolerance, and timeline for seeing returns. Here’s a look at the various ways you can invest in silver online.
Buy silver stocksCopy link to section
Rather than buying silver bars or coins, many investors prefer buying stocks in public companies that are involved in the silver industry. Generally, these companies will be involved in all or part of the silver market, which includes miners, developers, explorers, producers, and manufacturers.
Our guide on the best silver stocks to buy includes a selection of the best companies. We’ve also included a few silver stocks below.
- Mag Silver Corp. (NYSE: MAG). A Canadian silver exploration company.
- First Majestic Silver Corp (TSE: FR). A silver miner with operations in Mexico and the USA.
- Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM). The world’s largest gold miner with significant silver exposure.
Invest in silver ETFsCopy link to section
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are perhaps the easiest way to invest in silver for beginners. ETFs trade on a stock exchange, just like a regular stock. The key difference is ETFs are funds made up of many different stocks. With ETFs you’ll gain broad exposure to the price of silver. The value of the stocks that comprise the ETF will usually rise and fall in line with the value of silver.
Use our guide on the best silver ETFs to find the top options for 2024. We’ve also included a few of the largest exchange traded funds below.
- Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF (NYSEARCA: SIVR). This ETF invests in physical silver.
- iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSEARCA: SLV). The iShares is another ETF that holds physical silver.
- Invesco DB Silver Fund ETF (NYSEARCA: DBS). This ETF by Invesco is composed of futures contracts
Invest in silver mutual fundsCopy link to section
Mutual funds are similar to exchange traded funds, with the main difference being a fund manager actively looks after them. The fund manager maintains the fund and has full control over what to buy and sell. Silver mutual funds are another excellent beginner-friendly way to invest in silver. One thing to note with funds is that the fees are generally higher than you’ll find with other investing methods.
There are very few mutual funds that focus solely on silver, but there are many that target precious metals. So not only will you be gaining exposure to silver, but you’ll also have gold, platinum and other precious metals. Here are a few of the best silver mutual funds for 2024.
- Allspring Precious Metals Fund (EKWAX) . This fund invests in companies involved in various sectors and different precious metals.
- USAA Precious Metals and Minerals Fund (USAGX). As its name suggests, this fund invests in a range of precious metals stocks
- Invesco Gold and Special Minerals Fund (OPGSX). While this fund focuses on gold, it also invests in several well-known silver stocks.
Buy silver bars or coinsCopy link to section
The best way to invest in silver if you want actual physical ownership of the metal is to buy silver bars (bullion) or coins. Investing in silver this way gives you a tangible asset that you can keep entirely outside of the banking system, if you want to.
There are a few different ways to buy silver. Here’s a rundown of the types of silver you can buy online:
- Buy silver bars. These are rectangular bullion bars produced by various mints and refineries. Silver bars are sold based on total silver content (purity) and weight, which ranges from 1 gram up to 1 kilogram or 100oz bars. The most popular weights are 10oz and 1kg bars which have the lowest premium over the silver spot price. Silver bars have a fineness of at least .999 pure silver.
- Buy silver coins. Silver coins range from 1 oz to 5 oz in weight and most contain 1 troy oz of .999 fine silver. Silver coins are more expensive than silver bars by weight, but are more widely recognised. There are various types of silver coins to buy and some of the most popular versions include the American Silver Eagle, Canadian Silver Maple, and Austrian Philharmonic.
It’s important to find an established precious metals dealer with a strong track record and competitive pricing if you want to buy silver this way. You should compare premiums over the spot price across various dealers and ensure you have planned for how you’re going to store the silver coins/bars when they arrive.
How do I store silver bars?Copy link to section
When you buy physical silver one thing you need to consider is how you’ll store it. As its a tangible asset of value, you’ll also need to think about insurance. There are several options available to store silver securely and you can use an online storage service, or keep it at home. Here’s a look at the various silver storage options.
Online storageCopy link to section
Most reputable online silver sellers will also offer storage services in a secure vault. Just consider the size of your silver portfolio first: If your total silver investing budget is less than $1,000, a significant chunk of that amount (at least $100 per year) would be spent paying the seller to store the silver for you.
Online storage is the easiest way to store your silver. The dealer will take care of everything for you and all you have to do is pay a monthly or yearly fee. You’ll probably never even see or hold your silver in your own hands if using a third party silver storage company.
Home storageCopy link to section
You can also receive home delivery of silver, and then find a secure storage space in your home. Some investors feel better knowing that their silver is always within arm’s length.
Plus if you plan to hold silver long-term, you only need to invest in a vault once, rather than pay storage fees year after year. The downside is that your risk of theft goes up if you store such valuables in your home. You’ll also need to buy insurance to protect your investment, adding to your total cost.
Besides insurance, you’ll also need to think about where you’ll store your silver in your home. You could buy a safe or vault, although this would add to your costs. It’s important to find a safe place within your home to securely store your silver bars or coins.
High street brokersCopy link to section
If you want to store your silver somewhere that’s not your home but also prefer not to transact online, visit a local High Street broker to talk to a real, live human face-to-face and explain your storage needs.
High Street brokers will process your silver purchase, and then take care of storage for you, erasing the hassle and security worries that come with stashing silver in your home.
BanksCopy link to section
Like high street brokers, you may be able to visit your local bank and purchase and store silver directly with them. Lots of leading banks offer the ability to buy silver bars and also take care of storage and insurance for you. However, this will come at a cost as you’ll have to pay fees to the bank to keep your silver bullion secure.
Is investing in silver safe?Copy link to section
Silver may seem like a risky investment; however, examining risk more broadly suggests it can play a valuable role in a well diversified portfolio. Silver is less risky than traditional investments like stocks, bonds, or currencies. Stocks are susceptible to wider market downturns, bonds generally offer low yields, and currencies run the risk of devaluation from inflation.
Silver is protected against these risks and gives investors an avenue for diversification and holds intrinsic value. That being said, silver’s price has been volatile in the past, so when investing, it is important to bear that in mind. Demand for silver is rising from both investors and industrial uses. There are always some risks, but silver has been around for hundreds of years and is a safer option compared to other assets.
How much does silver investing cost?Copy link to section
It is relatively inexpensive to invest in silver, although the method you use will determine how much you’ll pay. You may be charged a commission when buying silver stocks or ETFs, typically between $5-$10. You’ll also need to pay a bid-ask spread, approximately 5-10% of your total transaction.
You may have to pay a management fee when you invest in silver funds. This can vary depending on the fund but is usually around 1% of your investment. For physical silver investing, the costs can be greater and include storage fees and insurance. Both can range between 0.5-1% of the total investment.
Quick answers to key questionsCopy link to section
There’s a lot to consider when purchasing silver bars or silver coins. Some of the technical jargon can be confusing if you’re not familiar with how it all works. Use the questions and answers below to learn more about buying silver bars and buying silver coins.
What is the silver bar premium and silver coin premium?Copy link to section
The silver bar premium and silver coin premium simply refer to the amount paid over the actual silver spot price when buying bars or coins. The silver spot price is the ‘true’ price at which silver trades. When you buy silver bars or coins, you will pay a premium above the spot price.
For silver coins, premiums range from 10-15% in most market conditions due to the coin fabrication, marketing, and distribution costs incurred by government mints. For large silver bars, premiums can be as low as 3-5% over spot price since the manufacturing and handling costs are lower. Smaller silver bars of 5-10 ounces will have premiums in the 5-10% range.
What weight silver bars should you buy?Copy link to section
The weight of silver bars you should buy depends on your budget. The most cost-effective silver bar weights for regular small investors are generally 5, 10, or 100-troy-ounce sizes. Smaller bars such as the 5 and 10-oz bars offer the best compromise between low premiums and easy storage when compared to large bulk bars.
You can also consider 100 and 400 oz bars which are still reasonably priced and realistically sized for average investors. One-kilo bars are also a good option and offer an easier resale process.
What is a silver bar mint or brand?Copy link to section
Silver bullion bars are produced by Government mints like the Royal Canadian Mint and private mints including Sunshine Minting and Johnson Matthey. These established brand names and production standards behind bars from trusted mints help ensure purity, weight, accuracy, and authenticity when buying silver bullion bars or coins.
How do I determine the purity of silver?Copy link to section
When buying silver bars and buying silver coins they will be stamped with fineness which measures purity. Silver bars and coins have purity ranging from .999 (extremely pure) to .920 (sterling silver). If you buy from a reputable dealer you’ll be provided with authenticity certificates confirming purity. To test yourself, you can use nitric acid or electronic devices.
How do I measure the weight of silver bars?Copy link to section
Like with fineness, silver bars and silver coins are often stamped with their weight. When using a trusted silver broker you’ll receive authenticity certificates confirming weight. You can always use precision scales in either gram for small bars or troy ounces fro large bars to confirm weight.
What types of silver bars are available?Copy link to section
There are two main types of silver bars, poured bars and minted bars. Here’s a quick look at each type:
- Poured silver bars. These types of bars are produced by melting silver and pouring it into moulds in the shape of a bar. This is an older method of producing bars which results in a rugged uneven look. Poured bars often sell at a lower premium however they are harder to authenticate.
- Minted bars. These days, most silver bars are minted. This process involves using computerised machines to press bars into exact sizes under high pressure. Minting yields standardised, serrated-edged bars with a cleaner more modern look.
Silver bars come in varying weights although the most common sizes include 5 oz, 10 oz, kilo bars, 50 oz, and 100 oz bars.
What types of silver coins are available?Copy link to section
Silver coins come in all shapes and sizes, although there are a few common versions which we’ve explained below:
- American Silver Eagles. These types of coins are the most common and popular and have a Walking Liberty design. They can be used as legal tender with a .999 fineness purity and have the lowest premiums.
- Canadian Silver Maple Leafs. These Canadian silver coins bear Canada’s iconic maple leaf on the reverse. They are legal tender with a $5 denomination. One coin coins 1 oz of .9999 fine silver. They also have security measures to deter counterfeiting.
- Austrian Philharmonics. The Austrian Philharmonics silver coins depict the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. They are legal tender for €1.50 and coin 1 oz of .999 silver.
There are several other types of silver coins including Chinese Silver Pandas, Australian Silver Kangaroos, and the Mexican Silver Libertads.
Bottom lineCopy link to section
Investing in silver is an inexpensive way to add precious metals to your investment portfolio. Known as gold’s cousin, many experts expect silver to rise in value over the coming years, so investing now could be a prudent move. With the various investment vehicles available, investing in silver is accessible to all levels of investors.
FAQsCopy link to section
Yes, silver investing can make a good investment. Silver will act as a hedge against inflation and an easy way to diversify your portfolio. Silver is more volatile than other precious metals, so you should bear that before investing.
The easiest way to invest in silver is to use a trusted online broker specialising in the metal. We recommend eToro as the best silver investment platform. Here, you can buy a range of silver stocks, ETFs, and funds.
Yes, it probably will if demand growth continues. However, silver is volatile, and nobody can predict that far into the future.
Many experts recommend 5-10% of your portfolio be made up of precious metals like silver. However, the exact amount will depend on your own circumstances.
Yes, 1 kilo bars of silver are a good investment. They have low premiums over spot silver prices, and larger bars mean lower production costs, making them cheaper overall than coins.
Yes, selling silver is fairly easy. If you own physical silver, you can visit a bullion dealer who can handle the whole process. You can easily sell silver stocks, funds or ETFs through an online trading platform.
It is not impossible, however, it is highly improbable. In 2024, silver is worth around $20. Demand would have to skyrocket for its price to hit $1000.
Silver has historically had better upside potential. However, its price is more volatile. Platinum is more rare than silver, but its industrial uses are less. It’s a good idea to include both in a well-diversified portfolio.
It is extremely difficult to buy physical silver at the spot price. Silver products have fabrication, distribution, and handling costs, which drive up the final purchase price. One of the closest options is to buy a large 400+ oz bar which has low premiums near 5%.
It is recommended to find a reputable online silver dealer when buying silver bars or silver coins. You can also look for brand name bars like Sunshine Minting, PAMP Suisse, or Johnson Matthey. Before buying, it’s a good idea to compare premiums across several dealers to find the best deal.
Yes, you may want to consider buying physical silver bars or coins as you’ll own investment grade .999 fine silver at the lowest premiums. Silver is considered a hedge against inflation among many other benefits and holding a tangible asset is often a good addition to your portfolio.
Yes, you can, however, most regular banks do not directly sell physical silver bars or silver coins to retail investors. Some specialised brokers linked with large banks may offer bars, although availability is less common compared to online dealers.
One bank you can use is HSBC, which offers a precious metals deposit account, where you can buy gold and silver.
It depends on the purity, weight, and premiums. You should expect to pay 5-10% above the live silver spot price for most brand name bars. It is possible to negotiate lower premium deals for large-volume purchases.
No, it is fairly easy to sell silver bars. You can sell silver bars back to metal dealers. You should look around at different precious metals dealers to find the best price for your silver bars or silver coins.
Silver bars generally have lower premiums compared to silver coins which can save money. However, bars are usually more expensive. Coins hold better premium values long term and have better recognition if you need to sell outside of a dealer channel.
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