During the time of the Tang dynasty, money could fly. By the year 804 AD, a shortage of copper coins threatened to stifle China’s economy. With fewer coins than needed to be available, merchants throughout the realm found it difficult to conduct effective trade.
Great content and presentation. The historical contents makes your arguments undeniable. Keep up the good work!
Anyone in Australia in this group?
"Déjà vu all over again"... Another well-written post with historical context. The quality of writing is exceptional, as it is insightful, timely, and actionable.
I’m trying to remember a book I read in AU regarding the cyclical nature of economies and the key drivers eg WW1&2, Dotcom, industrial revolution etc that have led to ‘resets’ I think the book suggested that ultimately it was demographics that were the key influencers on economic development/demise.
Great piece and thanks for sharing with us all.
I have just started acquiring silver recently. It's about 1/10th of my portfolio, which itself isn't very big (rebuilding after a divorce). Some things I've learned... crash course.
1. I think it's best to buy physical. If you go to usdebtclock.org and look at the right-hand column you'll see the 'paper to silver' ratio - this is the ratio of silver stocks to actual, physical silver. It's currently at 355:1, which to me is a warning that the 'paper' silver is almost like fiat - if there were a 'run on the bank' for silver, there would be a fraction of a percent that each person could get. Plus, it's just nice to be fully in control of it rather than depending on the "system" to play nice if there was some kind of financial crisis.
2. If you look up the price of silver you'll get the "spot" price (which is the global trading price, not a regional thing). When you buy physical there is a "premium" on top of this. Eg 1oz of silver is around $20 spot, but to buy a 1oz coin might be $27, so a $7 premium - it costs money to make and store and transport a physical commodity and the stores need to make money to stay open. Shop around and look at deals to get as close to spot as you can, but buy from reputable online dealers or local coin shops (LCS) as there are lots of fakes especially on Ebay and such. The more 'pretty' a piece of silver is the higher the premium, as it costs more to make it pretty, and the cost goes down the plainer and bigger the piece of silver is. Eg a 100oz, plain, poured bar of silver doesn't look nearly as nice as stacks of beautiful 1oz coins, but the bar is only a little over spot, eg $23/oz for the bar vs $27/oz if you bought coins.
3. The difference between what you can buy a piece of silver for and what you can sell it for is the "spread". One coin might be $27, another might be $25, but the first one might sell for $25 while the second may sell for $22, so a $2 spread with the first one and a $3 spread with the second. Don't just pay attention to the initial purchase price. Some coins and bars are more desirable and will fetch a higher price when you sell. Talking to your local coin shop (LCS) and finding out what they'd pay for different coins or bars can help you figure this out. Buying things that are on sale is a really good way to reduce the spread - shop the sales! $2 off per oz happens fairly regularly. If you buy a coin with a $4 spread, the spot price will need to go up $4 just to break even when you go to sell it, but if you got that coin on sale for $2 off, you've actually made $2 when spot goes up by $4.
4. The silver to gold ratio is the difference between the spot price of silver and gold. In the earth's crust they're about 17:1 silver to gold (for every ounce of gold there will be 17 of silver). The general advice is if the ratio is over 50:1 then buy silver, if it's under that, buy gold. It has fluctuated a lot historically. Right this second, the spot silver to gold ratio is 59:1. You can check on silverprice.org. But silver premiums are higher than gold premiums, so I look at the actual ratio of the physical silver to physical gold including the premiums for each item, which varies depending on what you're getting and if you're buying on sale or whatever. Comparing a 1oz silver coin to a 1oz gold coin will get you a lower ratio than comparing a 100oz poured silver bar on sale compared to that same gold coin. The idea is that when the ratio switches in favor of gold you can trade your silver for gold. I did my buying when the spot ratio was about 90:1, and the ratio for what I was actually buying (factoring in the premium) was 79:1.
5. I don't see silver as an investment but as insurance for a specific scenario - where the fiat currency has collapsed and a new fiat currency has taken its place. I can then trade silver or gold for the new currency and thereby preserve some of my wealth. If there was some kind of social collapse, silver and gold will be terrible to barter with because their value will plummet - a 1oz gold coin that you bought for $2,000 might only get you a sack of rice. If you're worried about that kind of apocalyptic scenario, buy stuff that's cheap now but would be very valuable in that situation - toiletries, water purification tablets, first aid supplies, non-perishable foods, that kinda thing. If no collapse ever happens, I expect my precious metals to at least hold their value against inflation, though even this varies a lot, especially silver, so in that way it's a bit like a stock where you might need to wait 5 to 10 years to sell at a good price if it's in a slump. Don't buy or hold silver if you will need that money in less than a year or two.
6. I don't do "numismatic" (collectible) coins, only bullion coins. It's just too much of an unknown for me what will be desirable in 20 - 30 years or if collector coins will be a 'thing' any more. Just look at stamp collecting. Also, I may find myself in a situation where finding someone knowledgeable enough about what I'm selling to give me the collector's price for it will be much harder than just selling bullion coins.
Ok, there, that's my 2oz! Hope that helps anyone getting started!
Party like it's 1512
Thank you! I was just balancing out my finances today and could use a bit of advice. Are there any precious medals sites you’d trust, speaking for U.S. viewers? I saw you mentioned one for the EU :) Thanks guys!!
Any recommendations on where to buy precious metals in the US?