silverYep, that’s me twisting APMEX’s tail over investing in precious metals in the Twitterverse. Like most of those guys who deal in assets like silver and gold, they advertise it as a hedge against inflation. An ounce of silver won’t disappear on you in the unlikely event that APMEX* goes bankrupt. I like to tease those guys who look way too serious in the commercials for those businesses that deal in precious metals. One of these days, one of them is going to do a bunch of dogs fighting over a bar of gold just to be different.**

Image credit: D & W Plating
Image credit: D & W Plating

Anyway, I could think of some legitimate reasons to invest in silver. It’s not like staring at the current price of stocks you have in your portfolio. It’s something you can hold in your hand. It’s pretty and commonly used in jewelry. It also has a variety of practical uses. Did you know that some people actually use it in manufacturing? Yep, if those nuts pictured above seem too shiny to be ordinary steel, that’s because they’re coated with silver.

Are there any negatives? Well, if you think about it, there are a few. You have to hide your precious metals in a place where nobody would ever think to look or they could disappear. No matter how strapped for cash you are, you have to resist the temptation to sell to pawn shops and those traveling road shows because you’ll never even get close the spot price for them. If you ship it back to whoever you bought it from, I recommend insuring it because packages with valuable contents have been known to vanish in transit. And, like any investment, you could end up losing money.

I’m no investment expert. I’m just like most people. I’m looking for ways to grow what I have, which is admittedly not much at this point. I tend to look at investments the way I might shop for a new car. Does it perform well? Will it get me from Point A to Point B without giving me problems? There’s always the risk of a breakdown, especially if I ignore maintenance. When the time comes, I trade it in for something else. I like to shop around, because APMEX is certainly not the only place to buy and sell precious metals. I look for one with a good price over “spot”, which is basically the price that they buy silver for. So poke around and see what you can find in terms of bargains in gold and silver. Just be careful, because not all dealers in gold and silver are going to be honest with you.

And if you really must know, I did buy that 10-ounce bar of silver.

APMEX Silver on eBay

Unfortunaly, this xml/rss feed does not work correctly...

(*If you’re curious, APMEX stands for “American Precious Metals Exchange.”)

(**I’m not a fan of animal cruelty, but if you’ve ever seen dogs playing tug of war with a rope, they could do the same thing with the gold.)