Stock Market Volatility
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to our current stock market, you’ve probably been wondering about the future of our economy. And while it’s volatile state is nothing new, it IS enough to put a little anxiety into one’s mind.
This post from MarketWatch (The Wall Street Journal) shows a chilling comparison between the 1929 Stock Market crash and today’s market. As my friend from Survival for Blondes put it, “You know it’s bad when even the MSM can’t ignore it.” HA! If you weren’t anxious before, you very well might be now!
The Good News
But in all of this uncertainty, there is ONE good thing: Silver prices! The Spot Price for silver today ended at $21.32 per ounce, which, admittedly is not the lowest it’s been lately BUT it is still a great price considering it was close to its all time high of almost $50.00 per ounce just a few short years ago in April 2011.
The chart above from SilverSeek.com shows silver prices over the last year. The chart below shows prices over the last 5 years.
Why listen to me?
Why listen to me, a newbie prepper who doesn’t know much at all about investments? Honestly, with those creds I wouldn’t listen to me haha, but I do have a husband whose hobby is day-trading. He spends most of his spare time watching the market, listening to podcasts, and obsessing over the phone with his brother about which trades to make. He’s been bugging me about buying silver for several months now, so I guess it was time to finally make that investment. 🙂
Here are some other credible sources who agree with me (us):
While I personally think $100 per ounce of silver in the next couple of years is a little dramatic, as I’ve said before, I’m not an expert, and I DO believe it will be going up. I doubt we’ll see prices this good for a long while.
If you’re like me, you don’t know anything about silver. What to buy? Where do I get it? What’s a good price? Let me then, refer you to someone who knows what they’re talking about: Greg Hunter from USA Watchdog talks about How to Buy Gold and Silver.
I also found a podcast from Are We Crazy, or What? and an article from Backwoods Survival specifically about Junk Silver. The term Junk Silver refers to minted coins that contain 90% pure silver. “Junk” just means that the coin is not worth anything in the collectors’ world. Instead, they are worthwhile to purchase only because of their silver content. This includes pre-1965 nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollar coins as well as specific coins from the UK, Australia, and Canada.
Bullion refers to gold or silver coins and bars. They are valued in ounces. The most popular bullion coins are the US Gold Eagle, the US Silver Eagle, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, all of which are 1 ounce coins.
Numismatic coins are gold or silver coins that are valuable not only because of their silver or gold content, but because they are collector items. Hubby and I shy away from these just because we aren’t collectors and we don’t have much expertise in the area. Plus, for trading or bartering purposes when SHTF, it will be hard for your customers to determine value, and they may not want to do business with you.
As stated in the other articles, you can also obtain silver through finding sterling silver pieces (flatware, serving platters, etc) or jewelry at garage sales, but in those cases, as stated above, it will be hard to determine an exact value of the silver you have acquired. If the reason you’re stocking up on Silver (or Gold) is as an investment or for trading/bartering when SHTF, then jewelry and silver pieces aren’t going to be much help.
What We Do in Our Family
With all of the above being said, Hubby and I stick to buying Junk silver and bullion coins. We like the junk silver because we can find it easily, plus it is nice to have silver in smaller amounts. The bullion is fun because you can find shiny, new ones that look pretty in your collection, but are also practical and have their true value printed right on the coin in case there was any doubt.
We find junk silver by checking our spare change, peeking into Coinstar machines on our way by them (you’d be surprised by what you can find in the return bin!), and looking at local pawn shops or Gold & Silver stores. The key to buying junk silver without getting ripped off is knowing the current Spot Price and the silver value in each coin. We regularly visit Coinflation to check each coin’s monetary value before making a purchase.
We buy bullion from the same Gold & Silver shops or online. We’ve purchased silver from places like CraigsList and Ebay before, but we prefer to buy from places like Apmex, Provident Metals, or Gainesville Coins because they are reputable dealers. You can check Compare Silver Prices to find the best online deals.
We usually don’t buy a ton all at once, but with prices as low as they are, we’ve decided to make an investment. Typically, though, the hubs buys a few coins at a time when he finds a good deal. Remember how I said his hobby is day trading? Well, his other favorite hobby is coin collecting. He’ll stop by the coin shop after work every now and then to have a look around. If he is lucky enough to find some below or at spot price (usually at the little Mom & Pop shops that don’t keep up with market value), he jumps on it! Otherwise he tries to find his coins for less than 20% over spot.
We’ve also decided to buy our little guy Silver instead of starting a savings account or college fund for him. We buy a one ounce coin for each milestone (The day he was born, his first birthday, etc) and then every time a relative or friend gives us money for him or if we’ve saved money for him, we buy junk silver or silver bullion with that money and put the silver in his own little “Treasure Chest” which will be given to him when he gets older. So far, we’ve had fun picking out special coins for his milestones, like this one for his first birthday:
Even though I’m not a huge fan of monkeys, we felt this one was appropriate since Little Man eats at least 2 bananas a day now! Haha Speaking of, I need to figure out how to grow a banana tree in Oklahoma….. 🙂 We do end up paying a little bit extra for novelty coins such as these, which would not be a wise decision for ALL of our coins, but since we only purchase a few of them and they have special meaning for us, we have a lot of fun buying them!
Why We Don’t Buy Gold
This one is really simple: We’re broke. 🙂 If we had the money to spend on gold, we would certainly buy some. We have been putting aside small amounts of our savings in order to buy gold in the future, but for now, silver is the way to go!
What About You?
Do you invest in silver or gold? Where do you find your silver? What’s your favorite silver commodity (junk, bullion, etc?)