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Which precious metal investment to choose in the current climate

When looking for a safe haven investment, both gold and silver are popular choices. But which is the best choice during the current market volatility?

Gold is generally considered the number one safe haven investment, whether you are looking at bullion bars or coins, or buying into the precious metals futures markets.

Russ Mould from broker AJ Bell told the Daily Telegraph that gold can be less volatile than silver.

He said: “Only 10 per cent to 15 per cent of gold demand comes from jewellery and industrial uses, while for silver this figure exceeds 50 per cent as it is used in areas such as batteries, LEDs, solar energy, dentistry and photography.

“Silver’s greater industrial use means it is more sensitive to the industrial cycle and potentially less of a haven than gold. This is also reflected in silver’s greater historic price volatility.”

However, investing in silver is also worth considering. During the global economic downturn, the gold price jumped by 70 per cent between 2008 and 2010, but the value of silver doubled.

Since the start of this year, both silver and gold prices have performed well. Analysts say that although silver can potentially out-perform gold, it can be a more risky investment.

One method of deciding which precious metal to choose for your investment is to look at what’s called the gold-silver ratio – or how many ounces of silver are needed to buy one troy ounce of gold

The average ratio stands at around 55 although it has swung wildly over the years. The peak ratio recorded was almost 100 in 1991, compared to just 20 back in 1970.

Mr Mould said: “In the past 100 years the ratio has gone below 20 three times and neared 100 twice, so silver does look cheap relative to gold, although there is nothing to say gold cannot go higher still relative to silver, if history is any guide.”

Like any investment, remember the price of both gold and silver goes down as well as up and it’s down to personal choice which precious metal you go for.


Article Last Updated: Monday, February 22, 2016