Over the past few years, gold has been the darling of investors eyes. But what about the other so-called precious metals? You know about gold but what about silver, copper and platinum?
Investing in Silver: The silver market is much smaller than the gold market, which makes for higher volatility (fluctuations) in price. Therefore investing in silver can be risky for most investors. There are industrial uses for silver, such as jewelry, but the price is driven primarily by supply and demand and investor speculation.
Investing in Copper: Copper as an investment has similar purposes as gold and silver but prices for copper are more influenced by industrial supply and demand than by speculation. Unlike gold and silver, there are many industrial uses for copper, such as the use as base metal in the production of various items from electrical wiring to plumbing pipes to heating and cooling systems. Therefore the price of copper as an asset and of copper mining stocks can move differently than other precious metals.
Investing in Platinum: Most mutual funds do not hold platinum as a physical asset. Investors can get indirect exposure to platinum in mutual funds by holding equity precious metals funds, such as Vanguard Precious Metals & Mining (VGPMX) and USAA Precious Metals & Minerals (USAGX).