You can notice that silver price has been on down trend since October 2012. So, is it time to sell silver now to cut your lost? The short answer is, NO.
David Morgan has a great saying about a market like this, “it will either scare you out or wear you out.” (Note: “wear you out” means making you tired). When you have a narrow view by focusing on a short period of time, you will get tired of chasing the pricing and afraid the price might continue drop lower. All you will see is negativity. Consider taking a longer period to see a bigger picture:
$26 is an extremely critical point. It has been a strong support for many times. It has been reported physical silver mining cost is between $26 to $28. Can silver price drop lower than this? POSSIBLE, but NOT LIKELY to stay lower than this for a long time.
About two-thirds of silver is used in industry and jewelry. If silver spot price dropped below $26, there are 2 possibilities could happen:
- Some miners will be forced to scale back / close down. Simply because no one wants to spend RM1.00 to produce a product to sell for only RM0.80. The industrial manufacturers will run out of silver once the current supply is dried out. Silver price will shoot back up drastically.
- The gap between physical silver price and paper silver price continues to get wider. The paper traders could short paper silver price to as low as $1 but no one will be able to buy any physical silver at $1 (as no one wants to sell at that price). Anyone who owns physical silver would be holding tightly to their silver and not willing to sell unless the buyer is offering a fair price.
The fact is there is 5 times less above ground available silver than there is gold (3 to 5 billion oz gold vs. 1 billion oz silver). Silver has thousands of application usages while gold has little. When we look at new supply including mined and recycled, new silver is only being added by about 10 ounces for every 1 ounce of gold. Yet investors are buying 50 times more silver for every 1 ounce of gold purchased.
This is totally unsustainable. The above scenario is like saying a manufacturer is selling 50 products a day but he could only produce 10 products a day. Where did the remaining 40 come from? It could be the old products that he has not sold previously, but sooner or later the old products will run out and that is when silver market gets REALLY interesting. By then, I would rather be gladly holding to my physical silver, than rushing to buy silver.
Since silver is both precious metal and industrial metal, silver price rises when
- The economy improves and industrial demand grows, OR
- The world’s major currencies continue to be debased (high inflation),
Remember, silver is an industrial metal first, precious metal second. But regardless which scenario happens, silver price rises. What if a robust economy and high inflation? Well, that is as good as you are getting a promotion (with increment) and bonus at the same time.
Personally, I do not think robust economy and high inflation are both happening together. World economy did not improve. Euro zone is still in trouble and US unemployment is still high. However high inflation is on its way. Few months back, US has launched Quantitative Easing Forever (they will be printing money without any limit, forever printing); while Japan announced their attention to double Japan’s monetary base to $3 trillion by the end of 2014. The direct consequence of such actions are high inflation. Precious metal is often a good hedge against high inflation. Robust economy? No. High inflation? Yes.
The most basic lesson in successful investment is Buy Low, Sell High. Simple theory, but many failed to truly understand it. In order to sell high, you need to buy low first. Unfortunately, when the price is low, investors are afraid that price might go even lower and then miss the opportunity to buy low.
So, what if you have already bought some silver at higher price, let’s say $35.00? Right now, when price is low, you can consider practicing Dollar Cost Average to lower your effective purchase price.
For example: Assuming exchange rate for USD and MYR is 3.15 and for simplicity sake, we remove the premium calculation in this example.
During this downtrend of silver price, if each time you bought the same amount of silver silver (let’s say 1 oz) at:
- $35.00 (RM110.25)
- $33.75 (RM106.31)
- $32.15 (RM101.27)
- $29.00 (RM91.35)
- $27.00 (RM85.05)
Your effective purchase price (average cost) is ONLY RM98.85/oz. You do not have to wait until silver price go back up to $35.00 (RM110.25) before selling it just to break even. You can break even when silver price is merely $31.38 (RM98.85). Everything moves in cycle. When price move up to $32, although you bought some silver higher price at $35.00 (RM110.25), you can sell all your silver at $32 (RM100.80) each and already making some profit.
Dollar Cost Average is a strategy designed to protect investor from huge price fluctuation / changes. Dollar Cost Average is 1 of the 4 strategies I discussed in the eBook: Practical Guide For Investing Silver In Malaysia on the approaches to invest in silver. The preview chapter can be found here.