Platinum is probably the most under appreciated precious metal amongst investors historically, but we are now starting to see an increase in Platinum investment.
Its value is closer to gold than it is silver (at the time of writing an ounce is $866), however, the return on investment is not as great as either gold or silver, yet. This is probably due to the fact that over 70% of it comes from one country, South Africa and therefore, the return depends on mining and the economic state of the country. Currently (over the past 5 years 1/2010-11/2015) the return has been poor as its value as steadily decreased from $1,697 to $866 an ounce.
For the smart investor, diversification is key. It is for this reason that many investors have taken to investing in gold and silver, with an aim of protecting their savings in the face of an unpredictable investment environment. It does have a much shorter history in the financial markets than gold and silver, and this is because, for a long time, the price has remained significantly higher than that of gold. In fact, less than a decade ago, the price was 150 percent that of gold. Fast forward to today and the price has fallen to levels that are permissible for the willing investor. That being said, it remains scarcer than other precious metals, and for this reason, tends to attract higher prices per unit. These prices tend to change depending on supply and demand. During periods of economic uncertainty, the price tends to go down. This offers an opportunity for an investor to acquire it at reduced prices and diversify their investment portfolio in the process.
If you are wondering whether you should be thinking of investing in alternative, like Platinum investment, the answer is yes. And here are the reasons why:
1. It has recorded a steady and improved performance in the market, compared to silver and gold (although of course, like all investments it fluctuates). In the past, there was not much popularity surrounding this metal, and many investors opted to go for gold and silver. In today’s market, it has proved to the point that it can hold its own, and many investors are turning to it in a bid to get better returns.
2. A strong demand for vehicles creates a higher requirement for it. It is not only a precious metal but an industrial one as well. It is used in catalytic converters, creating over 40 percent of its use. It is also used in other areas as a replacement for gold, such as for jewelry, dentistry and even in electronics. As auto sales increase, the demand will go up, resulting in better prices and higher returns for investors.
3. There are certain factors that could result in a lower supply, meaning better prices for the investor who already has it in their portfolio. Key on the list of factors is the fact that almost all (75 percent) of the world’s supply comes from South Africa. Reliance on one main producer means that any upsetting developments and instability in that country’s mining industry have a huge impact on prices. An example is the mine strikes and turmoil that occurs in South Africa.
4. Renewed growth in China is an opportunity for demand to grow, bearing in mind that China is one of the world’s biggest consumers of platinum jewelry. In fact, China is responsible for 23 percent of the world’s demand, and an increase in this demand will result in an increase in demand for the metal, hence higher production.
In order for it to be saleable in the commodity market, the ingots must first be assayed in a similar manner to what is done to gold and silver. If you wish to buy and store it in its physical form, you have the option of getting bars, coins, and bullion. If you are thinking of adding it to your retirement account, you will require the services of a custodian. The custodian will find the it for you, get the paperwork sorted on your behalf and keep the it safe for you.
Alternatively, if it is not for an IRA, you can opt to utilize various routes to invest in it. For instance, Swiss banks give the option of buying and selling the metal like foreign currency, by making specific trading accounts available. What this means is that you, the investor, will not own the actual metal. Rather, you will have a claim against the bank for a certain quantity of metal. This is a much easier route to follow, especially if you are freshly ventured into the field of investing in this and other precious metals.
• The first thing you need to do is gather as much information as possible. Investing in precious metals is a great way to protect yourself and your finances against economic uncertainties, and Platinum investment is no different, but you must be knowledgeable about what you are doing in order to succeed. If you are in doubt, always consult a financial advisor. In fact, a financial advisor should be the first person you talk to once you decide that you want to invest.
• Decide how much risk you are willing to take on. This should be arrived at after intelligent financial calculations. You must correctly determine how big a portion of your finances you are ready for Platinum investment. Precious metals are much less volatile than stock markets, mutual funds and so on, but it does not mean that they come with zero risk.
• Follow the correct procedure when investing. Unfortunately, many investors are scammed when investing in precious metals because they have no clue that there are proper channels and regulations that have been stipulated to regulate this type of investment. To avoid falling into this kind of trap, seek the services of a reputable financial advisor and only use the services of financial institutions that have been accredited and approved for such investments.
If you have been wondering how to protect your financial future, consider diversifying your investment portfolio. It does not matter whether you are building a nest egg for your retirement, or just saving something for a rainy day, precious metals, and platinum, in particular, have the ability to offer you financial protection.
Just like silver, this metal is both used for investment product and industrial use. As such, it can move out of direct linkage with gold based on the pushing and pulling occasioned by industrial demand. In the recent past, the platinum/gold spread has narrowed down to below $100 per ounce. This has been mainly due to gold’s falls. There continues to be widespread support for this alternative to gold, although the demand for it sometimes gets relatively muted.
Investors have been waiting on global stocks to get depleted, which would mean better prices because of the supply crunch. When it comes to comparing it with gold, it is important to remember that they have one main difference: while as mentioned it has investment and industrial appeal, gold is driven purely by speculators and investors. The market is also smaller and less liquid compared to gold.
During periods of low global economic growth, it is usual for both prices to converge. It is very rare for the price to fall below that of gold, and when this happens, it usually does not stay there for long. This is because both metals have hedge qualities. When the economy is booming and growth is at an all-time high, its price tends to skyrocket faster than gold prices.
If you are thinking of Platinum investment as a gold alternative, it is important to keep in mind that the current prices may not seem very attractive. However, a synchronized global economic growth is something that would boost its price. At the moment, the global economic growth is not synchronized, as can be seen from the recovery in the US and the UK but struggles in Europe and China.
Keeping in mind that the two largest markets as mentioned are autocatalysts in Europe and jewelry in China, a growth in these two markets will have a direct impact on rising prices.
Gold is facing competition from other assets such as properties and equities, meaning that it has not done as well as expected. That being said, investors who are interested in reaping long-term rewards continue to invest in both too.
If you are wondering which precious metal to invest in between these two, a deeper analysis of market trends and a consultation with your financial advisor should make things clearer for you. And remember, he who does not invest, does not stand the chance to reap returns.