Buy a silver dollar.
Then go from there. Buy your first dollar and save it. It's a REAL dollar. Not paper money.
Keep an eye on silver prices, as well as gold.
But chances are you, like I, don't have 1700 or so FRNs to buy a gold eagle or any 1 oz gold coin. Silver is more volatile but so is our whole economic system.
There are some people who prefer physical silver. Some who prefer physical gold. Some who prefer paper silver backed shares, and same for gold. Some people also dig platinum. Some people like buying stock in mining operations.
Don't dive in head first and sink your whole savings. Find a good economic adviser. They are out there. Depends if you are short or long and what your goals are.
I like silver coins but it's a hobby. They always retain their numismatic value so long as they are decent. My first dollar I carry with me everywhere and ask people how much they think it's worth whenever I have the chance. That leads to people thinking about inflation. I tell people this dollar was a dollar in 1964, and today it's worth X amount. It really illustrates inflation in literal terms.
I especially like pulling it out in front of older folks at gas stations if youngsters are around. I ask what this dollar cost in 1964 and they say a dollar. Then I ask how much gas it would buy in 1964. They usually say about 5-7 gallons. I say well this dollar is still worth 5-7 gallons now. Then I pull out a single FRN and show I can't even get a quarter gallon of gas. Then I say hey maybe our "dollar" is being devalued but real money is not. Be careful what neighborhood to flash some "bling" in though.
My advice is go slow. Silver was on a rally. You may wish to wait (JP Morgan) until some people forget about QE3 (indefinite printing of paper money, people will forget.) Silver is really volatile and gold is somewhat volatile too.
It's more of a hedge against inflation and to hold for years. I'm in no way an economist but I've been told if we go into hyperinflation and our dollar collapses (thus the worlds currency) food, water, fire; &c. will be the main currency and nobody will be interested in silver and gold other than people who have stockpiled at least a year of food or are self sustainable. They might exchange gold and silver but I'm sure you'll be gouged.
Follow your instinct. If I could cash out my 401K and convert it to physical silver I would ponder it. But it's not quite that simple.
It also depends upon your age.
I was advised the stockmarket always outperforms inflation, no matter how much money is printed. I think that's pretty disgusting but I have a family.
I feel really dirty funneling cash into businesses on the stock market who I would never do business with in a day to day transaction. But that's what I do. I have a child to support. Stuff like Coke, Apple, Hersheys, &c. Hell, I remember the company I used to work for the stock price was $6 and so was Apple. One of my cannabis smoking buddies told me to sink every dollar I had into Apple. I spent it on the company I worked for. 5% of my salary.
I told him he should stop smoking so much cannabis and it was just a fad. I would have been a multi-millionaire by now (Well, maybe 1.5 million.) Instead the company I worked for declared bankruptcy and I lost around $20K after selling half. They emerged out of it but I can't sell my warrants until the new stock hits about $23 and $26. It's been around $4 since 2008 SO I can't exchange my warrants for cash.
It really depends on where you think we are headed, your morality, naivety, your age, how fearless you are and instinct. Maybe post more about those points and more people will be able to help. Had I been fearless enough to pump cash into colorful computers I would be rich now; or dead of a drug overdose or spent myself into oblivion and the same place I am today, probably the latter.
I can tell you it's very nice to hold a silver dollar in your hand even if you touch the face. Buy one that's been cleaned and don't worry about it and go from there. You can buy nice shiny silver eagles and such and bars and gold if you have the cash. But start with a nice cheap cleaned morgan dollar. Make sure it isn't worn down so you can carry it for years to show people inflation. 1921 Morgans are pretty cheap and easy to come by in great condition and many were released in the 60's.
I wish I'd have gotten my first from 1912 instead but that was the first one my parents got me for a birthday present. I have one now though. :) You could buy a silver eagle. They are about the same price. I prefer older currency simply because it's older, neat, and with the Morgans, I am in love with Lady Liberty. If you plan on holding a long time buy new silver and have it slabbed.
Most people I know into silver go into SLV which is supposedly physically backed. GLD as well. Others look into mining. I may put more assets into all three but not too much. I think maybe 4-5% of 401K into each might be a good idea.
Buyer beware. Telling you, buy a pretty nice Morgan Dollar from a common striking. Feel the weight in your hand. It's like a musket, it's hard to let go once you've held one.
I hope others contribute as well but I really think you should just get a dollar and step back for a moment while the market stabilizes. Had you posed the question in july I would have said to buy a little more. I bought my last silver dollar in July and it's worth another 23% or so. I only buy one every once in a while. Been too broke to buy once since. Silver and Gold bounced because of QE3. In my uneducated position it will go down gain temporarily. I may be wrong.
As the saying goes buy low sell high.
Just buy a dollar. It will change the way you look at currency more than looking at a computer screen.
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