5 Metals That May Be Brighter Than Gold

AAA

Gold tends to be all the rage in times of economic uncertainty. Investors flock to the "yellow metal" when things go sour because they see it as a safe haven for their money. Such a strategy can actually be very dangerous, though. When gold or any other investment becomes too popular, it raises the risk of a "bubble" - unsustainably high prices that could suddenly plummet, losing investors a lot of money very quickly. Here are five metals that may be an alternative to look at besides gold.

Copper

This is one of the most versatile metals. It's used to make electrical wiring, car batteries, microchip circuitry, pipes for plumbing in homes and commercial buildings, roof flashing, gutters, musical instruments and solar power cells. Copper can also be mixed with other metals to make valuable alloys such as bronze, pewter and brass. (Foresight and careful observation are the keys to trading this market An Overview Of Commodities Trading.)

Zinc

Like copper, zinc is present in many alloys (in fact, zinc and copper are both in brass and bronze). Zinc is also important for die-casting, galvanizing and rubber making and can be used as a paint pigment, wood preservative and agricultural fungicide. As a dietary supplement, it is thought to have antioxidant properties that speed healing and slow aging.

Silver

Besides its well-known uses in making jewelry, silverware and coins, silver is in dental fillings, architectural glass and hearing aids. Some musical instruments are made of silver or silver alloys and silver is used to produce formaldehyde. Because it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it is included in catheters and other medical devices to reduce the risk of infection. It is even added to socks to help control bacteria-related foot odor. (If you are a hedger or a speculator, this market offers a world of profit-making opportunities, check out Trading Gold And Silver Futures Contracts.)

Platinum

As a primarily industrial metal, platinum plays the role of catalyst in the processing of petroleum and chemicals such as nitric acid, fertilizers and synthetic fibers. It is also a vital component of high-voltage wires, magnetic coatings for high-density hard disk drives, fiber optics, fiberglass, catalytic converters and spark plugs.

Palladium

Like platinum and silver, palladium plays key roles in the dental, chemical and auto fields. iPhones and other electronics might not even exist if it weren't for palladium. Also known as "white gold," palladium is used to make jewelry and watches, too.

How To Invest

Precious metals are generally available as coins or bullion. However, most people invest in them by purchasing stock in the associated mining companies or buying shares of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that specialize in one or more metals. Be careful when investing in precious metals. Because they can be very volatile in the short-term, it's best not to over-represent them in your portfolio. Keep the portion reasonable – 4-10% of your overall portfolio, for example - so you can enjoy the shine without undue risk.
  1. No results found.
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Does it Still Pay to Invest in Gold?

    This asset's appeal dates back thousands of years. Find out whether it can live up to the hype.
  2. Investing

    Why is Gold a Counter Cyclical Asset?

    Gold is widely considered a safe haven during market turbulence. History has proven gold performs counter cyclically to the state of the U.S. economy.
  3. Investing

    Why Gold Matters

    Gold is a very useful investment during periods of instability and high inflation.
  4. Investing

    The Midas Touch For Gold Investors

    Find some golden opportunities by investing in gold commodities or futures contracts.
  5. Investing

    Why and How You Should Consider Investing in Gold

    Here's how gold can be a part of almost everyone's portfolio.
  6. Investing

    Gold: The Other Currency

    Throughout history, gold has held its value against paper currencies. Learn how it can help offset market risks.
  7. Financial Advisor

    4 Ways You Can Invest In Gold Without Holding It

    Owning gold can be a store of value and a hedge against unexpected inflation. Holding physical gold, however, can be cumbersome and costly. Fortunately, there are several ways to own gold without ...
  8. Investing

    8 Reasons To Own Gold

    This precious metal's rich history stems from its ability to maintain value over the long term.
  9. Investing

    Investing in Gold: Direct Vs. Professional Management (ABX, GG)

    Find out how you can access the gold market through common stock, futures contracts, and actively managed or passively managed ETFs and mutual funds.
  10. Investing

    The Gold Showdown: ETFs Vs. Futures

    ETFs and gold futures are two ways to diversify into the metals asset class, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both instruments.
Hot Definitions
  1. Operating Ratio

    A ratio that shows the efficiency of a company's management by comparing operating expense to net sales. Calculated as:
  2. Expense Ratio

    A measure of what it costs an investment company to operate a mutual fund. An expense ratio is determined through an annual ...
  3. Pro Forma

    A Latin term meaning "for the sake of form". In the investing world, it describes a method of calculating financial results ...
  4. Trumpcare

    The American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare and Ryancare, is the Republican proposal to replace Obamacare.
  5. Free Carrier - FCA

    A trade term requiring the seller to deliver goods to a named airport, terminal, or other place where the carrier operates. ...
  6. Portable Alpha

    A strategy in which portfolio managers separate alpha from beta by investing in securities that differ from the market index ...
Trading Center