Stocks & Commodities V. 29:4 (37): Futures For You by Carley Garner

Stocks & Commodities V. 29:4 (37): Futures For You by Carley Garner
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Futures For You by Carley Garner


I want to speculate in silver, but I donít have the margin or the risk tolerance for futures. Is there a better way?

Speculation in silver is challenging in many ways, and recent volatility has magnified the risks. There are essentially four ways to speculate in silver prices: exchange traded funds (Etfs), foreign exchange, futures (including options on futures), and bullion. However, there are few I would feel comfortable recommending to most retail traders, simply because they have certain drawbacks. Nonetheless, Iíd like to provide a quick overview of the realities and allow you to decide for yourself which might be best for you. One thing is for sure: there is no such thing as easy money when it comes to trading silver.

Silver Etfs: The popularity of Etfs is soaring, and along with it has come the advent of specialized Etfs aimed at hot commodity markets such as gold and silver. Some silver Etfs are made up of silver mining companies rather than the shiny metal itself and subject to price changes tied to company, industry, or market-specific risks. Thus, they arenít a pure speculation on silver prices. So unless your interest lies with the miners themselves, this seems like a relatively unappealing option for a silver trader.

But there are silver Etfs based solely on the price of the metal, such as the popular Slv; Slv shares are backed by 10 ounces of silver. Buy & hold investors might find this to be a viable vehicle, but those looking to speculate on the short side should look elsewhere.

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