I have talked before about investing in silver in comparison to gold. Silver is referred to as the poor man's gold. It is a lot easier for the average American to buy a one-ounce silver coin than a one-ounce gold coin. In fact, many Americans could not even buy an ounce of gold today with their liquid savings.
Another difference is that, while both have a history of being money, gold still has a better reputation as money. Silver has a lot of uses in electronics and other things. Gold has a few uses, but it is mainly used for jewelry and savings/ investment. I don't know of any governments/ central banks that hold silver in any significant way. On the other hand, many governments hold large gold reserves.
This past week has really shown the biggest difference in gold and silver when it comes to your investing. Silver is far more volatile than gold and that has been demonstrated in a major way. In the matter of just a few days, silver fell about 30%. That is a huge drop. If the stock market dropped like that in such a short period of time, there would be panic and headline news.
While silver crashed, gold has pulled back more gently. Of course, silver also just had a huge run-up in a very short period of time, so it makes sense that it pulled back as violently as it went up. Gold has shown itself to be much more stable.
For your investments, I recommend that you have most of your precious metal holdings in gold. If you want to keep a small percentage in silver, that is fine as long as you can take the bigger swings. For speculation purposes, silver is actually more fun (as long as you are on the winning side). There is more risk with silver and there is also more reward.
This pullback in silver will be a great speculation opportunity for those who can handle some high risk. We are still in a huge bull market in precious metals and the Fed keeps creating new money out of thin air and the government keeps spending like crazy. There is great reason to believe that the metals will continue to go much higher with big pullbacks along the way as we have just seen.
It is hard to say where silver will bottom out on this pullback, but it really will be a great opportunity for risk takers to do a little speculating. If silver goes right back up from $40 to $50, that is a 25% return. That would be a great return considering that your savings account is probably paying a fraction of one percent.