Has Silver Hit Bottom?

Silver today is trading in the $17 an ounce range. Does that make right now the perfect time to buy in?

Silver prices

As far as we can tell it looks like the bubble has popped but is this really the bottom for silver or is there still a lot more potential down side?

A big question to begin with is to ask why does silver have even have any value? The answer to that is two fold, it is used for speculation and it is used for real world purposes (jewelry, machines, and production).

Currently the question to ask is how much does it cost to even produce and acquire new silver. The answer to that is what should set the true bottom price of silver outside of the speculative pressure of buyers.

silver ore yield over time

As you can see in the chart above average yield from mines has continued to decrease while the total amount of processed ore continues to increase.  What’s also occurring is over the past thirty years it costs much more to mine and transport the mined ore around. This also doesn’t count the impact of the degradation of silver veins and the extra time, money, and energy now being taken to refine larger volumes of ore for smaller yields of silver.

However, silver could theoretically go even lower than $17. If this happened the physical mining market would stop mining silver because it would no longer be profitable. This would then force the price to rise up again.

What may be most important though when considering buying into silver is to ask yourself who it is that’s actually trying to sell you the silver. Silver sellers make a living off of selling silver to you, not from buying and holding silver themselves. These silver sellers will try to mislead you and lie to you about the value.

The best indicator of whether silver has hit bottom or not is to actually look at what that bottom is. As can be seen in the chart below:
silver true historic price
As you can see silver’s historic average price is no where near $17 an ounce. It is actually as low as $5 an ounce. Which is also a price it has stayed at for on average the better part of the past 40 years. The only exception being the early 1980’s when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market and drove the price up to $50 an ounce.

When thinking of investing in silver it is also useful to look at gold.

gold and silver prices

To put it in perspective, gold sat between $250-$450 from the early 80’s to early 2000’s before the current “highs”. In the chart above you can also see how the two commodities price trend.

Silver shares a role with gold as a perceived safe commodity that can store value. When the stock market goes down and the economy get’s bad people buy it up to preserve their net-worth and capital. This increased demand ironically raises the price of gold and silver and encourages even more people to start speculating on the price of the commodity further raising the price. This speculation is of course unsustainable as we are witnessing with the latest silver price “market correction.” Based on historic trends it looks like silver will continue to drop and so will gold. $18 doesn’t look like it will be the bottom but when it get’s down to $5 that seems like a good time to buy in.

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Posted in Silver

Investment Advice: Is An Affiliate Sales Website Worth the Effort?

We are often asked strange investment questions around what makes for a good investment. And the truth of the matter is a lot of things do it just depends on your circumstances and what your goals are.

When considering an investment it is important to understand the following:
– Will it increase in value
– Is it liquid
– When do I need to cash out of this
– How big is the market for this investment
– Do I understand everything about the investment

In the case of running an affiliate sales website it depends on how much time you want to invest into it. It can be the easiest thing in the world to start but to stay ahead of an ever changing SEO and digital landscape it can be a nightmare. It is easy to monetize with CPA networks including click bank but staying relevant and ahead of the curve in digital trends can be rough. When considering any investment always do your research. In the case of affiliate sales you should start with blackhatworld.com and warriorforum.com. Two of the most well known SEO and affiliate information sites.

If you decide after reading on those forums that an investment in affiliate sales website is worth the effort than you should go ahead an launch a website. I recommend Justhost.com. It is simple, cheap, and comes with a free domain name.

Once you have the website it is important to keep in mind how you are going to get traffic to your site to make sales. There are three main methods; SEO, PPC, and general traffic buying.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the most important because it allows you an evergreen stream of customers whom are coming to your site from Google. As part of this it is important to create original and high quality content that Google will analyze and deem worthy of sending people whom Google your search terms to your page. At the same time you need to make sure your website is optimized for optimal search engine crawling and readability. It is useful to use WordPress to make sure your content is just this as you start out.

SEO though can take a long time to start driving traffic. In the interim while your SEO is being built it can extremely useful to launch small PPC and PPV (Pay per click/view) buys. The best to drive highly targeted niche traffic is GoogleAds. Also what could be helpful are TwitterAds and Pinterest Ads. But the best for driving bulk traffic is Facebook ads. Facebook Ads are extremely flexible in targeting and can let you optimize spending easily. If you have money and are willing to lose it you should start here. What’s most important is to test. Test and optimize everything about your page and who you target.

Lastly depending on how big you want to go you can launch old fashioned media buying campaigns. Where you drive traffic from other companies to your site. This is a lot less personal and leads to a lot of waste but can help build your site into a brand if that is your end goal.

When considering all of this an affiliate site can be a very successful business and investment but it will take time and lots of start up money. You need to be prepared to lose some money to make some and there is no guarantee you will ever make any money. If that is something you aren’t prepared for then this may now be the best investment for you. If you still want to pursue an affiliate sales website we recommend you do your research and be prepared to test and optimize for the long run.

Posted in Income, Investing

Saturday Comic: “The Debt”

The Debt

A cruel reminder to all graduates, the one thing that could be scarier than finding a job post graduation is the amount of debt you might have.

For perspective seven in ten college seniors who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year.

Posted in Graphics

Graphic: How Much Should You Have Saved Up for Retirement Today

The table shown in the image is a savings calculator tool. The table aims to be a guideline to help savers understand how much money they should have saved in preparation for retirement if they have been saving about five percent of their salary.

How Much Should You Have Saved Up for Retirement Today

The table is broken into two categories; on the y axis is the age category, beginning at thirty years and ending at sixty five years, with five years intervals in between; on the x axis is salary, starting at fifty thousand dollars and ending at four hundred thousand dollars.

To use the table a person must first find the number closest to their age on the y axis and then the number which closest approximates their salary on the x axis. At the intersection of these numbers will be another number, which, when multiplied by the salary, will indicate the amount of money a person should have saved.

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Posted in Retirement, Saving

Graphic: Growth of a Retirement Account From the Age of 25

Saving is always important. It is considered a good practice to consistently set aside part of each of your paychecks when you are young to have money later. It is equally important to continue saving even after you grow older. As This chart from Business Insider shows, there are major differences between individuals who not only start to save money early on, but continue to save money throughout their career.

Graphic: Growth of a Retirement Account From the Age of 25

A twenty-five year old who saves five thousand dollars annually between the ages of twenty-five and thirty five is expected to have a nest egg of one million dollars by the age of sixty five.

A person who starts saving from age thirty five will have considerably less at five hundred thousand or less, but will still have a good cushion for retirement.

Saving early can actually turn into earning later on. Simply this is because the longer investments have to mature, the higher the return they will have. On average a person who only saves and invests $5,000 annually between the ages of 25 and 35 will actually have more money than someone who starts saving at the same rate from age 35 to 65.

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Posted in Retirement, Saving, Stocks