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This is when smaller investors fearing losses they cannot afford may 'cash in'. Some are speculators trying to benefit from short term swings. Others liquidate their holdings to use the money for something else. You can trade your gold and silver easily and instantly at BullionVault. Proceeds from a sale remain in your account in the currency you funded it with and you can leave it there safely until you are ready to buy bullion again, presetting an order price if you wish, or withdraw proceeds to your bank account.
So there are short trends, medium term trends and long trends depending on the time scale, which may be minutes, hours, months or years. This is much the same as happens in the foreign currency (forex) market and other 'trading instruments' too. Even minute movements in the gold price can result in trading profits if entries and exits are made at the right times.
Prior to 1971 the gold price was pegged at $35 per ounce. US citizens were once again allowed to buy gold in 1975. By early 1980 gold had peaked briefly at $835 before settling in the $3-400's. However, steadily rising prices have quadrupled the value of gold in 5 years.
Predictions are that the US dollar will continue to fall and that the value of gold will rise further to possibly several thousand dollars. Gold and silver have also risen against all major currencies such as the Euro, Pound, Swiss Franc and Yen.
Gold is a hedge to inflation and central bank money printing. One way to protect yourself from the danger of paper money losing its value is to buy gold. The value of gold relative to tangible assets has been stable historically. All investors should consider investing in gold as a form of insurance in case of a sharp economic downturn or hyperinflation, which occurs when paper money completely loses its value.
During 2007 gold rose from $600 to $840, an increase of 40%. In January 2008 it went over $850, the highest price for 20 years. March 2008 saw gold hit $1,000 for the first time, and it went over $1,030 before correcting. Since then it has fluctuated but the longer term trend is easy to see; by September $1,000 an oz was common place. Since then it has even reached $1,900. If it's done it once, it can do it again.
Silver is not usually seen as an investment in the same way as gold, although we believe it should be; the spot silver price tends to follow gold, but is much more volatile in the short term. It reached a high of $20 in 2008 before dropping to as low as $9. Since then, silver has made overall gains, reaching $19 in 2010, dropping, then recovering to over $28. There was a huge rise in 2011 but it fell below $30 during 2012; it remained around that level in early 2013 when all markets fell.
Silver is being seen by many analysts as an even better investment than gold in the long term. One reason given is that it is also a valuable industrial commodity with limited availability. BullionVault now sells vault-secured London silver bullion to the public as well as gold.
Buying silver and gold or trading it has been going on for about 5,000 years. Today, it's about as far as you can get from the complex global debt markets which have been making dramatic headlines recently. Bank stocks plummet, mortgage bonds go into default and losses are piling up at hedge funds. On the other hand, gold is showing three-decade and all-time highs, and it doesn't 'owe' anything to anyone! While many did not believe gold could go over even $1,000. It didn't seem possible, but those that forecast gold reaching $2,000 and silver $50 per ounce within the next year or two may still be proved correct in spite of the recent fallbacks. You can trade both silver and gold bullion with a single account at BullionVault.
Unlike currencies, gold has maintained its value in terms of what it can buy and for at least 500 years gold has kept pace with inflation. In 16th century England under King Henry VIII, a man's suit cost an ounce of gold, comparable to prices today at Brooks Bros or on London's Savile Row. Not that I'd know or care; Retired in Asia, I have no need for a new suit; for the past five years, as I've been able to afford it, I've bought gold and silver safely stored in secure vaults in the UK, USA, Switzerland and from March 2013, Singapore. I can sell it (see some of my orders) and convert it back into cash at any time, such as when the price reaches new highs, then drops temporarily. With correct timing, I increase my holding by selling high, then re-buying gold or silver at a lower price.
Whether you prefer a low or higher risk portfolio, accepted market theory suggests a typical asset portfolio should contain up to 10% invested in gold and silver.
By opening a gold and/or silver bullion account, then choosing when to fund it or sell part of it off by trading gold online, private investors have an effective hedge against crisis and also an easy-to-use tool to increase their net worth. It's also fun 'playing the market' with relatively low risk. See below how you can trade silver and gold bullion easily.
There's a big difference between owning physical gold, either in your hand or held in a bank or other secure vault, properly audited with your account showing ownership of actual physical gold and merely having shares in a mine, investment syndicate or a gold fund over which you have little or no control. Both silver and gold ETFs are seen as promising, but bullion in your own name is perhaps a better way to go.
Learn more about Exchange-Traded Funds which work well for certain market sectors, and can be very lucrative, providing you have studied that market well.