I was Wrong About Silver in 2011

By Jim Kingsland for Certified Assets Management International
A CoinWeek Content Partner

In March, 2011 I took the pro silver side of a gold/silver debate in CoinAge Magazine on which metal would outperform on a percentage basis in 2011. My positive silver ideas were empowered by the freight train momentum that developed early last year for silver that eventually shot silver to within a hair’s width of closing above $50 in late April.

silver bars I was Wrong About Silver in 2011Obviously, my bullish outlook was destroyed thanks to the series of margin hikes that were implemented by the Chicago Merc. I’ll say it: When the real owners of the market (various giant banks), with their massive short positions in silver were about to be shellacked, the silver bulls had to be neutered (of course they and I forgot about the possibility of not one or two margin hikes, but of many margin hikes). Yes, you could argue that slower world economic growth, even good old profit taking chilled the price of silver, but those margin hikes in and of themselves are what led to the collapse of silver from its 2011 high.

In 2011, silver fell 7 percent, while gold rose 10%. While I am no longer going to take an official bullish, or bearish stance on silver, let’s say I am waiting for the opportunity to pick up MS state generic Morgan dollars (those beautiful silver coins from the late 1800’s to the early 20th century) in the $25 range. The coins should either be certified by PCGS, or NGC and encased in plastic holders. You can do the math, but I will do it for you. Since there is a slight premium for Morgans to the spot silver price, at the present $27.78 spot price, to get my $25 buy price on Morgans will require action that my bullish friends won’t enjoy. This bottoming process could take some time to play out, but who knows.

My thought is to have nothing to do with silver futures, or SLV and pick up the real thing on further dips as some very cheap insurance, not as a way to game a new silver bull market, but has a hedge. Forget about the silver to gold ratio for now. Yes, it’s out of whack historically, but then again this isn’t a late 19th century bi-metallist society that we’re living in. We are living in a deranged system where everything, including these metals, are priced in the ever vanishing power of the paper dollar (which is masked by what everyone focuses too much attention on – that dollar index). Forget about the kook internet reports of physical silver being priced well above the spot paper price. Little old me as a coin dealer can still get silver for about $1 over spot and lots of it, not just a few ounces.

The rumors of a physical shortage of silver is a sales tactic aimed at getting ignorant people to pay a big premium to the hucksters. Forget about all of the claims that silver will become so rare soon that it will be rarer than gold. That one leaves me speechless. The tall tales are fun, but none, NONE have kept silver out of an ongoing downward trend. The best apologists for silver in the business have been largely ineffective. For now, the silver market is muddled and will remain so, so long as the CME and its margin hikes remain. Funny that they haven’t since removed the hikes, now that things have calmed down. But I digress.

Insurance to offset the collapsing paper ponzi system – now that’s not so crazy. We buy insurance for all sorts of potential negative events. I believe that one day silver will become far more valuable than it is now, but let’s not be so anxious for that to happen. When this dog called silver eventually has its day, there will be many other things to be worrying about (eg. securing supplies of food, etc). Silver, and gold for that matter, should be accumulated by people who have an understanding about the monumental shift that’s taking place. What would that be? The coming end to fiat paper, back to hard money. This has happened before in society. It is unlikely to be pleasant. There are many who have admitted to me that they want nothing to do with silver, or gold – that they have faith in the present system. I am fine with that, though they register in my mind as the sitting ducks class. Lol.

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