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FP Answers: Is silver a good investment? – Financial Post

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The price of silver is volatile and often affected by sudden economic slowdowns

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In an increasingly complex world, the Financial Post should be the first place you look for answers. Our FP Answers initiative puts readers in the driver’s seat: you submit questions and our reporters find answers not just for you, but for all our readers. Today, we answer a question from Bruce about silver’s prospects.

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Like gold, silver has often been seen as a safe investment haven during uncertain times as well as a traditional hedge against inflation, but it may now be having a “golden” moment of its own as industrial demand increases for the precious metal.

Silver has always been used to manufacture a variety of items from jewelry and batteries to microcircuits and medical equipment, but its growing importance as a critical metal in solar-energy production and electric-vehicle (EV) assembly may have a significant effect on its future performance and outlook, investment advisers say.

“The price of silver has a tailwind driving it forward,” Paul de Sousa, a senior investment adviser at Sightline Wealth Management LP, said. “Silver is an increasingly important metal component in industrial inputs because of green initiatives by all countries around the world.”

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For example, silver is essential in the production of both solar panels and EVs. Its high conductivity and corrosion resistance make it necessary for conductors and electrodes, and nearly every electrical connection in an EV uses silver.

Demand for silver could substantially rise in the coming years after United States President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes billions of dollars in tax credits and grants for companies to manufacture solar panels and clean vehicles.

“I would say to an investor to look for industrial demand (for silver) to grow,” de Sousa said, adding that demand for silver has already outstripped supply.

Silver production was around 870 billion ounces in 2021 while demand was more than one billion ounces, with the deficit being met by recycling.

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Silver closed at US$19.28 an ounce on Thursday, down US$3.66, or about 15 per cent, over the past year.

The precious metal reached an all-time high of US$49.45 an ounce in mid-January 1980, acting as both a hedge against inflation and as a safe investment haven with the 1979 Iranian Revolution and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the background.

But the price plunged by more than 50 per cent within a week, with Bunker and Herbert Hunt often blamed for exacerbating the abrupt fall as the Texas brothers tried to corner the silver market.

While silver is far cheaper than gold, which is currently around US$1,790 an ounce, it is more thinly traded and, therefore, more illiquid and volatile as an investment.

De Sousa recommends the typical investor maintain a small position in silver — less than five per cent of their portfolio — with an eye on holding it long term to ride out the metal’s volatility.

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That volatility, however, is not the only factor to take into consideration before investing in the precious metal. The price of silver can also be affected by sudden economic slowdowns.

“It’s industrial demand that drives that price,” Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures LLC, said.

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China is likely the No. 1 industrial consumer of silver, and Streible said the Chinese central bank’s surprise interest rate cut on Monday indicates a slowing economy, so the outlook for silver is not as favourable as it was even a week ago.

“We don’t expect prices to be robust, but more in a trading range,” he said.

Streible favours owning the metal over investing in a silver mining company. There are several factors, such as rising labour and energy costs, working against miners at the moment, he said.

Investors can purchase silver directly as bullion or indirectly through an exchange-traded fund such as the Sprott Physical Silver Trust.

• Email: rshelton@postmedia.com | Twitter:

 

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Top 3 investment bets for millennials to beat market volatility and make money – Economic Times

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There is a thrill for many to do things that are so-called out of the ordinary. As mentioned in the first part of this story, millennials are the impatient investor class who are all up to ignore the stereotypes, bet even on riskier investments.

On that note, in the first part we talked about three new-age investments that go beyond the ordinary for the millennials or the digital natives. To know more about millennials and more about the investment options, you can read the first part here:
Top 3 new-age investment bets for millennials looking to take risk and earn big

Nonetheless, it is never bad to be cautious. A roller coaster ride is fun at the amusement parks but when it comes to using the hard-earned money, no one will be keen to lose their savings. It is often said volatility is the daily crux of the market. Experts also opine it can be a motivation to capitalize on the imbalances.

“Volatility is the ghost that haunts you only if you look at it. The best way to avoid volatility is to ignore it; don’t trade into a market when there’s euphoria or out of it when there’s panic. Instead, constrict and hold a diversified portfolio for the long term, or better still, a mutual fund, which isolates individuals from volatility shocks,” Utkarsh Sinha, managing director at boutique investment bank firm Bexley Advisors said.

The economy too is at a volatile juncture with slower-than-expected growth recovery and galloping inflation. For stocks, the plausibility of earnings growth is diluting and valuation is said to trade below the long-term average. So, what could be better than to have some safe options even during a volatile period, enjoy the thrills of new-age investments and still achieve the monetary goals?

Girirajan Murugan, the chief executive officer at FundsIndia, lists more instruments that will help millennials to avoid some volatility:

InvIT – Infrastructure Investment Trust

This involves a trust channeling investments from individuals/institutions toward infrastructure projects. In a developing country like ours, the demand for good infrastructure is huge and perennial, in my opinion, Murugan said, adding that an investment in an InvIT with a good management will be a fruitful investment for the long term.

However, most infrastructure projects are subject to government regulations and interference. Change in the political space could affect such investments. Lack of choices to choose from is a severe disadvantage. Being a budding avenue, the participation in this investment is comparatively low. This means that selling them in the current market could be difficult. However, if the market for this type of investment takes off, then this concern will be void.

REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust

Similar to InvITs, REITs pool resources to invest in real estate assets. “Real estate investment has not lost its flair even today, despite being a conventional investment. That’s exactly why I’d like to call this a “grandfather-approved investment,” Murugan said.

By enabling part ownership, REIT has made real estate more accessible for all sections of people. REIT investments buy you ownership to the property in question, proportionate to the investment made. The income from this asset shall also follow the same proportion.

There are 2 categories of REIT – tradable and non-tradable. Some non-tradable REITs disclose the share values only after 18 months. Non-tradable REITs also carry the disadvantage of less liquidity.

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Investing

In this mode, the investment is directed toward the development of businesses that toil for the betterment of the world. One can either invest through readily available ESG Mutual Funds, or they can identify the right companies and invest in their stocks.

“As far as ESG investing is concerned, it’s a thumbs up from me, and I say this from an ethical standpoint. The reason is that a good planet and a harmonious society are something we can’t survive without. When it boils down to it, man will eventually be forced to choose survival over profitability. If you choose to do it for the purpose, rather than for profitability, this may be one of your best investments,” Murugan said.

ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025 and represent more than a third of the $140.5 trillion in projected total assets under management (AuM), according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Bexley Advisors’ Sinha said millennials are at the best point of their lives currently to invest, as they have the bulk of their lives ahead of them. With these options explained, the millennials perhaps have better insight on the options available. Remember how we introduced the generations in the first part of the story and talked about an angry young man from Bollywood? Well, keep the swag and invest with prudence.

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How rising interest rates impact insurers' investment decisions – Canadian Underwriter

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Recent interest rate hikes aimed at curbing inflation, and the potential for more rate hikes next year, has the insurance industry keeping an eye on its investment returns.

But while the transition from a low-interest-rate environment to a higher-rate environment will create short-term challenges, it also creates a long-term opportunity, noted Gord Dowhan, CFO at Wawanesa Insurance in a recent Canadian Underwriter interview.

“Over time…higher interest rates can create an opportunity for us to increase our yield moving forward,” Dowhan said. “As bonds mature, it gives us the opportunity to invest at a higher rate.

“You’ve seen this experience in Europe and elsewhere, where they were at zero percent and negative interest-rate environments in some cases. Having higher rates is healthier than being in that environment [of extremely low or negative interest rates], and there’s definitely an opportunity for us to pick up yield and investment returns within our investment portfolio as those instruments mature.”

For an insurer’s portfolio, Dowhan noted a rising interest rate environment makes certain investment instruments more attractive. And his firm has some of these in place, including preferred shares, limited recourse capital notes, and floating-rate or variable-rate debt.

“We’re also looking at real estate and infrastructure investments. From a rate-reset, preferred-share perspective, this gives us the opportunity to increase our yield; the dividend yield resets regularly based on five-year government bond yields,” he said.

“In a rising rate environment, this gives us an opportunity to increase our returns. Floating-rate, or variable-rate, debt has become increasingly attractive as rates rise. We’ve invested in and will continue to invest in floating-rate debt and look for opportunities to grow our portfolio there.”

What’s more, Dowhan said that during high inflationary periods, real estate and infrastructure tend to outperform other asset classes.

“The underlying instruments within these products, leases and other revenues that produce revenue streams linked to inflation, is one reason why they typically outperform other asset classes during periods of high inflation,” he told CU. “So, opportunities exist for us to enhance our yield in the long term and continue to deliver value for our policyholders.”

This article is excepted from one that appeared in the August-September issue of Canadian Underwriter. Feature image by iStock.com/porcorex

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Landa Sees More Growth, EPac Gets New Investment And More | Label and Narrow Web – Label & Narrow Web Magazine

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Demonstrating its commitment to supporting its growing customer base and interest from future customers, Landa Digital Printing is aggressively expanding its global team and business development infrastructure with the appointment of several new sales professionals.

New Landa appointments include:

  • Bill Lawver, Inside Sales Representative
  • Michael Weyermann, Regional Sales Manager – Northeast
  • Steve Smith, Regional Sales Manager – Southeast
  • Danny Green, Regional Sales Manager – Mideast
  • Michelle Weir, Regional Sales Manager, Southwest

Sharon Cohen, chief business officer, Landa Digital Printing, comments, “We are delighted to have secured the talent and experience of Bill, Michael, Steve, Danny and Michelle. Their highly relevant backgrounds will be instrumental in supporting our growth plans across North America, while also supporting the wider team to ensure continued high customer satisfaction, innovation and success.

Meanwhile, Amcor has announced a further strategic investment of up to $45 million in ePac Flexible Packaging. The investment will increase Amcor’s minority shareholding in ePac Holdings LLC.

Amcor’s executive vice president of strategy and development, Ian Wilson, comments, “This additional investment reflects our confidence in ePac’s entrepreneurial team and their proven ability to rapidly scale in the high growth, often higher value short run segment. Since our initial investment last year, we have been deeply impressed with ePac’s focused and innovative business model centered around deploying a very high level of digitalization and customization. ePac’s proven digital technologies enable the delivery of exceptional service levels and significantly reduced lead times. These specializations are designed to meet the unique speed to market and service needs of locally based small to medium customers, skill sets that are highly transferable to areas of Amcor’s core business.

Here are the highest-trafficked news items for the week ending on September 23:

1. Landa announces five senior additions to NA sales team
2. Amcor expands investment in ePac Flexible Packaging
3. FLAG enjoys productive Labelexpo Americas
4. Mondi invests in new research and development center in Germany
5. S-OneLP recognized as Global Label Award winner

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