Summary: Silver is one of the most valuable metals and a highly-sought commodity among investors looking to diversify their portfolios and create a hedge against inflation. In Canada, investors can invest in silver at online exchange platforms such as Interactive Brokers.
Like other precious metals, for example, gold, silver has been used as a form of currency and a safe-haven investment option for as long as we can remember. The appeal of this metal lies in its unique properties, such as malleability, ductility, resistance to corrosion, and thermal conductivity, which make it an indispensable material in a large number of industries.
Silver as a commodity
As one of the most liquid commodities, silver enjoys a large number of applications across a wide range of industries. This makes it one of the most traded assets of its kind in the world. Some key aspects of silver as a commodity investment include:
- Wide industrial use: As mentioned, silver is an essential material in a large number of industries. For example, all sorts of electronics, solar panels, cutting-edge medical devices, and photography would be unimaginable without it due to its electrical and thermal conductivity and antibacterial properties;
- Jewelry: Like gold and other shiny metals, silver has been used in jewelry since the dawn of metalworking;
- Bullions: Governments and other institutions still produce silver coins and bullion.
Silver as an Investment:
As an investment, silver can bring a lot of benefits to your portfolio. Some of them include:
- Hedge against Inflation: Like other precious metals, silver is typically seen as a hedge against inflation. That is, when inflation starts to rise, and the value of fiat currencies starts to drop, silver tends to preserve its value and, thus, the holder’s purchasing power;
- Safe haven: Silver is also a safe haven in times of economic or political uncertainty. In other words, investors can rely on it as a way to protect their financial health in adverse market conditions;
- Diversification: Silver can help diversify your portfolio and render it less volatile since it is often in no direct correlation with other assets like stocks or bonds.
Who can invest in silver?
Nowadays, investing in silver can be a viable option for investors of all walks of life, experience levels, and wealth. That is, thanks to online exchanges such as Interactive Brokers having become so widely available, purchasing silver exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and contracts for difference (CFDs) is just a matter of a few clicks for individual and retail investors, those with retirement accounts, institutions, etc.
How to invest in silver in Canada: Step-by-Step
Investing in silver in Canada is rather straightforward. If you’ve got your funds and know what your investment goals are, you can simply take the following steps:
Step 1: Choose what kind of silver investment suits your strategy
Gone are the days when coins and bullions were the only form of silver investment. Nowadays, we have way more options at our disposal. The most common ones include:
- Physical silver: Although a bit old-school, investing in physical silver is still very much a thing. Note, though, that you will have to allocate additional funds to cover storage and security fees that this kind of investment naturally incurs;
- Silver ETFs: ETFs are financial instruments that track the performance of silver or silver-related assets in the market. Since they require no physical storage, they can be a good way to invest in silver and still profit from its performance without having to worry about additional costs;
- Silver-related stocks: Another way to capitalize on silver is to invest in it indirectly. That is, by buying shares in companies that mine and refine it;
- Futures and options: These financial derivatives are more suitable for experienced traders, as they allow investors to generate profits by speculating on silver price movements and not by actually investing in the precious metal.
Step 2: Research and select a reputable broker
Since the most convenient way to invest in silver is via online brokers. However, since the market is highly dynamic and competitive, you’ll find there are many brokers out there, each suitable for a different kind of trading strategy. In other words, you’ll have to do some research to figure out which one is going to align with your investing style.
Our go-to broker for Canadian investments is Interactive Brokers, home to over 2 million registered users buying and selling commodities daily. The platform is regulated by The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Futures Association (NFA), and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and it offers:
- Commission-free trading and no mark-ups;
- 4.58% interest on cash balances of $10k or more;
- Support 200+ countries;
- Trading with other IB users;
- No minimum deposits;
- Lowest financing rates for margin accounts.
Step 3: Register and fund your account
When you find a good broker, you can register and fund your account, that is, transfer some money to it that you can use to invest in silver. With Interactive Broker, you can transfer funds from your bank account, use a Wire transfer, scan a check, etc.
Step 4: Monitor your investment
Depending on the type of investment you’ve made, you’ll have to spend a certain amount of time monitoring your investment and its performance. That is especially true if you invest in mining stocks, as company performance can shift in unexpected directions.
In addition, you’ll have to stay in the loop with market developments in general, especially the economic indicators that might affect silver prices, as you won’t be able to make well-informed decisions and implement sensible adjustments to your trading strategy otherwise.
Silver price today
How to buy silver safely
Monitoring your investment is important. However, to make sure your investments are fruitful from the get-go, you can take certain precautions to minimize the risk of some common mistakes most investors tend to make. For starters, you can:
- Learn about silver and other precious metals as assets: All investments are different. So, if you have no experience investing in this kind of commodity, you have to learn what uses they have, how their value is set, what kind of additional fees they might incur, etc.;
- Avoid scammers: Popular investments attract a lot of scammers, so make sure you invest via regulated brokers only;
- Check the source: Always check the source of the silver asset you are investing in. If you’re buying physical, also check things such as purity;
- Compare market prices: Silver prices can be volatile in different market environments, so be sure you compare various prices before investing.
Pros and cons of investing in silver
- Diversification — investing in silver is a good way to spread your investments across multiple assets;
- Silver can be a tangible asset, which gives some investors a sense of security;
- Silver is liquid, and there is a constant industrial demand for it;
- It’s a good hedge against inflation because it does not depend on stocks and bonds.
- It can be volatile, especially if you invest in silver mining companies;
- No dividends as with stocks;
- Additional storage and safety fees if you invest in bullions, coins, and jewelry.
Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.
FAQs about how to invest in silver in Canada
Is investing in silver in Canada safe?
Investing in silver is safe as long as you do it via regulated online exchange platforms, such as Interactive Brokers.
What are taxes like when investing in silver in Canada?
Silver in Canada is exempt from GST/HST if it comes in the shape of bars, ingots, and coins, and if it is 99.9% pure.
Is silver better than gold as an investment?
Silver and gold both have their pros and cons, although gold tends to be less volatile and more stable as a long-term investment.