Beyond the question on whether it is sensible to acquire physical precious metals, I am most often asked when someone needs to have such assets purchased.
The correct conceptual answer is that you need to acquire them before they protect you as a form of wealth insurance – against the risk of declining values in paper assets such as stocks, bonds and paper currencies.
However, that is not the answer to the question that such people are asking. What they want is to know how long they can put off purchasing physical gold, silver and possibly platinum or palladium before their prices rise sharply.
The accurate answer to that question is that no one knows.
Again, that isn’t a helpful answer to people asking the question.
If you think about it, deciding when to buy physical precious metals as wealth insurance is the same kind of question as deciding when to purchase fire insurance for your residence or life insurance on yourself or your family. You don’t try to time the signing up for these latter forms of insurance with the expectation of quickly collecting.
The truth is, as I think most readers understand, is that life’s calamities are somewhat foreseeable as to what events may occur, but the timing of them is so variable as to seem to be random.
So, instead of trying to time a purchase of fire or life insurance until just before a claim would be filed, most people carry such insurance early on – just in case something happens sooner than expected. Then they keep paying the premiums even if they never have cause to collect. It doesn’t matter whether there is ever any claim on a fire or life insurance policy, what the owners get the whole time they have such coverage is peace of mind.
The same idea applies to deciding when is the best time to purchase physical precious metals for wealth insurance. Sure prices may be lower at some point in the future than what they are today. But part of what you are buying is the peace of mind of knowing that you have some financial protection again losses with any stocks, bonds, or currencies that you own.
In other words, the best time to buy physical gold and silver is – today.
Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2012 Harry Forman Numismatic Dealer of the Year Award winner. He was also honored by the Numismatic Literary Guild in 2016 for the Best Dealer-Published Magazine/Newspaper and for Best Radio Report. He is the owner emeritus and communications officer of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes “Liberty’s Outlook,” a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at http://www.libertycoinservice.com. Some of his radio commentaries titled “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and becomes part of the audio and text archives posted at http://www.1320wils.com).
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2017 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.
• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.