The Silver Story

I have been interested in the “Silver Story” for over 35 years. What I have learned about silver has come mainly from Ted Butler, Ed Steer and a few others. I do not have any “new” facts to say about silver, but I do want to present some silver “philosophy”. Why? First and foremost is how relatively few people know and understand ANY of the silver story. If you have coherent opinions (in agreement or disagreement) about what I am saying I would guess you are one of a very small population that knows something about silver. I don’t have anything against gold and I think gold will do well in the foreseeable future, but I think as an investment silver will do much better, at least until after the current silver price manipulation ends. Why? Mainly because silver is such a small market both in readily available above ground silver (in 1000 oz. bars) and the relatively small amount of money that it would take to push silver prices to new highs. I do believe that every bubble bursts and every manipulation must end.

I follow the daily silver price on www.kitco.com. Kitco has links to videos with interviews “movers and shakers” in gold and silver. So, often in these videos the interviewees will make predictions on gold prices rising and then as almost an afterthought they will say “and I think silver prices will do better”. I don’t understand why the “experts” don’t focus more on silver especially when they seem to know that it will do better than gold. The math is simple. Historically, when gold and silver prices rise the silver/gold ratio tightens. So, currently the silver/gold ratio is over 80 to 1, meaning it takes 80 ozs. of silver to buy 1 oz. of gold.

Following represents the facts as I think they are:

  • Silver prices have long been and are being manipulated. I will expand on how this has been done later in this article.
  • Annual production- mining and recycling- of silver is about 1 billion ounces.
  • Annual industrial and fabrication use of silver is about 900 million ounces.
  • Much of the industrial use of silver is fairly price insensitive. I have read that there is about 1 ounce of silver in the parts in a new car. If the price of silver doubles, triples or more the car manufactures aren’t going to cut back on production because they have to pay extra for silver. Their main concern is going to be getting the parts with silver in them, not that those parts cost them a little more. Same with computers, cell phones, etc. A rise in price is not going to have much impact on consumption, at least for a period of time until the part manufactures can find cheaper substitute materials to use.
  • This leaves about 160 million ounces (6 year average) available for investment purchases such as the ETFs and/or investment in silver bullion.
  • This means the amount of silver available for investment could be purchased for less than 3 billion dollars (USD) at today’s prices.
  • All manipulations must end at some point.
  • Silver and Gold have historically been used as money and a store of wealth.
  • Because of the facts above I believe that silver will be the best investment over the next few years.
  • I don’t have anything against gold and I think gold will do well in the foreseeable future, but I think as an investment silver will do much better, at least until after the current silver price manipulation ends.
  • Notice that I am not predicting the collapse of the economy or major turmoil. Those things could happen and probably will happen at some point and if/when they do the price of precious metals will go up as people invest as a “hedge” against inflation or turmoil.
  • Keep in mind that as the price of gold & silver goes up typically the silver/gold ratio goes down. In other words the price of silver goes up faster than gold.

Facts (as I see it)

  • Ted Butler (https://www.butlerresearch.com/) provides the most comprehensive and accurate information on silver that I have found.
    •  I highly recommend subscribing to his newsletter $34.95/month) to be able to see his twice weekly reports.
    • On his website there is a section “Free Archive” that has some of the articles he has publically published and which would be a good start to learning more about silver.
    • I first became aware of Ted Butler in the early 1990s when I would get a monthly newsletter from Investment Rarities. Many of the articles were written by Butler. Many of his articles are archived on their website at http://www.investmentrarities.com/tbarchives.shtml This is another good place to research the history of the silver market.
    • For years Butler has called the commercial banks that seem to control this manipulation criminals/crooks. That includes JP Morgan (JPM) that seems to be the “ring leader” and the CME Group (owner of the COMEX) that allow the manipulation to continue. The fact that none of these entities have threatened to sue Butler tells me that they know they don’t want to go to court and fight against the truth.
  • The silver price is and has been manipulated to the downside for 20 years and more.
    • Butler does a great job of explaining how this manipulation works and its effects.
    • Every manipulation must end at some point and historically the price of the manipulated commodity takes off in the opposite direction once it is ended. In most cases that we know about the manipulation is to the upside and then when ended the commodity crashes. In this case once the manipulation ends the price will explode to the upside.
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a government agency, publishes a weekly report called the Commitments of Traders (COT) that Butler analyzes weekly.
    • This report on its face shows that silver is being manipulated by speculators using COMEX silver future contracts.
    • This report shows huge volumes of silver contracts being traded.
  • There are only 1 – 2 billion ounces of above ground silver currently available in 1000 oz. bars.
  • According to the following link to The Silver Institute the 2017 production of silver was right at 1 billion oz. Including mining and recycling (140M oz.)
  • All manipulations must end and when they do the price of the manipulated item (silver in this case) will move strongly in the opposite direction of the manipulation. We are most used to things being manipulated higher in price and then the price crashing when the manipulation ends. With silver the price has been manipulated to the downside and when the manipulation ends I think silver will skyrocket