Silver is one of the best ways to protect your wealth. No portfolio should lack this precious metal. Always have a little bit of “God’s money” in your portfolio.
Physical silver is my personal favorite. It is relatively easy to buy either at a coin shop or online. (See my article on how to find a reputable silver dealer.) It is easy to transport and it is very easy to sell.
If physical silver is your choice decide on junk silver, bullion, or both.
Junk silver is old coins, US coins prior to 1965, everything but nickels and pennies, and coins from other countries with a specific silver content. The content level is easy to determine on line. Coinflation.com will show you the melt value of such coins. Melt value is the value of the precious metals in a particular coin if one were to extract the other non-precious metals in a coin.
One can by junk silver in bags by the pound. There are many great online sources for such bags.
Pre 1965 quarters and dimes are 90% silver. At this writing a pre-1965 quarter is worth about $2.00. Always check your change before you buy a coke from a machine. You don’t want to throw away silver.
Bullion consists of ingots- usually rectangular pieces stamped by a mint, or minted “rounds.” Rounds look like old silver dollars but are not legal tender and are usually minted by private mints. Bullion is usually .999% silver.
Virtual silver is also a good choice but obviously less tangible. The best way to buy virtual silver is to buy shares in the silver ETF, SLV.
Silver stocks, miners, refiners, etc. can also be a good addition to a portfolio. But they are stocks, and so subject to management and profitability issues just like any other stock.
Silver is traditionally a hedge against volatility in paper assets. But it can also be subject to vicious ups and downs. Proceed with caution.