As the markets lurch from one disaster to the next, the eyes of investors are always peeled for the next big opportunity. Take a look online and you will see no end of guides on how you can make money out of everything from cryptocurrency to property to fine wines. Yet as has happened time and again over the centuries, when other markets are in turbulence, the canny and risk-averse investor turns to precious metals.
Now mention precious metals, and the mind immediately turns to gold, and perhaps silver. However, those in the know are touting platinum as a more valuable asset than either. Let’s find out more.
Compared to the thousands of years that gold has been seen as the ultimate commodity, and the symbol of wealth, platinum is a relatively new kid on the block. In fact, historically, platinum was seen as having no material value. 16th century scholars made mention of the element as something they were unable to liquify and that was therefore of no use.
In the Central American goldmines of the 19th century, platinum was believed to be some form of “unripened gold” that did nothing but get in the way of their mining activities.
Meanwhile, at the same time in Europe, the very property that had made it so unattractive 300 years earlier caused a sudden upturn in interest for platinum. Its extremely high melting point made it ideal for a wide variety of industrial uses, and from that day to this, more have been discovered every year. However, platinum is also one of the rarest of the precious metals. Annual production is just eight million ounces – that equates to around 10 percent of the world’s annual gold production.
More uses every day
With every passing year, the world comes up with more applications for platinum. For example, if you have ever tried to sell a car for scrap, the first question you will be asked is whether the catalytic convertor is still in place – this is because it contains platinum. The technology industry uses platinum in optical fibres, computer components and LCDs, while there are even medical applications. The element is used in dental fillings, and its compounds go into the chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer.
How to invest
A severely limited supply combined with an exponentially increasing demand says one word to investors: Buy! Platinum is as easy to invest in as gold or silver, and comes in the same forms. The simplest way to get into platinum ownership is to invest in platinum coins. While not as wide a choice as with gold or silver, there are still enough options available to appeal to investors of every type. You can also buy platinum by the bar, just like gold, typically in units of one to 10 ounces.
As the tech industry, in particular, continues to develop, demand for platinum is expected to go through the roof over the coming years. This could be the perfect moment to add it to your investment portfolio.