The Voluntary Life: Investing in Gold and Silver

5 March 2012

Investing in Gold and Silver

Meet the gold bugs! An international discussion among friends who all invest in precious metals. The discussion covers some important questions that all private investors face:
  • Which do you invest in, gold or silver? If you hold both, do you have a strategy as to how much gold vs silver you hold?
  • What percentage of your overall portfolio do precious metals have?
  • How will you know when to sell your precious metals?

In the discussion we refer to the book "Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver" by Michael Maloney.

Podcast Episode


  1. Interesting discussion. Also calculated my silver/gold ratio, which is 1 to 4. I especially liked the discussion about real estate in the end, made me realize again that managing houses is certainly not what I want to do. Though I agree a fund or company would make it possible but I am unfamiliar with such funds and skeptical of overhead. Anyone knows maybe a real estate fund that is managed well and buys undervalued real estate during this crises?

    I do think some real estate is becoming interesting in the US. Houses of $50k where you can get $800/month rental income, is like 15% rental income per year. If real estate stays flat in that segment that is a good investment. I wonder whether Koyasaki is talking about these properties today. Anyone knows?

  2. Thanks for the feedback Marc! I also have no desire to manage houses, what a hassle! Regarding a real estate fund, I don't know of any fund like that. I guess the problem would always be that you would need to evaluate both the potential of real estate as a sector and also the skill of the fund in profiting from that potential. There's a lot that can go wrong there...

  3. Thanks for the talk Jake, I especially enjoyed hearing you press the gold bugs on when they plan to sell. I try to remain object with my investments and not 'fall in love' with any particular asset class. I recently liquidated all my metal holdings and am now patiently waiting for my opportunity to buy; I made a 14% return on platinum in a month and a half. I chose my first stocks in which to invest my birthday money when I was nine, so I have seen plenty of ups and downs. The best lesson is not to be greedy, my dad loves to say: bears make money, bulls make money, but pigs get slaughtered.

    Whenever I see an opportunity to liquidate an investment and make a double digit annual return, I take it, the key is not beating yourself up emotionally if your timing was off. Hindsight is 20/20 so it's easy to let missed windfalls influence future decisions and make foolish decisions.

    Of late I've been trying very hard to maintain a balanced portfolio between high dividend yielding stocks, metals, unsecured personal loans, and guns/ammunition. I agree that a principle residence is not so much an investment, but a staple of a voluntary life so I have been dedicating a lot of my operating cash to paying off my house in short order.

    People love to argue that 'their' investment vehicle is best, but I say as long as you're saving rather than consuming, you're ahead. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the economy I tale solace in the fact that I posses a variety of abilities which are readily convertible in any medium of exchange to a lifestyle I can be happy with.

    Sorry for the novel, but I love this stuff!

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