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Shaun Connell's  Instablog

Shaun Connell
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Shaun Connell is a freelance writer who specializes in writing engaging, thought provoking commentary on markets, economics, stocks, and personal finance. He is currently for hire for financial writing and marketing work.
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  • Silver Rate Today

    Silver prices have fallen a bit over the last week, leading plenty of people to begin questioning whether they should be buying or getting out of silver altogether. As of right now, the silver rate today is about 30% below where it was a good year ago -- but it's been bopping up and down drastically.

    I'm not sure about the extreme short run for the silver rate, but over the long run, I'm planning on acquiring more precious metals literally every month until I meet my end someday.

    It's just an insurance policy, and if the US doesn't fix it's long-term deficit problem, it'll be a very profitable policy, because the silver rate today will give in to a silver price several times what it is now -- easily.

    For those who have asked (two so far, unless I've missed one) about how to add positions in gold and silver, it really depends on what your goal is.

    My goal is to make it automatic -- I want to own more gold and silver and the end of the month than I did at the beginning of the month, whether I thought about it or not.

    Right now, I get my physical metals from, a website that I'm also affiliated with. I used an affiliate link because it allows me to keep track of who clicks on the link and signs up, and I get credit -- paid in precious metals. Every ounce helps. ;-) allows you to automatically hook your bank account to your account, and acquires gold and silver on a regular basis. It's not cheap, but it's automatic and the minimum order can be extremely small amounts of gold and silver, and you get a discount for larger purchases. I put a good hunk of my monthly paycheck toward the site, and, well, it's been a good ride already.

    I have no intention of changing my strategy really at any point. If silver and gold prices happen to fall considerably, unless we somehow move into a bipartisan "cut taxes and regulations and insane deficits" decade, I'm confident that we'll see another metals boom at some point when we're forced to pay the piper.

    Click here to get my weekly gold and silver newsletter.

    Tags: silver
    Apr 24 7:07 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Copper Prices Still Bouncing Around

    Some investors, like those at Goldman Sachs, are predicting a bump up in copper prices while those listed below believe there will be a drop.

    Copper prices were weak during fourth quarter 2011, leading many buyers in China to stock up on the metal. Glencore International Plc, the largest publicly traded commodities supplier in the world, included this statement in the comments it released on Monday regarding the industrial metals market. Unfortunately, the picture is quite different these days.

    Glencore reported that in 2011, production of the industrial metal declined. It expects this trend to continue this year until the ore to metal production cycle is "re-established." The lack of growth in supply explains the strong prices despite weak U.S. and European demand. During the second half of 2012, demand was driven by reaction to the financial crisis in Europe. When copper prices were low during 2009 and 2010, China built its inventories and by 2011, the supply had declined.

    While Europe and the U.S. did not rebuild their inventories during 2011 due to uncertainty regarding Europe, China did. Price weakness during fourth quarter 2011 created the ideal situation for purchasing large amounts of this base metal. This supply was used to rebuild the pipeline for inventory and was provided to nearby locations. Then, the calendar flipped to 2012 and everything changed.

    On Monday, U.S. copper futures fell approximately one percent, pressured by a reduction in the economic growth outlook for China. Concerns regarding Greek debt restructuring progress was also to blame. The metal was not the only thing affected as the euro hit a two-week low and stocks declined.

    It seems the ride is not over for copper prices this year, as the situation in Greece will continue to be a concern. The outcome of the Greek debt problem will impact many other nations. Price performance of commodities in general are expected to increasingly diverge throughout 2012, as monetary stimulus comes to an end and economies begin recovering.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Mar 14 8:55 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The Fed And Gold For 2012
    We all know that the Fed's decisions have a huge -- huge -- impact on gold prices. It's considered a gimmie.

    Today, the Fed essentially announced that, well, nothing is changing in their policy. Interest rates, QE hints -- it's all exactly what it was yesterday, which means nothing new.

    Gold dipped slightly on the news, presumably because some investors were expecting QE to some extent.

    What comes next? Good question. I honestly think there's a chance that this year the Fed will start increasing interest rates during a partial recovery, which would have a huge impact on gold rates.

    Mar 13 2:35 PM | Link | Comment!
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