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  • Rare Industrial Metals Physical Investing 4 comments
    Feb 27, 2011 1:25 PM
    After 15 years of having been both on the supply side and customer side for technical industrial metals, I am somewhat concerned about having developed a rather narrow focus of late.

    Two of my favorites, Gallium and Indium, were named as clean energy critical elements by the Dept. of Energy.

    China produces the majority, and holds great influence over market prices, while simultaneously maintaining a cloak of invisibility on actual production statistics.  The Chinese government has indicated their interest in seeing rare metals prices double or triple, such levels being more indicative of their "true value" to the market.

    ETFs for some industrial metals have started up, and a couple of companies have even started stockpiling rare metals on speculation.

    Gallium and Indium are currently valued in the same range as silver, however they are much more volatile, and extremely less liquid.  However, this doesn't quite guarantee that they will not attract some investment capital, which could very well add to volatility, and influence the market dynamics.

    I'll try to make some posts which might stimulate discussion.

    I would like to solicit a discussion on the arguments for and against physical investment of rare metals, based on the idea that the potential returns are potentially 100% or more, and at what point potentially high returns start to override the argument of limited liquidity.

    My objective is to determine whether large and small investors could realistically start sidelining enough of these industrial metals to move the market.

    Everyone's views are welcome and appreciated.

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Comments (4)
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  • knut.swissmetal.
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Very interesting blog.
    We are a Swiss-German company, and we are the Panama branch who have the sole rights of the whole Americas.
    What we specialize in is rare industrial metals, and we store them as physical ownership for the clients in Switzerland.
    We have 6 metals, and two of them are Indium and Gallium.
    Please check our website: swissmetalassets.com
    Please contact me for more info, and maybe there is a way we can work this together.
    knut@swissmetalassets.com
    6840-6830
    Knut
    12 Apr 2011, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • susan 28
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    I came here as a potential client of Knut's company (SMA) seeking info/opinions on his product and rare industrial metals in general. My fear is that after 2 years of solid appreciation that the price may be a little high currently, but it's difficult to calculate since their metals only come in mixed baskets. So it's difficult to do one's due diligence on it.

     

    I'm a small-scale retail investor btw, only looking at a basket or two now, and awaiting with interest the upcoming Military basket.
    18 Oct 2011, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • Bill Goode
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Certainly investing in industrial metals is a great diversification from precious metals. Swiss Metal Assets referred to above is one such place, but they only offer investment in four packaged groups of metals (plus silver), none of which include rare earth elements (REEs).

     

    For REEs one can go to Denver Trading (located in London, not Denver) and they also sell strategic metals as Swiss Assets.
    Denver Trading - http://bit.ly/NYE05a

     

    One can also invest in base metals, such as copper, nickel and tin, at Swiss Depot for Industrial Metals.
    http://www.metaldepot.ch
    They also deal in precious metals not commonly found elsewhere, such as Iridium, Rhodium and Ruthenium, as well as strategic industrial metals.
    Word of caution about investing in metals other than precious metals - 1) Look at how much metal one is purchasing and the storage fees involved. A ton of copper at $3.40 per lb ($6800) will take up substantial space and one will have to pay storage fees for that space. 2) Consider the deterioration rate of the metal one is buying. Most of us are familiar with how gold and silver hold up to the elements. Look into how the metal you are buying will hold up.
    6 Aug 2012, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Bill Goode
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Something else I have found about all these services that offer investment in industrial metals is that none of them are as open and up front about their services as are dealers in precious metals. If you go to James Turk's site, GoldMoney.com, he will give you his prices and storage fees up front on his website. Same for Mike Maloney's GoldSilver.com. They both tell you where the metal can be stored and how much they charge for storage. They also tell you how much they will buy the metal back from you.

     

    None of these companies selling industrial metals are so up front with fees on their websites. Swiss Assets does give some prices, but no values. They don't tell you how much metal you are getting for your money.

     

    One can go to MetalPages.com to get values for most industrial metals.

     

    I am still looking for a dealer that is upfront about prices of industrial metals, but at least Denver Trading does offer REEs and Swiss Depot does offer base metals (if I decide to pay the storage fees).
    6 Aug 2012, 09:38 PM Reply Like
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