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Gold prices remain high: Other precious metals worth investing in

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With gold prices still elevated, experts say there could be other precious metal investments worth making. Getty Images/iStockphoto

The price of gold has been soaring in 2024, with prices hitting a new record high in late May. While prices have retreated a bit below the $2,400 per ounce mark since then, gold prices are still up so far this year by around 13.5% through early June, according to World Gold Council data.

These recent price increases have been driven by factors like investor concerns over inflation and the direction of the economy. However, with the price of gold near record highs, some investors may be wondering whether gold investing still makes sense or whether they're better off turning to other precious metals that might be flying under the radar.

Find out how the right gold investment could benefit your portfolio now.

Gold prices remain high: Other precious metals worth investing in

Yes, gold prices are elevated, but that doesn't necessarily mean investors should shy away from gold and instead invest in other precious metals, experts say. 

The case for still investing in gold

The price of gold today is near the record high, but it might not be as high as you think when accounting for inflation.

"The price of gold is near its historical highs in nominal dollars. But adjusted for inflation, the current dollar price of gold per ounce is well below its 1980 peak," says Dr. Roger D. Silk, founder and CEO at Sterling Foundation Management.

And, looking at price alone doesn't tell whether gold is a good investment now, Silk adds. Rather, you might consider how gold fits into your overall portfolio instead.

"Many portfolios that include stocks and bonds will benefit from having an allocation to gold of up to 10%. The reasoning is that gold has provided diversification, allowing a portfolio with gold to have a higher expected return for the same amount of risk, compared to the same portfolio without gold," says Silk.

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The case for investing in silver

One precious metal that investors might consider besides gold is silver.

"Looking at history, in many cases where gold had a significant rally, silver followed in the subsequent months and often rallied by a greater percentage than gold. If history repeats, silver may be a good investment in the near term," says Patrick Yip, senior director of business development at APMEX.

However, speculating based on silver's price alone can be risky. Instead, you might look at the underlying reasons for investing in silver. 

For example, silver tends to have more industrial uses than gold. But investing on that basis can require some advanced knowledge, whereas ordinary investors might instead focus on the macroeconomic picture.

"Gold and silver are monetary precious metals and typically perform well in times of inflation, geopolitical tensions, and economic uncertainty," says Yip.

The case for other precious metals

While you might think that other precious metals could be appealing in this environment, it's important to understand what you're getting into.

"With the price of gold rising rapidly, other precious metals are likely to receive attention from investors. But investing in a metal simply because it's grouped with gold or silver is a risky undertaking," says Peter C. Earle, senior economist at American Institute for Economic Research.

That's because other precious metals don't necessarily benefit from investors seeking stores of value in times of uncertainty the way that gold and silver do.

For example, "platinum and palladium are also precious metals, but their demand is primarily due to industrial uses," says Yip.

As such, their prices can be volatile based on underlying use cases.

Palladium rose to around $3,000 per ounce in March 2002, for example, but is now down below $1,000 per ounce. Meanwhile, platinum has bounced around between roughly $700 and $1,2000 per ounce since early 2015, notes Earle.

"The same goes for ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, and osmium — their prices have been volatile, driven almost entirely by esoteric market factors. There is little reason to expect any prolonged relationship between developments in the price of gold and the price action in other precious metals," Earle says.

So, unless you have expertise in these particular metals, you might want to stick to investments you're more familiar with.

"Gold and silver have a long, well-documented history as hard assets that function as stores of value in periods of economic distress and monetary hijinks. But by reason of scarcity and industrial use, the factors influencing the prices and liquidity of other precious metals are unlikely to be understood by anyone not intimately engaged in mining for, or dealing in, those metals," says Earle.

Some even argue that silver should be grouped in with these other precious metals outside of gold, which could require more expertise.

"Unless you are a professional, it is our view that you probably shouldn't invest in silver, platinum or palladium, as these are primarily industrial commodities, despite also being precious metals," says Silk.

The bottom line

Just because an asset like gold has relatively high prices doesn't mean it is or isn't a good investment, nor does it necessarily say much about the investment case for other precious metals. Instead, investors should consider factors like how an investment fits into the broader economic landscape, where it could fit into their portfolio strategies and their understanding of different assets before making any investment decisions.

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