Originally Posted by fullmetal
I would offer the exact opposite. If you have the capital and the time to short term metals then it is possible to make money. In the long haul precious metals do not provide much of a return, barely beating inflation. I had a nice graph comparing metals, stocks, bonds, CDs, interest checking accounts over 100+ years that shows how lousy metals are. Great short term hedge (can't stress SHORT term enough), but poor long term return. Even the most recent run-up by gold barely beat my stock holding returns and it did so with much less volatility.
I'm referring purely to spot silver, not collectibles. Collectibles can buck the trend. My wife's family are major players in the metals/coin world. My father-in-law organizes one of the largest shows in the US and is constantly wheeling/dealing the stuff. Unlike stocks, metal isn't going to produce future profits.
Little money can be made in increments on the coattails of the big players. So, don't think you can't make money. Following the trend will make you money, just much less than those who created the trend and only if you are not greedy. The greedy will hold too long and miss the boat.
You can only make money on silver now if someone is dumping it to you and needs the money. Most people are wanting over spot for their silver and not selling til it goes back up. I placed an ad on craigslist and here but I have had to give over spot to get anything. I can't sell right now and make anything til the price goes back up which experts who know the market predict a possible $50 an oz but noone knows when that will be. Your father-in-law is in a very fortunate position to be able to buy and sell I envy him and would love to have that kind of access to other collectors to buy low from and resell. The bottom line is the whole market is manipulated and yes I agree you have to sell when it's high and not get greedy wanting more. It takes money to make money!