A Valentine’s Investment Idea to Make Your Portfolio Shine!

On this highest of holidays dedicated to showering your beloved with adoration that often comes in the form of sparkly trinkets, today let’s take a close look at some of the less-traditional precious metals that might be a part of your gift-giving activities … ones that could make excellent portfolio additions as well.

Gold and silver may be the metals of kings. But if you’re looking for potentially royal returns on bullion bars and coins …

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The Gold Rush of 2013 …

The GFMS Gold Survey for 2012 says global central banks bought 536 tons of gold — more gold than any other time in the last 50 years!

China alone has said it plans to purchase over 1,000 tons a year in the next three years. Even Russia is jumping in … buying about half a billion dollars’ worth of gold every single month.

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… you may want to consider adding one or two of the "noble" (that is, durable) metals to your collection: platinum and palladium.

Even as gold and silver prices fluctuate and even take a breather, that doesn’t stop investors from increasingly seeking refuge in bullion as personal stores of wealth. This means their prices continue to push ever-higher over the longer term, as more and more investors get the memo that holding on to hard assets is a good thing.

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The white metals might not ever overtake the popularity of gold in jewelry. But their industrial uses could ultimately produce a princely sum for investors.

Meanwhile, platinum is 15 times more-rare than gold, and palladium is even more rare than platinum, at 30 times rarer than the yellow metal. And yet, platinum is only slightly cheaper than gold, at just about $1,700 per troy ounce. Meanwhile, palladium costs less than half of gold’s current price, at approximately $770 per troy ounce.

So basically, these white metals are even more-rare than gold, yet their prices don’t reflect it. This tells me that if you’re looking to add some diversity to your precious-metals portfolio, an investment in one or both of these metals could be as durable as the metals themselves. Here’s why …

The White Metals Are Getting Red-Hot!

Platinum is the whitest of the white-hot metals. It is hypo-allergenic and doesn’t tarnish or lose its shine , which makes it appealing for wedding bands and other pieces that get continuous wear.

Palladium is starting to gain more popularity in wedding bands because it is lighter and more more-affordable than platinum. Plus it has the advantage over costlier white gold of not requiring any alloys or coating.

Currently, palladium is less of a jewelry metal than platinum, but demand is rising, as more of it is purchased for use in catalytic converters, its No. 1 use. But platinum has its own industrial uses, from cars to glass production to electrical components.

At the same time, supplies from mines in Russia and South Africa remain tight, especially with mines laying off employees, closing some of their shafts and/or even shutting down the mines entirely in the past few months.

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South Africa accounts for about 75% of the world’s platinum supply, and Russia and South Africa are responsible for producing more than 80% of the world’s palladium. The reduced production capacity is only going to serve to squeeze prices higher.

Demand is surging, and stockpiles are down … and dropping. This helped the price of palladium rise nearly 11% in the fourth quarter, and the growing shortfall in palladium supply could send prices surging another 20 percent higher, according to analysts.

Meanwhile platinum output should hit a 12-year low this year in South Africa. But that doesn’t mean demand is going to dissipate anytime soon.

While most of the demand for these white metals currently comes from the auto industry, there is also plenty of demand from the investment community.

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Nearly 2 million ounces of palladium are held by ETFs, the COMEX metals market, banks and other funds that make their holdings public. These same groups are steadily accumulating platinum, with nearly the same amount in holdings.

And that doesn’t even account for retail and institutional investors, who are buying at the fastest pace in three years!

The Best Way to Get Invested

For those who own platinum or palladium in one of their many physical forms, this could serve as an attractive store of wealth for generations to come.

One place to buy palladium or platinum bullion is at your local gold dealer. Just check the price at an online website before you buy to make sure you aren’t being charged too high a premium.

Buying from a dealer is an extra level of security, because your dealer should check on the authenticity of the bullion before passing it along to you.

There are plenty of reputable online dealers. But one thing I DO NOT recommend you do is buy this or any precious metal on eBay. It’s too easy to get ripped off when the chain of custody of the metal you want to buy is in question.

There are also a number of ETFs that allow you to play platinum, palladium or both at the same time. An ETF is an easy way to trade this market, and to do so right here on the U.S. exchanges.

In fact, in my Global Resource Hunter service, I’ll be talking more with my subscribers tomorrow about these white-hot opportunities and giving them a specific way to play it. Click here now to get on board and be among the first to receive my recommendation when it arrives!

However you decide to play, as always, be sure to do your due diligence before making any moves.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and all the best,

Sean

Sean travels far and wide to seek out small-cap values in the natural resource sector. His journey started in New England. As a youth he worked on Mt. Washington, on the cog railroad that runs to the summit.