It’s been a pretty good couple of months for precious metals, but more so for gold than silver. Both are up but gold is up more, and the imbalance that this creates might be one of the major investment themes of the next few years.
The gold/silver ratio – that is, how many ounces of silver it takes to buy an ounce of gold – has bounced all over the place since the 1960s. But whenever it’s gotten extremely high – say above 80 – silver outperformed gold, sometimes dramatically.
As this is written, the ratio stands at almost 93x, which is not far from its record high. With precious metals finally breaking out of a five-year siesta – and the world getting dramatically scarier – it’s not a surprise that safe haven assets are catching a bid. And it would also not be a surprise if the current move has legs, as central banks resume their easing and geopolitical tensions persist.
Combine a chaotic, easy-money world with silver’s relative cheapness and the result is a nice set-up, for both the metal and the stocks of the companies that mine it. Here’s the one-month chart for First Majestic Silver (AG), a large primary silver producer. It’s up about 40%, even while silver underperforms gold. Let the metal start to outperform in the context of an overall precious metals bull run, and stocks like this will go parabolic.