Is Silver a Good Investment?

Benzinga Money is a reader-supported publication. We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article. Learn more.

In uncertain financial times, people have historically turned to gold and silver as a hedge against inflation and investment losses. But silver attracts heavy investor demand for a number of other reasons. 

Silver has the same attributes as other precious metals but possesses unique strengths and weaknesses. This can motivate a different type of investor behavior. Take a closer look at Benzinga’s guide to see whether silver is a good investment for you. 

Broker Best For Commissions Account Minimum Choose your platform
  • Advanced traders
  • Options and futures traders
  • Active stock traders
$0 $0
Get started securely through TradeStation’s website
1 Minute Review

TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets as frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.

  • Comprehensive trading platform and professional-grade tools
  • Wide range of tradable securities
  • Fully-operational mobile app
  • Confusing pricing structure to leave new traders with a weak understanding of what they pay
  • Cluttered layout to make navigating TradeStation’s platform more difficult than it should be
Current Promotion

Get $100 when you open an account with $500 or more

TD Ameritrade
  • Novice investors
  • Retirement savers
  • Day traders
$0 $6.95 for OTC Stocks $0
Get started securely through TD Ameritrade’s website
1 Minute Review

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

  • World-class trading platforms
  • Detailed research reports and Education Center
  • Assets ranging from stocks and ETFs to derivatives like futures and options
  • Thinkorswim can be overwhelming to inexperienced traders
  • Derivatives trading more costly than some competitors
  • Expensive margin rates
Current Promotion

$600 cash & free trades for 60 days

  • New traders looking for a simple platform layout
  • Native Chinese speakers seeking research and education tools in Chinese
  • Mobile traders who needs a secure and well-designed app
$0 when you trade stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds online $0
Get started securely through Firstrade’s website
1 Minute Review

Easy-to-use and quick to master, Firstrade offers new and veteran traders alike a simple way to start investing with rock-bottom pricing. Firstrade’s platform is simple and streamlined, and it extends this convenience to its mobile app. The company’s $0 commissions on stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and even options make Firstrade especially appealing for frequent traders. Firstrade also offers margin trading, though rates are a bit more expensive than some competitors. Firstrade also currently doesn’t offer access to futures or forex trading, and some more advanced traders may dislike the broker’s simple platform.

  • Simple platform easy enough for even complete novices
  • Quick Bar tool for easy trading throughout the day
  • Free access to Morningstar trading reports and other news in both English and Chinese
  • Secure mobile app with enhanced security and trading features
  • Simple brokerage platform doesn’t include as many charting tools as competitors
  • No access to futures or forex markets
Current Promotion

Get up to $600 when you open and fund an account today!

  • Active traders
  • Derivatives traders
  • Retirement savers
$0 $0
Compare Brokers securely through eTrade’s website
1 Minute Review

E*TRADE is an online discount trading house that offers brokerage and banking services to individuals and businesses. One of the first brokers to embrace online trading, E*TRADE not only survived both the dot-com bubble and Recession — it thrived. You can choose from two different platforms (one basic, one advanced). E*TRADE is a suitable broker for traders of most skill levels, whether you want to buy mutual funds and hold them for decades or dabble in options swing trading. E*TRADE offers a library of research and education materials to help you out.

  • Sophisticated trading platforms
  • Wide range of tradable assets
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Limited currency trading
  • Higher margin rates than competitors
  • No paper trading on its standard platform
Current Promotion

Deposit or transfer $5,000 to get $100 back

  • Options traders looking for low-cost options contracts
  • Beginner and advanced traders looking for options education
  • Advanced traders who don’t need a lot of platform guidance
$0 for stocks and ETFs broker assited orders an additional $6 $500 to open an account
Compare Brokers securely through eOption’s website
1 Minute Review

eOption is a stock, fund and option trading platform that focuses on low-cost options trading. Its options trading is very affordable at just $0.10 per contract and $1.99 per transaction. The broker also offers a comprehensive options trading course that’s free and educational for both novice investors and advanced traders alike. eOption’s platform is less usable than its competitors, especially for new traders.

Futures and forex trades aren’t currently available, daily market updates are full of jargon and the platform includes very few intuitive features and explainers. Customer service options are also lackluster, and mutual fund transactions are expensive. While eOption might be a great choice for options traders, we recommend other platforms for beginner traders primarily interested in stock and ETF investing.

  • Unbeatable options contracts pricing
  • Mobile app that mirrors capabilities of desktop app
  • Free and comprehensive options education
  • Confusing platform has limited assistance tools
  • Expensive mutual funds and bond trading
  • Limited stock and general investing education
  • Lackluster customer service options
Current Promotion

Incoming wire transfers of $10,000+ will be reimbursed wire transfer fees up to $30

Is Investing in Silver Risky?

There’s no such thing as a guaranteed investment. Any time you commit assets for an expected outcome, you enter a risk-reward situation. 

Many people believe that investing in silver is wise because it holds its value in financial hard times. However, 56% of the silver supply goes to industrial use so it’s more volatile in down markets than gold. In a down market, investors generally regard silver as a hold investment, meaning you should hold onto it for its future growth potential. 

Silver tends to hold its value during market lows and increases in value during bull markets. On the other hand, gold tends to hold its value during good times and increases in value during tough times. 

But this doesn’t mean that silver is immune to a sell-off during a financial crisis. Here are the risk factors for investing in silver: 

  • Demand: Since silver is a top industrial commodity, it is vulnerable to the whims of demand.
  • Random price fluctuations: Global demand affects silver prices. It’s more difficult to keep track of world commerce than oversee local financial events. This could lead to surprise losses.
  • Supply: A surplus of silver can put downward pressure on the price.
  • Inflation: When inflation goes up, the value of silver follows it.
  • Government policies: The U.S. Mint consumes a large percentage of the world’s silver supply. Any change in government policy could affect silver prices.

Silver is not as risky as other commodities, but its volatility is a factor. If you seriously consider a silver investment, read as much as you can about how to invest in silver. 

Where to Invest in Silver

You can invest in silver in several ways. You can buy physical silver in the form of bars, coins, bullion, silverware and jewelry. Some dealers even sell bags of junk silver. 

But the most practical and convenient way to invest in silver is to purchase silver-based securities. On the exchange, you can buy silver-related stocks, futures contracts and silver exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

Purchasing contracts for difference (CFDs) is a simple way to invest in silver. A CFD gives you the opportunity to benefit from a change in the price of the asset without assuming ownership of it. However, CFDs are very sophisticated and risky. The leveraging aspect of these instruments can cause you to lose a lot of money in a hurry. Proceed with caution with CFDs.  

Though traditional brokers still exist, online brokers offer you a better environment for researching, purchasing and tracking your silver investments. If you’re ready to look into online brokers, see our rundown of some of the best online brokers to consider for your possible silver investment.  


TradeStation’s high-performing trading platform is a big hit with active traders.

Its web-based platform is also a favorite for casual traders. For silver traders, TradeStation offers innovative data analysis, indicators and asset tracking tools.

A $500 minimum deposit allows you to conduct $0 commission trades in stocks and ETFs. Although TradeStation doesn’t offer CFDs, you can trade options for $0.60/contract and futures for $1.50 per contract. 

TD Ameritrade

Top-ranked online broker TD Ameritrade has a stellar package of platforms, tools, analysis, research, trader apps and education.

Its industry-leading AI technology appeals to active and casual traders. Like TradeStation, TD Ameritrade requires a $2,000 minimum deposit for access to a large selection of investments, including forex and futures.

You can trade $0 silver-related stocks and ETFs. Options cost $0.60 per contract and futures cost $2.25 per contract. TD Ameritrade also gives you a chance to give silver-based CFDs a try.


If you prefer trading in silver-related options, E*TRADE is a good choice.

Its Power E*TRADE platform and exceptional mobile apps appeal to both casual and active options traders. It helps your position management tasks with risk analysis, real-time streaming Greeks and custom grouping. E*TRADE can expand your silver trading opportunities by offering international trading.

It offers $0 trade for stocks and ETF trading, $0.65 per contract for options and $1.50 per contract for silver-related futures.


Firstrade’s unique among its competitors because it extends its $0 trade offer to options. It doesn’t charge contract fees. This means you can trade your silver-related stocks, ETFs, options and futures for free.

You may be satisfied with Firstrade’s research if you’re an early trader. However, it trails behind the competition in platform capabilities and tools. 


eOption takes a barebones approach to marketing. It offers cut-rate pricing in exchange for traditional trader services.

If you can do without adequate research and platform resources, you can trade your silver-related stocks and ETFs for $0 and options for $0.10 per contract.  You must make at least 2 trades a year to avoid the $50 inactivity fee. eOption is not a boutique broker so it doesn’t offer futures or CFDs. 

Advantages of Silver Investments

Silver has some distinct advantages as a tradable investment:

  • It’s cheaper than gold. You can get just as much crisis protection from silver as you would from gold at 1/17th the price. 
  • You can sell it in smaller increments. Sometimes you may need to sell off some investment assets to cover an expense. Instead of selling a whole ounce of gold, you can cash in a much smaller denomination of silver.
  • It’s a bullish asset. In a bull market, silver prices move up much faster than gold.
  • It’s better than money. This is a good reason to own some physical silver. Silver and gold are the truest forms of money because you can’t readily reproduce them. Silver is original and rare. 

Disadvantages of Silver Investments

Some of the silver attributes contribute to its disadvantages. Most of the disadvantages apply to physical silver ownership: 

  • It’s a poor earner. Silver is primarily a safeguard investment. For appreciable returns, it doesn’t perform as well as real estate and other investments. 
  • It’s not liquid. It’s rare that you can trade physical silver for on the spot goods. You need to convert physical silver into cash, and this may take a while. 
  • Theft is possible. Holding physical silver comes with the risk of it being lost or stolen.

Is Silver Right for You?

Silver is like any other investment — there are no guarantees and it’s risky. An investment in silver can help you offset losses in a financial crisis. Decide whether you are looking for a solid long-term investment with safeguarding features. If that’s your aim, silver may be right for you.

Hire a Pro: Compare Financial Advisors In Your Area

Compare Online Brokers
Broker Commission Account Min Get Started

$0 $0 Learn More

$0 $6.95 for OTC Stocks $0 Learn More

$0 $0 Learn More

FREE $0 Learn More

$0 $0 Learn More