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Why Silver Is a Better Buy than Gold

Not only is silver supported by the largest number of bullish scenarios, it is also the most oversold relative to its peers. Like copper, silver has a broad array of industrial uses. Like gold, it has the tendency to perform well as a safe haven.

But since gold has no true end-market (as it is bought primarily by investors or used in jewelry), the broader prospects favor silver on both a technical and fundamental basis -- whether the economy improves or stalls through the remainder of 2013.

Given the force of this year's downtrend, the latest rally does little to repair the damage investors have faced when dealing with the precious metals markets. But for those approaching the market from a contrarian perspective, it does make sense to start looking at silver investments as a growing opportunity -- especially when compared to its peers.

This is better done through the use of ETFs rather than futures contracts in the metal. A good choice is the iShares Silver Trust, which is starting to look better and better from a risk-to-reward standpoint.

Another option is Silver Wheaton (SLW), which has key advantages over many of the silver miners. Silver Wheaton has comparatively strong margins and is able to lock in products from miners at low rates. This generally insulates the company from many of the industry's central risks and offers some attractive opportunities for those looking to buy into this year's weakness in the metals space.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Cox is a university teacher in international trade and finance, focusing primarily on macroeconomics and price behavior in equity markets. His articles appear on a variety of websites, including MarketBulls.net, Seeking Alpha, FX Street, and others. Investing strategies are based on technical and fundamental analysis of all the major asset classes (stock indices, currencies, and commodities). Trade ideas are generally based on time horizons of one to six months.
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