By Damon van der Linde - Exclusive to Silver Investing NewsTied with the price of gold, the value of silver, along with the stocks of silver mining companies, have been trending lower in recent weeks. But, according to Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management Inc., this dip is not an accurate indication of silver's future, and could even be the result of “market manipulation.” “I think silver is going to be the big investment of this decade,” said Sprott, speaking at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference. “I see the money pouring into silver and I feel the shortage. You see the data from China, you see the data from India, and you say 'why the hell is the price going down?' It makes no sense." Sprott says that in spite of this rising demand, precious metals companies are “being misguided” by reports produced by GFMS Ltd, a leading independent precious metals consultancy which provides data on gold, silver, platinum and palladium market research. “You will notice on the charts that for some bizarre reason the supply and demand are always equal. They're equal because they plugged net implied investment demand to make the numbers balance,” said Sprott. “The other day [silver] traded 500,000,000 ounces in a day on the COMEX when [the world] only produces 800,000,000 ounces in a year. It's a paper market; there's no inventory. I think the supply and demand have been massively miscalculated.” Sprott also said he believes certain financial entities are controlling the price of silver, referencing recent lawsuits against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and HSBC for allegedly colluding on the silver market and informing each other of large trades. This suit also alleges the banks used their large positions to effect the market by "flooding" it with a disproportionate number of orders. Relating to this and other similar lawsuits, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been in the midst of a high-profile, two-year-old investigation of the silver market.