February 20, 2008

Israel Friedman on Silver


By Israel Friedman

Israel Friedman is a friend and mentor to Theodore Butler. He has followed silver for many decades.

The U.S. mint sold 2,170,000 silver eagles and only 26,000 gold eagles in the month of January. By my calculation 83 times more silver eagles were sold then gold eagles. This is an enormous difference that shows you how much more interest there is in silver. Investors are starting to understand that silver is a better investment then gold. I congratulate Mr. Butler that by his writing about silver, more and more people are buying physical silver.

In my opinion, the beauty of silver is that any amount of silver you buy will reward you tremendously. Maybe only 0.5% of the world population has heard about silver and they are mostly American investors who bought in the last 15 years around 400 million ounces of silver.

Today, many silver investors are asking why silver doesn't achieve all time highs like gold. Mr. Butler answers this question every week by emphasizing the control of prices on the COMEX by 4 or less traders that hold more than 50% of the net short position. When you hold a position of more than 50%, you control the market. This may be changing now. The short position is the main reason why the price of silver is behind the gold price, but this creates the opportunity to buy silver.

Different people have different opinions or expectations for future prices. I personally believe that only silver can be characterized as real precious metal and gold is a second violin. I made this decision by understanding the rarity of the metal and its world stocks. Let's look at gold first: its world stocks increase almost 100 million ounces annually. Contrast this to silver, which is in a yearly deficit and is decreasing yearly. World gold stocks are around 5 billion ounces and silver around 1 to 2 billion ounces. I say with conviction that silver is more rare than gold and, in my eyes, is the only precious metal. I think investors are beginning to understand that a shortage can develop easily in silver, but not so in gold, because it is not used that much industrially. It is a lot easier for people to pay $15 or $20 for an ounce than $900 or $1,000, especially when the cheap one has the most value.

If 90% of the world population knew this, the prices of silver and gold would be different. In the short term, with gold prices over $900, silver would be in the hundreds. Mr. Butler doesn’t like my numbers. He says that they are too extreme and people are going to lose confidence in my writing, but I hope he will not censor me, because this is my opinion. Silver in the hundreds of dollars will come only with a shortage of silver. The 4 or less shorts will give up. With a shortage, world investors will recognize the rarity of silver.

Gold and silver seem to trade together, tick by tick. It is easy for many people to think they are the same commodity. Not true. Gold and silver are very different, even if they behave now as one. I am certain that will change, and perhaps very soon. You don’t have to look very far to see just how different silver is from gold.

Some of you want to hear how I see the future in silver prices and what I think about the world in my crystal ball.

(1) Life expectancy will rise tremendously and most of you will live over 100 in years to come.

(2) It will be very important to save and prepare for a long life.

(3) Investment in education----silver----farmland, in my opinion, will do the best.

(4) At some point, in 15 to 20 years, silver prices will be 5 times higher than gold prices. If my calculation is correct, a dollar invested in silver will do many times better than gold. In real estate value, I think 1,000 ounces of silver will buy a 3-bedroom apartment in Manhattan in Trump Towers.

I am a different thinker, and some gold investors don't like my opinion, but that is their problem.

Those who believe in silver value should buy eagles and force the mint to work overtime.

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