Commodities For Dummies
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Metallurgy has been essential to human development throughout history. Like societies that have survived and thrived through mastering metallurgy, investors who have incorporated metal commodities into their portfolios have been able to generate significant returns.

  • Gold: Gold is perhaps the most coveted resource on the planet. For centuries, people have been attracted to its quasi-indestructibility and have used it as a store of value. Gold is a good asset for hedging against inflation and also for asset preservation during times of global turmoil.

  • Silver: Silver, like gold, is another precious metal that has monetary applications. The British currency, the pound sterling, is still named after this metal. Silver also has applications in industry (such as electrical wiring) that places it in a unique position of being coveted for both its precious metal status and its industrial uses.

  • Platinum: Platinum, the rich man’s gold, is one of the most valuable metals in the world, used for everything from jewelry to the manufacture of catalytic converters.

  • Steel: Steel, which is created by alloying iron and other materials, is the most widely used metal in the world. Used to build everything from cars to buildings, it’s a metal endowed with unique characteristics and offers good investment potential.

  • Aluminum: Perhaps no other metal has the versatility of aluminum; it’s lightweight yet surprisingly robust. These unique characteristics mean that it’s a metal worth adding to your portfolio, especially because it’s the second most widely used metal (right behind steel).

  • Copper: Copper, the third most widely used metal, is the metal of choice for industrial uses. Because it’s a great conductor of heat and electricity, its applications in industry are wide and deep, making this base metal a very attractive investment.

  • Palladium: Palladium is part of the platinum group of metals, and almost half of the palladium that’s mined goes toward building automobile catalytic converters. As the number of cars with these emission-reducing devices increases, the demand for palladium will increase as well, making this an attractive investment.

  • Nickel: Nickel is a ferrous metal that’s in high demand because of its resistance to corrosion and oxidation. Steel is usually alloyed with nickel to create stainless steel, which ensures that nickel will play an important role for years to come.

  • Zinc: The fourth most widely used metal in the world, zinc is sought after for its resistance to corrosion. It’s used in the process of galvanization, in which zinc coating is applied to other metals, such as steel, to prevent rust.

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Amine Bouchentouf is an internationally acclaimed author and market commentator. You can follow his market analysis at

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