Monday, March 8, 2010

Make Money with the Silver ETF

Getting convenient access to real assets can be difficult. It can be tough to buy 1000 ounces of silver, store it, and make money with the large spread from a physical dealer. Furthermore, trading in and out is not practical when dealing with physical silver.

Now, I will always advocate holding physical metal but only as a store of value, not as a way to make money. If you want to make money from silver, then you should be trading the silver exchange traded fund (ETF) which has the symbol SLV.

There are several ways to make money using the silver ETF. You can buy SLV when silver is lower in price and sell when silver is higher. This follows the mantra of buy low and sell high. But I want to focus on a different way to make money using SLV that has the potential to produce a monthly income.

I want to focus on the ability to sell covered calls on the silver exchange traded fund. This allows the investor in silver to not only gain some inflation protection, but also to generate some ongoing cash flow while holding a real asset.

Selling a covered call works like this:
Let's say that you have enough money to buy 200 ounces of silver or roughly $3400. Instead of going through the trouble of buying from a dealer, storing the metal, and just watching it sit there, you could purchase 200 shares of SLV through a brokerage account. As of this writing, the silver spot price is $17.26 per ounce and SLV is at $16.94 per share.

You would purchase the shares and could then sell a call option expiring in April at a strike price of $17 per share for $0.61 per share. If SLV closes above $17 in April, those shares will be sold and you would get $17 per share. If not, you keep the shares and can write another call for a May expiration. Either way you would get to keep the option premium.

When the price of silver is down, you can buy some physical silver but while waiting you could be making some money each month using SLV. It is certainly something to consider. Until next time--KEEP IT REAL!

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