How to Invest in Platinum: A Beginner’s Guide

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Adam Koprucki
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A rare and versatile metal, investing in platinum could be the key to unlocking a valuable and in-demand asset for your portfolio.

platinum

BLUF [Bottom Line, Up Front]

Platinum is a precious metal that has gained attention as an investment option due to its unique properties and increasing demand in various industries.

It is a rare metal, with limited supply, making it a valuable commodity. Investing in platinum can offer portfolio diversification, a hedge against inflation, and potential for long-term growth.

However, like any investment, it also comes with risks, including market volatility, economic and political factors, and competition from alternative metals. Despite the risks, platinum can be a viable investment option for those looking to diversify their portfolios and potentially benefit from the growing demand for this precious metal.

You might also be interested: How to invest in commodities: An Ultimate Guide

What is Platinum?

Platinum is a dense, silver-white precious metal. It is a rare and valuable metal, known for its resistance to corrosion, high melting point, and excellent electrical conductivity. Platinum is often used in a wide range of applications, including jewelry making, catalytic converters for vehicles, chemical and electrical industries, medical equipment, and investment purposes.

Uses of Platinum

Platinum is a versatile metal with numerous uses in various industries, including:

  1. Automotive Industry: Platinum is used in catalytic converters to reduce emissions from cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
  2. Jewelry: Platinum’s lustrous appearance and durability make it a popular metal for jewelry, especially engagement rings and wedding bands.
  3. Electronics: Platinum is used in electronic components, such as hard disk drives and LCD screens, due to its excellent conductivity and resistance to corrosion.
  4. Petroleum Refining: Platinum is used in refining crude oil to produce gasoline and other fuels.
  5. Chemical Industry: Platinum is used in the production of various chemicals, including fertilizers, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.
  6. Aerospace Industry: Platinum is used in the manufacturing of aircraft engines and other components due to its high melting point, corrosion resistance, and strength.
  7. Medical Industry: Platinum is used in medical devices, such as pacemakers and dental implants, due to its biocompatibility and resistance to corrosion.

These are just a few examples of the many uses of platinum. As a result of its versatility and importance in various industries, the demand for platinum continues to grow, making it an attractive investment option for some investors.

Benefits of Investing in Platinum

Investing in platinum can provide diversification benefits to a portfolio, as it is a precious metal that has historically exhibited low correlation with traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds. Additionally, platinum has a variety of industrial uses, such as in catalytic converters and jewelry, which can drive demand and potentially increase the metal’s value.

Portfolio diversification

Investing in platinum can provide portfolio diversification because it has a low correlation with other asset classes like stocks as stocks and bonds. Correlation refers to the degree to which two assets move in relation to each other. When two assets have a high correlation, they tend to move in the same direction, while assets with a low correlation tend to move independently of each other.

Platinum has a low correlation with stocks and bonds because its price movements are driven by different factors than those of traditional asset classes.

For example, platinum prices are influenced by supply and demand dynamics in the platinum market, which is driven by factors such as mining production and industrial demand. In contrast, the prices of stocks and bonds are influenced by factors such as company earnings and interest rates.

Including platinum in a portfolio can provide diversification benefits because it can help to reduce the overall volatility of the portfolio. When one asset class is experiencing a downturn, an asset with a low correlation may not be experiencing the same downturn. By diversifying across multiple asset classes, investors can reduce the overall risk of their investment portfolio.

Hedge against inflation

Another great benefit to investing in platinum is that it can provide a hedge against inflation because its price tends to rise during periods of high inflation.

Inflation is the general increase in the price of goods and services over time, and it can erode the purchasing power of a currency. When inflation rises, investors seek to protect the value of their investments by investing in assets that have a history of maintaining their value during inflationary periods, like commodities.

Platinum is considered a hard asset, which means that it has intrinsic value and can be used as a store of value. Unlike paper currencies, which can be affected by inflation, platinum is a finite resource with a limited supply. As a result, the price of platinum tends to rise during periods of high inflation because investors view it as a reliable store of value.

Platinum has historically shown a positive correlation with inflation, which means that as inflation rises, the price of platinum tends to rise as well. For example, during the 1970s, a period of high inflation, the price of platinum increased significantly.

Investing in platinum can provide a hedge against inflation because it can help to protect the purchasing power of an investment portfolio. By including platinum in a diversified investment portfolio, investors can potentially benefit from the positive correlation between platinum and inflation, which can help to offset the negative impact of inflation on other investments.

Growing demand in various industries

Growing demand in certain industries is a good reason to invest in platinum because it can lead to an increase in the price of platinum. Platinum is used in various industries, including the automotive industry, jewelry, and industrial applications. Therefore, an increase in demand in these industries can create a bullish market for platinum.

For example, the automotive industry is the largest consumer of platinum, accounting for around 40% of the total demand. With the increasing demand for electric vehicles, which require more platinum for their fuel cells, the demand for platinum is expected to grow in the future. This increased demand can lead to higher prices for platinum, providing potential opportunities for investors.

Risks of Investing in Platinum

Investing in platinum carries several risks that investors should be aware of before making any investment decisions.

Some of the risks of investing in platinum include:

Price volatility

Platinum prices can be volatile, and they can fluctuate rapidly due to various factors such as changes in supply and demand, geopolitical events, and changes in the global economic environment.

Market risk

Platinum prices are affected by global economic conditions, and fluctuations in global markets can have a significant impact on the price of platinum. Economic slowdowns, recessions, or financial crises can cause the price of platinum to decline.

Currency risk

Platinum is priced in U.S. dollars, and changes in exchange rates can affect the value of platinum investments for investors who hold other currencies.

Supply and demand risk

The supply of platinum is limited, and disruptions in the supply chain, such as strikes or mine closures, can cause shortages in the market and lead to higher prices. Conversely, a decrease in demand for platinum can lead to lower prices.

Liquidity risk

The market for platinum can be illiquid, which means that it can be difficult to buy or sell platinum at a desired price, particularly during times of market stress.

It is important to note that investing in platinum carries its own risks and investors should conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making any investment decisions. Additionally, investors should consider their individual investment goals and risk tolerance before making any investment decisions.

How to Invest in Platinum

Like other commodities such as Copper, Gold and Silver, and oil, there are several ways to invest in platinum, such as physical platinum, platinum ETFs, platinum stocks, and platinum ETFs.

Physical platinum

Physical platinum, such as platinum coins, bars, and jewelry, is the most obvious way to invest in platinum.

Purchasing Platinum bullion refers to physical platinum in the form of bars or coins. Investors can purchase platinum bullion from authorized dealers or mints.

However, purchasing physical platinum requires storage, insurance, and security, which can add to the cost of investing.

Platinum ETFs

Another easy way to invest in platinum is through Platinum ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), which are investment funds that track the price of platinum and offer investors exposure to the precious metal without the need to physically hold it.

ETFs are a type of investment vehicle that are traded on stock exchanges, just like individual stocks, and allow investors to buy or sell shares of the ETF like they would stocks.

Platinum ETFs typically invest in physical platinum bullion or derivatives contracts that are linked to the price of platinum.

By investing in an ETF, investors gain exposure to the price movements of platinum without having to purchase and store the metal themselves. This can be a more convenient and cost-effective way to invest in platinum because it eliminates the need for storage and security costs associated with owning physical platinum.

Investors can choose from a variety of platinum ETFs that are available on different stock exchanges around the world.

There are several platinum ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) available for investors in the United States. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Aberdeen Standard Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT): This ETF seeks to track the performance of the price of physical platinum bullion. It is managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments and has an expense ratio of 0.60%.
  2. GraniteShares Platinum Trust (PLTM): his ETF also tracks the price of physical platinum bullion, but with a lower expense ratio of 0.50%. It is managed by GraniteShares and had about $600 million in assets under management
  3. iShares Physical Platinum ETF (PPLT): This ETF, like the other two, tracks the price of physical platinum bullion. It is managed by BlackRock’s iShares and has an expense ratio of 0.25%. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, PPLT had over $650 million in assets under management.
  4. Invesco DB Platinum Fund (DBP): This ETF does not hold physical platinum, but instead invests in futures contracts and other derivatives that track the price of platinum. It is managed by Invesco and has an expense ratio of 0.78%. DBP has about $40 million in assets under management.

Each of these ETFs provides exposure to the price of platinum and can be traded on a stock exchange like a regular stock.

Platinum stocks

Another common way to invest in platinum is through platinum stocks.

Platinum stocks refer to shares of companies that are involved in the exploration, mining, production, and sale of platinum and other precious metals. Investing in platinum stocks can offer investors exposure to the price movements of platinum and other metals, and potential returns from the growth of the companies.

There are several platinum mining companies that trade on US stock exchanges, offering investors the opportunity to invest in the platinum industry without having to purchase physical platinum. Here are a few examples:

  1. Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (OTC: AGPPY) – Anglo American Platinum is the world’s largest producer of platinum, responsible for approximately 38% of global supply. The company is based in South Africa and is listed on the OTC market in the US.
  2. Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. (NYSE: SBSW) – Sibanye Stillwater is a South African mining company that produces platinum, palladium, gold, and other metals. The company has operations in South Africa, the US, and Zimbabwe and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
  3. Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (OTC: IMPUY) – Impala Platinum is a South African mining company that produces platinum, palladium, rhodium, and other metals. The company is listed on the OTC market in the US.
  4. Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (NYSE: PLG) – Platinum Group Metals is a mining company with operations in South Africa and Canada. The company explores and develops platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, nickel, and copper deposits.
  5. Stillwater Mining Company (OTC: SWC) – Stillwater Mining Company is a Montana-based mining company that produces platinum and palladium. The company operates two mines in Montana and is listed on the OTC market in the US.

Platinum futures and options

Investing in platinum futures and options is the least common way for investors to gain exposure to platinum is a way for investors to gain exposure to the price movements of platinum without having to physically purchase the metal.because futures and options should only be part of an experienced investor’s portfolio, not a beginner.

is a way for investors to gain exposure to the price movements of platinum without having to physically purchase the metal. Here is a brief overview of how to invest in platinum futures and options:

Platinum Futures

Platinum futures contracts are standardized agreements to buy or sell a specified amount of platinum at a predetermined price and date in the future. Futures contracts are traded on commodity exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM). To invest in platinum futures, investors need to open a futures trading account with a brokerage firm that is a member of the exchange where the platinum futures are traded. Investors also need to meet the exchange’s margin requirements, which determine the amount of capital that needs to be deposited in the trading account to trade futures contracts.

Platinum Options

Platinum options are contracts that give investors the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell platinum at a predetermined price and date in the future. Options can be traded on the same commodity exchanges where platinum futures are traded. To invest in platinum options, investors need to open a trading account with a brokerage firm that is a member of the exchange where the options are traded. Options trading requires a smaller amount of capital compared to futures trading, as options only require the payment of a premium, which is the price of the option.

Investing in platinum futures and options involves risks, and investors should be aware of the potential losses that can result from trading these contracts. It is important to carefully research the market and the specific contracts before investing, and to consult with a professional financial advisor for guidance.

Tips for Investing in Platinum

Researching the platinum market is an essential step for investors looking to invest in platinum, whether through physical platinum, platinum ETFs, platinum stocks, or platinum futures and options. Here are some tips for researching the platinum market before investing:

1. Understand the market fundamentals.

Investors should understand the basic supply and demand dynamics of the platinum market. Platinum is primarily used in catalytic converters for automobiles, as well as in jewelry and industrial applications. The demand for platinum is heavily influenced by the automotive industry, which accounts for around 40% of platinum demand. Investors should research the demand outlook for platinum and the factors that can impact supply, such as mining production, recycling rates, and geopolitical risks.

2. Monitor platinum prices.

Platinum prices can be highly volatile, and investors should stay up-to-date on the latest price movements and trends. They can do this by monitoring prices on financial news websites, tracking commodity prices on trading platforms, or subscribing to market research reports from reputable sources.

3. Study macroeconomic factors.

Platinum prices are also influenced by macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, inflation, and currency fluctuations. Investors should stay informed on macroeconomic developments and how they can impact the platinum market.

4. Analyze industry trends.

Investors should analyze trends in the platinum industry, such as advances in technology and innovations that can impact the demand for platinum, as well as environmental and social factors such as regulations on vehicle emissions and labor practices.

5. Research specific companies and investment products.

Investors should also research specific platinum mining companies and investment products such as platinum ETFs and futures contracts. They should analyze the financial performance, management team, and growth prospects of individual companies, as well as the fees, liquidity, and trading volumes of investment products.

Overall, researching the platinum market requires a combination of fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and macroeconomic analysis. Investors should also seek professional advice from a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

The Bottom Line

Investing in platinum is that it can be a potentially profitable investment for those willing to take on the risks associated with investing in commodities. Platinum is a rare and valuable metal that has a variety of industrial and investment uses, and its price can be affected by a range of factors, including supply and demand dynamics, economic conditions, geopolitical events, and technological developments.

Investing in platinum can be done through a variety of methods, including buying physical platinum, investing in platinum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or investing in platinum mining stocks. Each of these methods has its own benefits and risks, and investors should carefully consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and financial situation before making any investment decisions.

Overall, investing in platinum can offer potential benefits in terms of diversification and long-term growth, but it is important to understand the risks and do your due diligence before investing.

Adam Koprucki

Expertise: Fixed-income investing, Macroeconomics, Personal Finance, Derivatives, Options, Index Funds

Professional Experience: J.P. Morgan, Deloitte Consulting, Societe Generale, The Vanguard Group

Education: Loyola University: Bachelor of Business Administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Certificate in Capital Markets

Adam Koprucki is the founder of Real World Investor, an investing website dedicated to reviewing the newest and latest investing tools and providing unique market insights for beginner to intermediate investors.

Before starting Real World Investor, he spent over a decade working at some of the world's largest investment banks and investment managers, such as Citibank, J.P. Morgan, Societe Generale, Deloitte, and The Vanguard Group.

His experience includes working with complex financial products such as exotic interest rate derivatives, structured products, and structured credit.

A dedicated and enthusiastic investor, he is passionate about macroeconomics and options trading. His investing insights have been published on Investopedia, Yahoo Finance, Seeking Alpha, GoBankingRates, Nasdaq, and Bigger Pockets.

He is also a contributing author at Equities.com.

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