BookWatch: Silver, not gold, is the portfolio insurance to buy now

Fear drives up precious metal prices. Fear of war, defaults, inflation, civil unrest and anything that undermines trust in government. A week after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, gold and silver jumped by 15%. Three years later, during the height of the European government debt crisis, when the obligations of Italy, Ireland, and Greece resembled junk bonds, silver more than quadrupled in value, while gold increased 250%.

Today, fear of a financial collapse has receded, and so have the prices of both precious metals. Gold GCJ9, +0.67% sits at about $1,300 and silver SIK9, +0.73% languishes a little above $15.

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