Taking a Shine to Silver

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Investors are polishing the tarnish off silver.

Investors are polishing the tarnish off silver, which could play catch up with its golden cousin in the weeks ahead. But it faces a series of technical hurdles before it can establish a new uptrend, so be cautious if you take a shine to this unique market.

While gold keeps setting records, silver is unlikely to match that kind of action due to something that happened 30 years ago. Back when Jimmy Carter was president, the Hunt Brothers attempted to corner the silver market, triggering a parabolic rally that topped out at $54 an ounce, before collapsing to $11.

Since broken parabolas rarely reinflate, silver probably won't exceed the 1980 high in our lifetimes. But that's OK. The overhead supply from that troubled era is now gone, allowing this instrument to trade according to the natural laws of supply and demand, along with a fair share of greed and fear, just like any other precious-metal market.

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