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Best Olympic ‘Medal’ for Investors?


When it comes to the Olympics, one medal comes first: gold. But which metal is best for investors?

It seems hard to argue with the yellow metal, especially after its historic 11-year bull run. In the past five years alone, gold prices have soared 140%, to $1,616 an ounce. But even some of the biggest gold bugs question whether the shiny stuff can keep this going. And silver, while less valuable, has had nearly as good a rally — with prices rising 115%, to about $28 an ounce.

Then there’s bronze — or should we say, copper (bronze is not a pure metal itself, but an alloy composed largely of copper). Measured over the past five years, copper has been relatively flat — its current price is around $3.40 a pound. But over shorter periods (let’s call them sprints), copper can really get off the block. From early 2009 to early 2011, for example, prices tripled to a high of more than $4.50.

Of course, it’s worth noting that the actual Olympic gold medals are made up of silver, for the most part — with gold plating used just to give it that glittering look. With that in mind, SmartMoney asked precious metal analysts and experts to take stock of which Olympic “medal” looks best now from an investment standpoint.



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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.