In Jim Cook's Archive


The silver shortage continues. We’ve been able to get very few Silver Eagles. We don’t sell what we don’t have. It appears that many dealers are selling Silver Eagles based on a promise of future delivery from a supply source. This could be dangerous. One major supplier has warned us not to sell them. Only buy silver coins or bars where timely delivery is assured. In this kind of volatile market anything can happen. Most dealers have little money and a couple of bad decisions could spell ruin. Those with tiny margins are inevitably doomed. The failure rate in the gold and silver business is amazingly high. Sooner or later a lot of people are not going to get the coins or bars they ordered. Their money will be gone.

Those who refused to follow our advice on margin buying have been decimated. Those who ignore our advice on pool accounts are at risk of losing everything. Those who chase the lowest buck on the Internet are taking a chance on a dealer who may not survive. Often ridiculously low prices are a come-on for leverage, pool accounts, rare coins or some other trick. It always amazes me to see someone sending a wire for six figures across the country to an unknown dealer who could be using the money to make his car payment. Some of these dealers have failed and reopened several times.

Recently, the economist, best-selling author and newsletter writer, Mark Skousen, recommended Investment Rarities to his readers. Mark and I go back many years to the old Howard Ruff conferences. Mark has started a great new monetary conference in Las Vegas. He thought our reports on silver were worth reading. We pay him nothing for this kindness. That’s not always the case with newsletters who recommend their favorite coin dealer. Sometimes there is a kickback. This practice is highly unethical. If a newsletter recommends a dealer, and they’re getting a part of the commission, they need to disclose this fact to their readers. Otherwise it’s sleazy and could even be illegal.

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