Assuming every four seconds during market hours, over 20k times a day. Well 20,700 times precisely, but that's that easy answer. According to Forex.com precious metals markets are open 23 hours a day, from 23:00 GMT on Sunday to 21:15 on Friday. You’re only safe from market fluctuations - or so they say - between 21:15 and 23:00, when the market is closed. But there's more to the question.
How often do silver prices change asks for more than a second-by-second account. This is a question and answer about the fundamentals of silver changes.
Like other commodities, the price of silver is subject to pressures ranging from physical supply to investor demand. In the process of asking for and making bids for silver, adjustments are made to the price. This back-and-forth of supply and demand creates the illusory notion that momentary price changes matter.
Demand for silver and other precious metals are based around investor sentiment, which can be affected by a number of things. Many people like to invest in precious metals as a hedge against a poor economy. Assets such as stocks and shares, property and fiat currency can all dramatically decrease in value in poor economic conditions, but precious metal prices are more immune to this.
On the other hand, meaningful silver price changes can fluctuate wildly when any news that could affect the wider economy breaks out. A major example of this was on 23 June 2016, when Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. This led to mass fears of a fall in the British pound and other fiat currencies.
The ensuing rush of investors exchanging fiat currency for gold and silver to hedge against this scenario made a big price impact. Huge daily fluctuations, such as the post-Brexit spike, are rare but tiny fluctuations can occur every minute (or however long it takes online price trackers to update).
Most significant changes is silver prices and changes in how often do silver prices change occur when the balance of trust in fiat currency changes. Outside of major advances in mining technology that affect long-term supply, trust in markets and global economies is a contra-measure of the intrinsic value of silver.
That's what the conventional thesis says. In other words, that the more volatile an investment, the higher its risk profile. Is that really the case? A plethora of investors tend to disagree. They put forward that volatility is not a bad thing. In fact, volatility can fuel your returns if you are comfortable buying at a pre-set price. For instance, when silver enjoyed a relatively sharp upturn as of late. It climbed from $15.58 per ounce on 12 December 2017 to $16.75 for an ounce on 7 February 2018. Some investors were ready to take advantage at earlier low prices.
Silver is well-known for being a volatile asset in terms of its market value. It’s historically far more volatile than gold. Getting back to the point, however, why is volatility so bad? Because if you are investing with funds that you are living on, you may have a hard time. You should aim to never need to draw-down you originally invested capital. Instead, sell off your returns as you need. With a long-enough horizon, volatility averages out and you're left with higher returns.
Silver moves up over time with more ups and downs partly because demand for silver is more elastic. Silver is required by industrial companies, but this demand is likely to fluctuate due to market conditions. The fact that a percentage of the silver ordered by the industrial industry is used up will affect the supply, which is another reason behind the market's elasticity.
The demand for gold is very much centred around its monetary use, which is far less elastic. So another answer to how often do silver prices change seems to be that it doesn't matter.
While short-term investors such as day traders profit from doing just that, it's the exception to the rule. It is nether going to make you healthy nor wealthy to tie yourself to the ticker. Instead, as a long-term investor, your job is to look for broader investment principles. Make your decisions and wait. Heck, the premiums on trading back-and-forth add up.
Again, my advice is geared to the more conservative, long-term investor. At the end of the day, market conditions and investment goals can change everything.
If you’re a day trader hoping to make quick profits from daily fluctuations in the precious metals market, the reality is that you’ll be spending a lot of time checking live prices. And there are plenty of useful smartphone apps to help you monitor price changes. Doing so, you can buy silver bullion bars and trade these assets extremely quickly. Our guide to selling silver at spot price or higher could prove useful for these individuals.
It’s advisable not to spend too much time watching the tiny peaks and troughs on the live charts. That's not to say we don't do it, but rather that we'd all be better off ignoring Mr. Market once in a while. Still, the silver market can be volatile enough to spook any of us into panic-selling several times a month. The challenge is that markets tend to average out meaningfully over the long-term.
And unfortunately, if you miss just a few of the best days for silver, like stock, you lose big. Most daily dips recover in time, so panic-selling is rarely advised in this market. Selling low, then buying back high is also a surefire way to go broke. You are far better off jut adding to your stack over time. Use a weighted-average strategy as one alternative.
If you want a less volatile market and want to stay in precious metals, consider diversifying some money into gold. Its medium-to-long-term value is fairly more reliable. I'll get to the point. If you’re investing a for long-term gains (what you should be doing) as part of a balanced portfolio, take a more casual approach to checking silver prices. Absolutely keep an eye on macro-trends in the news for signs of a crash, but don't check daily. Leave that kind of stress to all the other areas of your life that deserve it. That's my opinion, at least.
At Global Bullion, we buy all sorts of precious metal bullion through our sister store Muzeum, including gold and silver.