Investing in precious metal is something you may hear about often. Many people invest in popular metals, such as gold, silver, or even platinum. Strategic metals are not nearly as familiar to people as more popular precious metals. For instance, many people are not familiar with indium. When asked, several people are unable to say where indium occurs in their daily lives.
Understanding what indium is can help you determine if it is a worthy investment. Of course, you should always familiarize yourself with any metal you plan on investing in. Even popular metals require research and knowledge before you jump into the investment playing field. Investments are not risk-free, which means knowledge is the key to avoiding mistakes.
What is Indium?
So, what is indium? Simply put, indium is a rare metal commonly found in zinc ores. The largest producers of Indium include China, Canada, and Japan. China is the largest producer. Between 2006 and 2009, China accounted for 35% of the world’s indium import sources.
You can recognize indium by its physical properties. It is a silvery-white color and is among the softest of metals discovered. Because it has a bright indigo colored spectral line, it was given the name indium. The indium melting point is relatively low, which makes it popular within several industrial applications.
Believe it or not, you come across indium every single day of your life. It has found its way into every aspect of daily culture. Most commonly, you will find indium within industrial applications. Producers use the metal for electrical components because of its conductive properties. Producers also use it as a solder or alloy.
Despite this information, you might still wonder just how indium exists in your daily life. Take into consideration the fact that 95% of Americans own a cell phone. Of those, 77% own a smartphone. Smartphones available on the market come with touchscreen capabilities.
Could you imagine owning a phone without a touchscreen? No? Well, if it weren’t for indium, you wouldn’t have a touchscreen capable cell phone. Indium exists in touchscreen technology, television screens, microchips, solar panels, and more. You likely encounter indium nearly every single day, and yet you don’t even realize it.
Indium uses are so vast that it falls into the category of a strategic metal. Investing in such a high demand strategic metal can net incredible profits. However, that is not to say that indium is without risk. Just like any other metal, the value of indium can fall, especially when buyers pressure producers into lowering the value of indium for a lower purchase price.
Despite popular demand for indium, the market value for the metal lost momentum after China’s Fanya Metal Exchange collapsed in the latter part of 2015. In fact, the indium price fell to six-year lows, especially after buyers applied pressure to the producers. Buyers insisted on purchasing indium at lower levels and producers, feeling the squeeze, opted to drop the price.
Because of the forced pressure, indium ingot prices fell $35 from the bottom and $15 from the top. The prices were the lowest anyone had seen since mid-2009. Once the prices fell, many buyers snatched up their share of the metal. Despite the sharp downward trend in prices, 2017 offered a surprising recovery. At the beginning of the year, indium sold for $190 to $230 per kg.
Prices started to climb in October and reached $270 to $290 per kg. As of the last few days of December 2018, the selling price of indium is $300 for every half kg and the buyback price is $270 for a half kg. Obviously, indium prices are unpredictable at best. The price can fluctuate between highs and lows, thus giving you a worthwhile investment or a significant loss.
However, you must invest carefully with indium, as you would with any metal. Every metal is subject to fluctuations in price. It all depends on economic trends, supply and demand, and industrial uses. Always keep an eye on any local, national, and global economic trends and metal mining news. Eventually, you will see a distinct pattern that you can learn and use to your benefit as a precious metal investor.
Indium is an interesting metal with an interesting past, present, and future. Two German chemists, Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter, first discovered indium in 1863. Initially, the two men were searching zinc ores for an element named thallium. Instead, the samples they collected contained a bright indigo-colored line, hence the name Indium.
The availability of indium is rather abundant, like silver. It is easy to mine, too. Indium occurs in copper, iron, lead, and zinc ores, making it a steadily available source. Among all the elements in existence so far, indium is the 61st most common one. Because the demand for indium continues to rice with the production of LCD screens, the price typically rises, too.
Although there are plenty of reasons to invest in indium, you must be careful. Many pushy sellers are looking to trick you into buying indium at the highest price possible before it’s “too late.” A lot of hype circulates the internet surrounding indium news. As previously stated, indium is an abundant resource. However, some media outlets make claims about the resource running out.
Some resources claimed that indium would run out by 2017, but that has proven false. Claims of resources running out are nothing new. You will often find hyped up articles backed by media frenzy stating that resources are running out. If all that hype sends investors into a panic, they will buy up what little bit is left in the hopes of holding onto a now rare resource of considerable value.
The New Scientist released an article making hyped up claims stating that antimony would run out in 15 years, silver would be gone after ten years, and indium would run out in less than five years. With just a few days left in 2017 and plenty of indium left available, the news was nothing more than a ploy to capture the attention of investors.
If you wish to invest in indium, make sure you compare factual evidence with media hype. Scientifically supported evidence will provide you with a greater truth than reported news. That is not to say that you shouldn’t watch the news carefully for valuable information that could help you with your investment making decision.
How to Invest
Now that you know valuable information about indium, perhaps you are interested in pursuing an investment. If you plan on investing in indium, make sure you keep an eye on major producers, such as Teck Cominco (NYSE: TCK), Argentex Mining (OTC: AGXM), and South American Silver Corp (TSE: SAC). The rise and fall of indium values will indicate whether it is a good investment or not.
If you wish to invest in indium, research the trading company you choose. There are plenty of fraudulent companies out there who wish to make as much money off you as possible. For instance, they may ramp up the value of indium, indicating that you are making money when you are not. If you reach a point that you wish to sell, they may convince you that it is not a good time.
Instead, you should always trust your own gut instinct and research. Do not trust companies that reach out offering to sell a metal to you. If you have questions about a trading company, you can access information via the National Fraud Information Center Consumer Assistance Hotline. You can also reach out to the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
Whenever you invest in any metal, including indium, make sure you never invest more money than you are willing to lose. As with any investment, you stand to earn money, but you also stand to lose money. It is not a good idea to dump all of your money into an investment and hope for the best. If you have the extra money to spare and you would like to test the waters of strategic metal investing, indium is a good start.
Purchase vs. Worth
Make sure you know the worth of indium before purchasing any investments. Many investment trading companies are China-based. They make attempts to sell indium investments for well above their value. You can track the value of metal using a variety of trusted resources. Always compare the buying price for investments in comparison to the worth of indium.
With the right information, knowledge, tools, and resources, investments in indium can prove worthwhile. That is not to say that it is the right investment for everyone. Much like silver, indium is a volatile investment and subject to rapid changes that either decrease or increase. Although there are people who have made money off the investment, there are people who have lost money, too.
Make sure you speak to a reputable professional before making any investment decisions. A professional can inform you if the purchase price suits the worth of indium. Just because a company tells you that it is worth your time does not mean it is. You must look after your own investments rather than trusting someone else to make those suggestions for you.