SFGate has an interesting article with a wealth of info for people wanting to start investing in metals (although a bit dated):
There are several ways for individuals to invest in metals, including stocks, mutual funds and ETFs, direct and indirect ownership of the metal, or futures contracts.
Some ways to gain exposure to metals:
- Stocks: Owning companies that mine for and produce various metals.
- Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds: Most focus on gold, which tends to be influenced by currency and geopolitical issues.
- Direct ownership: Precious- metals dealers and online trading firms sell silver, gold, platinum and palladium.
- Futures contracts: Potentially the riskiest — and most lucrative — way to play metals.
The article goes on to give the outlook on the most important metals and how you can get a piece of the action