Investing in silver is an effective way to diversify your portfolio and the natural compliment to gold. When you hear people on TV or on blogs about “investing in gold,” they usually mean the entire precious metals spectrum, including platinum, palladium, and especially silver. Silver has gone with gold for as long as metals have been used as currency. It’s the less valuable, more easily accessible cousin to gold.

Today, investing in silver still makes sense. While it may have lost some of its lustre, it’s still a commodity that’s in high demand and enjoys some of the speculative investment that sends gold prices soaring.

If you’re interested in investing in silver, do your research to make sure you get the best prices you can. Profiting from silver is all about the price at which you buy compared to the price when you sell. You give yourself more breathing room by doing everything you can to get better prices first. You can get great deals buying silver online if you know where to look. There are a couple of things you should consider as a silver investor that will determine your source for silver:

You’re not interested in numismatic value. Stay away from old coins and just look at good condition, silver bullion coins.

You can save money by buying larger quantities of silver. Online, dealers like Silver Gold Bull will even cover shipping if you buy enough silver.

But now that you know how to get a good price on silver, what’s the impetus for doing so? These are some of the most convincing reasons you should invest in silver today.

1) Silver is an undervalued asset – One of the tools investors use to decide whether silver is overvalued or undervalued is the gold-silver ratio. Historically, 15 ounces of silver has bought 1 ounce of gold. While the ratio has been larger for most of this century, today’s gold-silver ratio of 82 to 1 is well above average. This dynamic changes in precious metal bull markets in silver’s favor.

2) Silver gains value faster than gold in a bull market – Silver prices tend to be more volatile than gold prices, raising and falling considerably faster. Investing in silver to prepare for a future bull market or commodities super-cycle is a great way to use cash that you need to diversify.

3) Silver demand is high – Silver is more than just an investment product, it’s a commodity that’s in high demand. Silver is an important element in industry, used in applications including solar panels, electronics, wiring, medicine, media storage, food processing, 3D printing, laundry detergent, and more. Silver demand puts upward pressure on prices.

4) Gold is becoming unaffordable on the global market – In developing markets there’s a growing demand for precious metals. In some places, it’s an alternative to currencies. In others, like India, it’s both cultural and an important part of rural wealth accumulation. However, as gold becomes increasingly unaffordable to consumers in Asia, you can expect them to turn to silver increasingly as a store of value. During the precious metals boom of the 1980s, the same level of global demand did not exist.

5) Silver inventories are disappearing – High industrial demand coupled with decreasing production means that industry’s silver consumption is often covered by depleting existing silver stocks. Silver is becoming increasingly scarce, and that’s a great reason to invest in silver and hold onto it.

Silver should be part of any portfolio that diversifies with precious metals.