This article talks about 3 hypothetical portfolios for Stocks, Gold and Silver that started in 1981 (dividends being reinvested). In the last 3 years Gold has outperformed SPY with less volatility but this is NOT the historical norm. http://seekingalpha.com/article/271054-the-best-long-term-investment-gold-vs-silver-vs-s-p-500 >> Investing in stocks had been much more profitable in the first 20 years. In 2000 the average value of your stock holdings would have been $136,028, whereas silver and gold would have been worth $17,563 and $15,476, respectively. Furthermore, silver and gold investments would have had a negative or near zero compounded annual return until 2004. Since then however, the precious metals have begun to quickly make up ground and, helped by S&P 500's 57% crash during the last recession, silver managed to slightly surpass stocks in 2010, while gold was still behind. On April 28, 2011, when the price of silver was near its peak, silver was a clear winner with a value of $233,917 and a compounded annual return of 11.8% compared to S&P 500's $173,400 and 10.3%, and gold's $115,889 and 8.12% However, the subsequent price decline put silver behind S&P 500. As of May 18 close, the stock portfolio would have been valued at $170,931; silver at $166,144; and gold at $112,880.