Topic: How To Invest

Q: Hi Pat, I’m interested in investing in rare-earth metals. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations as well as an ETF to invest in. Thanks.

Article Excerpt

A: Rare-earth elements are used in a variety of modern devices and applications: catalytic converters and petroleum refining; magnets in small and large motors; glass additives and glass polishing compounds; rechargeable batteries; television and computer screens; lighting; X-ray machines; and lasers. Rare-earth prices surged to a peak in early 2011, but then moved down steadily, bottoming out in 2016. However, prices have started to rise lately. That’s because China, the top producer and exporter of the metals, has moved to stop illegal mining and enforce environmental rules. Prices for neodymium, used to make magnets for hybrid vehicle motors, rose about $65 U.S. a ton in mid-July. That’s up 30% from the most recent low in November 2016. It also marks the first time in about two years that the metal rose above the $60 mark. Prices of terbium metal, also used in magnets, has risen above $600 U.S a ton, jumping 36% from November’s low. China, which produces 80% of the world’s rare earths, began…

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