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"The steady rise in ETF holdings is encouraging as it relates to the long-term silver outlook. Despite significant gyrations in prices, holdings haven't fluctuated nearly as much, suggesting that investors that buy these products are holding the metal for the long term and with conviction." -Silver ETF Holdings Reach Record - IndexUniverse November 20, 2012
The passage above, as well as the accompanying chart below - illustrates the underlying risks of what has been a slow bleed lower in the precious metals complex. In essence, dogma has been maintained while prices have trended lower. Conventional contrarian perspective will tell you this typically does not end favorably for investors - regardless of size and sophistication.
This is also why I have utilized the 1991 Nikkei comparative (most recently - Here) this year to illustrate the respective waves of denial throughout the year.
Should the comparative continue to be prescient, silver's most recent rally will fail ~ the 61.8 fibonacci retracement level. This level could also be used as an overall proxy for risk appetites in the currency and equity markets.