I've been stockpiling a lot of the copper and #1 iron for the past year as an investment. Today, I got to figuring out potential gains. There are a couple things to keep in mind:
1. Typical bank investment plans are paying around 1% per year or less.
2. For reference, my scrap yard's prices today are: #1 Copper - $2.85/lb; Aluminum Sheet - .40/lb; #1 Iron - $220/Ton and Light Iron - $155/Ton.
I keep a record of prices and a year ago (Nov 16, 2009) was $2.10, .33, $115 and $90.
So, if you held Copper, you have a return (increase in value) of 35%; Aluminum 20%; #1 Iron 91% and Light Iron 72%.
The low price for Copper and Aluminum was 1/28/09. Copper was 0.80/lb and Aluminum was .20/lb. Holding these for 22 months would have yielded 356% and 100%, respectively. Iron (both #1 and Lt) was low on 3/17/09. #1 was $70/Ton and Light was $40/ton. So holding these for 20 months would have been a 315% and 388% return or roughly 200% annually.
Beats the bank and any investment firm I've heard of.