Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Central Fund of Canada (AMEX: CEF) dropped 13% in intraday trading today on heavy volume after futures prices for silver plummeted.

So what: About half of Central Fund of Canada's assets are in silver, with much of the remainder in gold. The price of silver fell more than 13% in Asian markets before U.S. markets opened on Monday morning, with no apparent catalyst for the sell-off.

Now what: The price of silver has been on a tear, increasing 5.5% last week and more than 50% year to date to a 31-year high. Along with gold, many investors view silver as a hedge against inflation and/or a weakening dollar. Silver's spectacular run has brought valid warnings that its price could come crashing down.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.