Gold ETFs are an attractive alternative to gold mutual funds.
Also called a gold exchange traded fund, a gold ETF is
generally designed to give investors exposure to this precious metal by tracking the price of gold. Although the underlying asset is gold,
the actual holdings in an ETF or ETN may not be physical gold but gold-backed derivatives that allow an
investor to mimic the performance of gold using futures, forwards and options to simulate a gold index,
sometimes leveraged two or three times either on the long or short side. The availability of these long and short
securities allows us to profit from gold price movements in either direction - up or down.
For example, a couple of leveraged exchange traded securites are DGP which seeks
to produce twice the price performance (double long) of gold bullion as measured by the US Dollar PM fix price
for London Delivery and its sister security DZZ, which seeks to do the opposite and is a gold
double short. Both are ETNs, or exchange traded notes which are similar to ETFs but
structured differently and issued as senior debt like a bond rather than equity in the underlying commodity
like a stock.
Some ETFs will own physical gold bullion bars in trust and allow investors to own a portion of that
holding. This type of ETF gold fund allows us to enjoy prices that are open only to the
professional bullion market which deals in so-called Good Delivery bars that are not available to
private investors. These bars are cast by accredited refiners approved by the gold markets of London, Zürich and
New York and are guaranteed to be 99.5% pure gold or better, also known as fine gold. They are usually
very large at 400 troy ounces each (about 25 lbs) and worth over half a million dollars at today's
prices. A few years ago, it was very difficult for small individual investors to benefit from ownership
of gold bullion in a cost-efficient manner but this type of precious metals ETF has now made it
possible. One of the better known of these funds is SGOL, which stores its bullion in Swiss vaults
(for maximum security and confidentiality). Another is GLD, an early gold ETF and now one of the
largest ETFs with over $50 billion in assets.
Other funds will invest in gold mining companies (gold stocks), like
GDX which seeks to track the Gold Miners Index, which includes many foreign companies. And
many own more than just gold-based assets, like DBP which invests in several precious metals
and may be classified more as a precious metals ETF than a gold ETF.
Regardless of the type, all of these securities enable an investor to own the metal or have exposure to it in
some manner without the real problems of owning physical percious metals, including storage and safekeeping.
The following gold ETF list includes
some precious metals ETFs and ETNs:
Disclaimer: Please note that this list is only representative and is not intended
to be a complete and exhaustive listing of every gold ETF & ETN available to investors. It is being provided
for information purposes only and is in no way advisory, an endorsement of or a solicitation to buy any fund
or investment. This website is not afilliated with any ETF, ETN or investment company. The information was
gathered from publicly available sources that were believed to be accurate at the time of publication in order to
give you a ready referrence but we do not take responsibility for such accuracy. The information provided on this
site may be out of date as we do not regularly update this website. The information is necessarily incomplete and
you are encouraged to seek qualified help in getting more information on the gold ETFs listed.