Topic: ETFs

ETF Stocks: Precious metal ETFs to hold

precious metal etfs

In 2011, gold shot up to a high of $1,950 U.S. an ounce, and silver reached a peak of $48.58.

Gold prices then fell steadily, dropping to $1,050 an ounce in December 2015 for the first time since early 2010. That month, silver also declined to a five-year low of $13.65 an ounce.

Gold now trades at $1,238 and silver at $18.28. That reflects higher commodity prices. It also reflects the belief that slow global economic growth will keep interest rates low and raise the possibility of high inflation. Globally, political uncertainty also increases the appeal of gold for investors.

However, an improving U.S. economy could eventually push interest rates higher. In that event, gold and silver would likely drop.

Still, if you want to hold gold or silver stocks, these two ETFs offer top-quality global miners.


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ISHARES S&P/TSX GLOBAL GOLD INDEX FUND $12.06 (Toronto symbol XGD; buy or sell through brokers; ca.ishares.com) aims to mirror the performance of the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index; it’s made up of 35 gold stocks from Canada and around the world. The ETF began trading on March 23, 2001. Its MER is 0.61%.

The top holdings for the fund are Barrick Gold at 13.4%; Newmont Mining, 12.6%; Franco-Nevada Corp., 9.3%; Goldcorp, 8.2%; Agnico-Eagle Mines, 7.6%; Randgold Resources (ADR), 6.0%; Kinross Gold, 3.7%; Royal Gold, 3.6%; AngloGold Ashanti (ADR), 3.1%; and B2Gold, 2.0%.

Canadian companies comprise 69.1% of the fund’s holdings, but it also holds miners in the U.S. (16.7%) and South Africa (6.8%).

iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index is a hold.

GLOBAL X SILVER MINERS ETF $33.19 (New York symbol SIL; buy or sell through brokers; www.globalxfunds.com) tracks the Solactive Global Silver Miners Index. That index began trading in April 2010 and includes 21 international firms that mine, refine or explore for silver. It was developed by Germany’s Structured Solutions AG.

Canadian firms make up 48.5% of the fund’s holdings, ahead of Mexico (22.1%) and the U.S. (21.3%). Its MER is 0.65%. The ETF’s top holdings are Fresnillo plc at 13.5%; Wheaton Precious Metals, 12.1%; Polymetal International, 11.3%; Industrias Penoles, 10.0%; Tahoe Resources, 5.1%; Pan American Silver, 4.9%; Hecla Mining, 4.8%; Coeur Mining, 4.6%; and Alamos Gold, 4.4%.

Global X Silver Miners ETF is a hold.

For our view on how to make the best selection in individual gold stocks, read 9 ways to spot the best gold stocks with the lowest risk.

For a recent report on how to judge whether an ETF is right for you, read When an ETF investment is the right choice.

This post was originally published in 2014 and is updated regularly.

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