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ETF Securities: Changing The Way We Invest In Precious Metals


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ETF Securities: A Different Kind Of ETF Sponsor

ETF SecuritiesIf you were going to have a conversation about ETF issuers, there’s a decent chance that London-based ETF Securities might be left out. That’s not surprising, at least not when it comes to U.S. ETF sponsors. There’s about $1 trillion in ETF assets under management in the U.S., but over $800 billion of that total is held by just three firms – iShares, State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard. As of the end of September 2011, ETF Securities had $3.7 billion in AUM across seven U.S.-listed funds, according to data from the National Stock Exchange.

That may not sound like much, especially compared to one of the big boys like Vanguard or iShares, but a few yeas ago, ETF Securities was completely unknown in the U.S. ETF Securities changed that with a combination of good timing and the right offerings. Now, it appears this upstart ETF sponsor is here to stay.

ETF Securities: Gold, Silver and More

When it comes to investing in ETFs backed by physical holdings of precious metals, investors usually flock to the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) and the iShares COMEX Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) for gold and the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV). And these are exactly the arenas that ETF Securities competes in.

In fact, the ETF Securities Physical Silver Shares (NYSE: SIVR) does the exact same thing as SLV with an expense ratio that is 20 basis points lower. ETF Securities also offers two gold ETFs: The ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSE: SGOL) and the ETFS Physical Asian Gold Shares (NYSE: AGOL). What makes these ETFs different from GLD or IAU is that they store their gold overseas. In the case of AGOL, the gold is stored in Singapore.

Why consider an ETF that stores its gold in Switzerland or Singapore? Just look at the history books. While it may never happen again, the U.S. government once seized physical gold from private citizens. If that happened again, gold from ETFs would be seized, but Uncle Sam can never seize gold stored outside the U.S.

First-To-Market Brought To You By ETF Securities

Showing that it is more than just a copycat ETF issuer, ETF Securities was the first ETF firm to introduce funds backed by physical holdings of palladium and platinum to U.S. investors. Those funds are the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) and the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT).

And in another testament to the unique offerings of ETF Securities, the firm offers an ETF with exposure to all four precious metals, the ETF Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares (NYSE: GLTR) and an ETF that holds just the white metals, the ETFS Physical White Metals Basket Shares (NYSE: WITE).

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