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Gold ETF Funds: More Than One Option


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Universe Of Gold ETF Funds Continues to Flourish

Gold ETF FundsBy now, most investors know a little something about allocating part of their portfolios to gold. In an era where cash for gold commercials are all over TV and macroeconomic factors almost dictate gold be acknowledged as a legitimate option for retail investors, gold ETF funds are making the rounds from CNBC to the Wall Street Journal to your neighborhood cocktail party.

The thing about gold ETF funds is that the conversation often drifts to the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD), by far the largest gold ETF fund. In fact, GLD is not only the oldest and largest gold ETF fund, it also does battle with the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) for the title of world’s largest ETF by assets. Those are some lofty accolades, but it doesn’t mean GLD is the only gold ETF fund out there. Far from it.

Exploring Other Gold ETF Funds

When it comes to gold ETF funds that hold physical gold, GLD faces stiff competition in the form of the iShares COMEX Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU). While GLD is much bigger than IAU by assets, IAU attracts plenty of investors with an expense ratio of 0.25%, 15 basis points lower than what GLD offers.

Other rivals to GLD include 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. SGOL stores its gold in Switzerland.

Miners: Don’t Forget These Gold ETF Funds

Often overlooked when it comes to gold ETF funds are those funds that track the stocks of gold mining companies. Mining companies, regardless of whether they mine gold, copper, palladium, whatever, make for volatile stocks, so conservative investors would do well to take a look at the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX). GDX is home to large-cap gold miners such as Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) and Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX).

If you’re looking for a little more adventure and volatility with your gold ETF funds, then try the Maket Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX), an ETF that is home to small, yet not too speculative gold mining stocks.

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