Gold ETF | What are Gold ETF Funds?

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What are Gold ETF Funds?

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Investing in gold or other precious metals is very popular these days, but precious metals investing requires special attention to the logistics of the purchase.  Gold ETF funds provide a method for investing in gold that eliminates these issues. The logistics referred to are the problems of insurance, storage, moving, and reselling, along with many others. Here we will clarify what ETF gold funds are, and some of the better ways to trade them.

Firstly however, you should understand what the term ETF means. An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund, meaning it is traded on the major stock exchanges.  The NYSE, and NASDAQ have ETF’s, but the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is the primary trading venue for Gold ETF funds. When you buy an ETF, you are typically investing in a conglomerate of companies, rather than a single corporation.

It works like this, the Gold ETF fund will purchase a large amount of gold, maintaining the physical metal in storage. They will then issue shares in baskets, the idea here being that the value of the shares will increase with the price of gold bullion. If the price of gold goes up by 10%, then individual shares would increase in value by the same 10%.

What makes this attractive to most buyers is the fact that trading in gold can be done very easily at any time during stock market hours using your online brokerage account. Another thing people like is you don’t have to buy a large amount of gold to invest. Most gold ETF funds have a minimum investment but you can buy in portions of an ounce.  This is really ideal since the price of an ounce of gold these days is not something everyone can afford to purchase.

Some of the more popular venues for buying gold or gold mining companies include the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), and ProShares Ultra Gold (UGL).  Here’s a brief explanation of how these funds work:

SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was the very first Gold ETF fund and still the most popular. They purchase 400 ounce gold bars from London Good Delivery Bars, and issue the shares at one tenth of the price of an ounce of the gold.

ProShares Ultra Gold (UGL) is for the seasoned investor who is very aggressive and not averse to risk.  Also known as a double gold ETF, it is designed to double the investment return, in other words, if the price of gold increases by 10% the value of the shares should increase by 20%.

Market Vectors Gold Miners fund (GDX) attempts to mirror the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index as closely as possible, before any fees are removed from the investment. Using index investing, your portfolio will have 32 mining companies behind it.  Keep in mind, this type of Gold ETF is made of up gold company stocks, thus it tracks the gold stock index, not the gold price index.

Why Follow a Professional?

Now though I’ve provided a good basic overview of Gold ETF funds, if you’re really serious about gold investing I highly recommend you sign up for a reputable gold ETF newsletter with trading alerts. Without the guidance of a professional who specializes in trading gold securities, you’d not only be losing out on a lot of profits but taking on unnecessary risk at the same time.

One of the best gold newsletter and trading alert services out there is TheGoldAndOilGuy. TheGoldandOilGuy is run by Chris Vermeulen, a professional gold and stock trader with a very impressive track record.  Chris is without a doubt one of the best gold ETF traders I know of and what I especially like about his service is that not only does he provide highly profitable trading signals in real time but his whole approach is actually very conservative in nature with limiting your risk being a top priority.

But be warned – if you’re the type of person who has a difficult time following instructions and instead trades on their emotions then please do NOT sign up for this newsletter as you’d only be wasting your time and money.  However if you can exercise discipline and execute trades according to Chris’ calls, you’ll likely be shocked by the consistent gains you can achieve.

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6 Responses to “What are Gold ETF Funds?”

  1. Julia E. Umlauf on May 29th, 2010 10:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me understand the gold ETF’s, more clearly and how I should invest my money safely. Thank you for your help. Julia Umlauf

  2. admin on June 1st, 2010 8:23 am

    Thank you for your kind words Julia and I’m glad it helped you. All the best in your financial endeavors.

  3. John Vanasselt on October 6th, 2010 2:15 pm

    Thanks for this very informative blog. Nice balance between Cdn and US ETF options. Helpful and useful.

  4. Mitch Fountain on December 2nd, 2010 2:33 pm

    Is their a CDN version of UGL. I’m one of those “Aftershock” guys and want to hold a double ETF with 5%?

  5. David on December 3rd, 2010 9:27 pm

    There is HGU which trades trades on the TSX. It is a double gold ETF that tracks the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index but that index is made up of gold stocks, not gold bullion.

  6. Aadil on October 4th, 2011 10:06 am

    Could you please help me understand why is there a difference between the price of actual gold and the price of a Gold ETF, the ETF being lesser by almost Rs.1000 when I checked with GOLDBEES.NS?

    Thank you