Commodity Investing: ETFs or Mutual Funds?

June 8th at 6:00am by Tom Lydon

The choices you have when it comes to investing in commodities are exploding. We’ve laid out the differences between the various types of commodity exchange traded funds (ETFs) – futures, physically-backed, equities – but let’s talk about the pros and cons of getting commodity exposure in ETFs and mutual funds.

Two of the most promising options for investors seeking exposure to the world of commodity producers are the Market Vectors-RVE Hard Assets Producer ETF (NYSEArca: HAP) and the Fidelity Global Commodities Stock Fund (NYSE: FFGCX). So which fund is more likely to come out ahead? [4 Commodity ETF Types.]

Don Dion for The Street breaks it down. Both funds are relatively new to the markets. HAP is the older of the two, making its first appearance in late August 2008. FFGCX made it to market in March 2009.

FFGCX boasts $392 million assets under management while HAP has $100 million.

HAP comes out ahead on price, charging a 0.65% expense ratio. FFGCX, being actively managed, charges a 1.42% expense ratio. If you intend to hold it less than 30 days, you’ll be dinged a 1% short-term trading fee on top of that. Ouch. [ETFs vs. Mutual Funds.]

Where FFGCX does come out ahead is on flexibility. With a passive ETF like HAP, the holdings are the holdings. If one or two shares are underperforming, they still remain. Active management in the mutual fund leaves in the option to eliminate or reduce exposure. But is that worth the hefty price tag?

For more stories about mutual funds, visit our mutual find category.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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