ETF Spotlight on iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV), part of a weekly series. Assets: $3.9 billion

Holdings: SLV holds silver bullion. The trust accepts silver that meets the London Good Delivery Standards. Each bar must contain between 750 ounces and 1,100 ounces

Objective: SLV seeks to track the price of silver owned by the iShares Silver Trust, minus expenses and liabilities. The fund is structured as a grantor trust and there is no index involved.

What’s Good

  • Before exchange traded funds (ETFs), most retail investors were restricted to investing in silver via mining stocks and precious metals mutual funds
  • Silver ETFs are a simple and cost-effective way to gain exposure to the silver market
  • ETFs that hold physical securities simplify silver investing by removing the cost of having to find storage for the commodity
  • SLV issues and redeems baskets of shares (one basket is 50,000 shares), which are only issued or redeemed for an equal value of silver; no shares are issued until the custodian has a corresponding amount of silver, according to an iShares FAQ

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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.