The desire for safe haven investments has once again thrust gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) into the spotlight. The result? Gold futures are rising and assets are pouring into the funds.

Gold has historically tended to move in line with the euro, says Allen Sykora at The Wall Street Journal. But the euro is down in the dumps these days, so the relationship is no longer there for the time being. As a result, holdings in the largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), have surged to a record. [5 ETFs to Watch in Crazy Markets.]

ETF investors can choose among three funds to play physical gold, and all seek to meet the same goal: to track the price of gold bullion. There are a number of important differences between the three ETFs to consider, says Don Dion for The Street. [Why Gold Is Surging.]

For more stories about gold, visit our gold category.

  • SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD): With more than 16 million shares changing hands each day, GLD is the most liquid of the three options. This is the first gold ETF in existence and it has been trading since 2004.
  • ETFS Gold Trust (NYSEArca: SGOL): SGOL, launched by ETF Securities, keeps its gold in Switzerland. It also charges a 0.39% expense ratio. These differences have helped SGOL amass a respectable $400 million in assets.
  • iShares COMEX Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU): IAU is just two months younger than GLD. The two funds dominated the physical gold ETF space until SGOL came along. IAU has $3.2 billion in assets.

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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