ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) are apparently this season’s must-have portfolio item. Market watchers, however, are divided about how much steam the metal has left.

The idea of gold prices hitting $10,000 per ounce sounds ludicrous to some – perhaps as ludicrous as gold rolling back to $200 an ounce sounds to others. But are the usual things that drive gold really at play this time? asks Jon Ogg for InvestorPlace. [4 Reasons Gold ETFs Are Still a Popular Bet.]

Right now currency devaluations and investor demand are driving the gold craze, but no one will know if the top has been hit until well after it’s been reached. If you are investing in gold, there are many ways to play the metal. Which you choose is up to you. [GDP Numbers Give Gold ETFs a Pop.]

1. Physical gold ETFs such as SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) and iShares COMEX Gold (NYSEArca: IAU) are for the investor who wants to directly play the performance of gold bullion, GLD is the ETF of choice. Some commodity ETFs are criticized because their large size produces high volumes of trades, which can cause false movements in the underlying commodity. Tim Parker for Investopedia says that with physical gold ETFs, management fees are the main thing to keep an eye on. They can eat into returns quickly.

2. Gold mining stocks are another way to get exposure. It can be had in Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXJ). Both funds work like other equity ETFs and do not necessarily correlate with the price of gold. Additionally, Global X launched the Global X Gold Explorers (NYSEArca: GLDX) this week, giving investors another way to play a more speculative area of the gold market.

3. There is one ETF that holds gold futures: PowerShares DB Gold (NYSEArca: DGL). Although some futures ETFs have been hit by contango issues, PowerShares’ Optimum Yield method of rolling futures seeks to mitigate the negative effect.

4. For the intrepid investor who wants more oomph in rising gold prices or a hedge against falling ones, there are leveraged and inverse ETFs. ProShares Ultra Gold (NYSEArca: UGL) or ProShares UltraShort Gold (NYSEArca: GLL) can give you this exposure.

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.