ETF Spotlight on ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR), part of an ongoing series.

Assets: $635.7 million.

Objective: The ETF tracks the price of silver.

Holdings: Physical allocated silver bullion held in vaults in London by custodian HSBC Bank USA.

What You Should Know:

  • SIVR has an expense ratio of 0.30%.
  • Gains on metals ETFs that hold bullion can be taxed at a higher rate than stocks.
  • Silver is a precious metal, and like gold, it is considered a store of value.
  • Industrial applications, such as electronics and thermal equipment, are major components in silver demand. As a result, silver tends to perform better during economic expansions and bull markets.

The Latest News:

  • SIVR is up more than 5% over the past week and silver prices have climbed after Moody’s warned on U.S. government debt. [Silver ETFs Jump]
  • Silver prices plunged in the spring after margins were raised for futures contracts. Since then, gold has outperformed on the Eurozone debt crisis.
  • Since a large portion of silver demand comes for the industrial sector, the relative weakness in silver may be attributed to the poor economic data from the U.S. and Europe. [Metals ETFs Driven by Eurozone Debt, Economic Data]
  • Some analysts believe that the fundamentals back a resurgence in silver prices, pointing to the fact that silver may become more scarce than gold since silver is consumed as an industrial metal.

For past stories in this series, visit our ETF Spotlight category.

ETFS Physical Silver Shares

Max Chen 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.