ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Gold exchange traded funds are captivating investors in 2015. A 10.3% gain by and $1.23 billion of new assets added to the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) confirms as much.

As is often par for the course with gold’s upside, silver and the relevant exchange traded funds are following along. Entering Thursday, three silver ETFs ranked among this year’s top 10 non-leveraged ETFs and that trio does not include thePureFunds ISE Junior Silver Small Cap Miners/Explorers ETF (NYSEArca: SILJ), which has impressed in its own right with a year-to-date gain of 11.4%. [Surprises From Silver ETFs]

The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) are each up nearly 17% to start 2015 as silver is off to its best start to a new year since 1983. Some market observers believe the silver trade could be in the early innings.

“Silver dropped 19.7% in 2014 after plunging a brutal 35.6% in 2013. Such dismal performance naturally left silver universally despised, the pariah of the investment world. But that is changing,” writes Adam Hamilton for Investing.com. “Both the levels of SLV’s physical-silver-bullion holdings and American speculators’ aggregate long and short contracts in silver futures reveal silver is almost certainly embarking on a major new upleg. Each of these critical capital pipelines into silver shows great room for more investor and speculator buying. And that will come as gold continues recovering on balance, unwinding its extreme anomaly of recent years.”

Unfortunately, some investors are missing out on the silver rally. After remaining loyal to silver ETFs last year, even as the white metal and gold struggled, some investors apparently grew frustrated waiting for SLV and SIVR to turn for the better. Since the start of the year, SLV and SIVR have lost $196 million and $5 million in assets, respectively. [Good Technical News for Silver ETFs]

SILJ and the Global X Silvers Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SIL) have not lost assets this year. SIL and SILJ merit consideration because, much like their gold miners ETF counterparts, these ETFs are intimately correlated to the price of the commodity their holdings extract from the earth. With supply expected to be constrained, silver ETFs and the miners funds could see more upside.

“The supply of silver is tightly constrained and falling copper prices are likely to be a problem this year as silver is produced mainly as a byproduct of mining zinc and copper. If less of these metals is mined then there will be less physical silver available to meet growing demand from investors,” reports Peter Cooper for SilverSeek.com.

PureFunds ISE Junior Silver Small Cap Miners/Explorers ETF

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD.

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.