Choosing the Right Precious Metal ETF for the Right Job

Precious metals exchange traded funds have been used to hedge against a number of unknown risks, but the various market risks may warrant specific hedges to get the job done.

Maxwell Gold, director of investment strategy at ETF Securities, argued that specific precious metals should be used to address volatility in different markets, like equities, oil and currencies.

For instance, heightened equity volatility historically benefits gold and platinum, but equity drawdowns favor gold and silver.

“When evaluating the VIX Index, there have been 59 trading weeks since its inception in 1990 where it experienced elevated levels (weekly moves exceeding 2 standard deviations),” Gold said in a research note. “These periods of elevated volatility on average have favored gold and platinum, with median weekly returns of 0.5% and 0.2% respectively and broadly even performance distributions. Silver’s track record to extreme VIX moves, on the other hand appears to be negatively skewed.”

All precious metals tend to do well during periods of positive oil shocks, but when oil prices rapidly decline, gold and platinum have provided a better hedge to oil price volatility over silver.