The SPDR Gold Shares ETF Turns 15 | ETF Trends

When investors are looking for gold ETFs to choose from, the default that many are looking to is the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD).

This month, GLD is celebrating a big birthday. It is 15 years old. It was established in November 2004, and listed under the name streetTRACKS Gold Shares on the New York Stock Exchange by State Street Global Advisors with World Gold Council sponsorship. Since 2007 and following a name change on May 20, 2008, SPDR Gold Shares has traded on NYSE Arca.

“Gold has always, you know, for 15 years, had a real place in the ETF world,” said Dan Draper, global head of ETFs at Invesco on CNBC’s ETF Edge show on Monday. “I think clearly from a diversification perspective, whether it’s gold or even broader base futures, commodities are kind of out of favor now for the most part. But as a diversifier, I think, you know, commodities broadly have a real place in a lot of portfolios.”

While gold often serves as a safe-haven asset in times of economic uncertainty, investors who have turned to GLD for investment have been richly rewarded.

“When you look for the performance of gold, GLD specifically in the last 15 years, it’s up a lot more than the S&P. And the other thing is we talk regularly about buying gold for inflationary purposes. There’s no inflation. But back in 2007 to 2012, the price of gold went up 3X during that and we didn’t have any inflation. So going back to Dan’s point, diversification is key, which were starting to see more flows. They’ve had $5 billion coming to GLD so far this year,” said Tom Lydon, CEO of ETF Trends. “For diversification purposes, one testament to its fortitude is that it has survived and even thrived with the advent of new, lower cost ETF options.”

Todd Rosenbluth, senior director of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, said gold investments have diversification benefits.

“It’s going to zag while the market zig quite a bit,” he said. “But what’s also impressive about how well GLD is doing from a flows perspective this year is that it now has much cheaper competition. A whole host of products in the last three years have come to market that are from granite shares, from a whole host of other providers, that are cheaper. And yet GLD is the default product.”

Watch the CNBC segment on GLD’s 15th birthday:

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