With gold at another record, ETF analysts share ways to get in on the rally

It’s been a banner year for gold.

The precious metal hit yet another all-time high on Thursday as worries around Covid-19’s economic impact persisted. Gold is up more than 36% year to date and about 40% since it bottomed in mid-March.

Gold ETFs have also been surging in popularity. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), the largest fund backed by physical gold in the world, was the most popular gold ETF in the month of July, pulling in more than $3 billion in assets.

ETF Year-to-date flows ($M) 1-month flows as of 7/28/20 ($M) Assets under management ($M) Expense ratio
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) 18,562 3,046 75,130 0.40%
iShares Gold Trust (IAU) 6,616 1,687 29,286 0.25%
SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM) 1,428 398 3,021 0.18%
Aberdeen Standard Gold ETF Trust (SGOL) 864 117 2,459 0.17%
GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR) 369 67 1,160 0.17%
Perth Mint Physical Gold ETF (AAAU) 180 40 420 0.18%

These products are “certainly punching above their weight,” Todd Rosenbluth, senior director of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA Research, said Monday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”

“You also want to pay attention to the mining plays of this,” he said. “GDX and GDXJ are the gold mining ETFs that are performing quite well. There hasn’t been the same demand, but obviously if the price of gold goes up, that’s a good thing for those that are producing it.”

Jay Jacobs, senior vice president and head of research and strategy at Global X ETFs, also liked the mining space.

“It’s easy for investors to forget about precious metals because when you’re in a great bull market, sometimes you look at your portfolio and those gold and silver positions might not be as high flying as U.S. equities,” he said in the same “ETF Edge” interview. “But they prove their worth in troubling times, and right now is certainly a turbulent time for the markets.”

Global X’s Silver Miners ETF (SIL) offers one potential way to use the turbulence to your advantage, Jacobs said.

“The mining space provides more leveraged exposure to the underlying commodities, so, if gold or silver’s up, the miners tend to be up more,” he said. “That means you can carve out a smaller portion of your portfolio and put it into the mining space and still get similar notional exposure to that gold or silver trade. So, we like that as a long-term position that people might have to forget about for five years. But it’ll play a handy role when the time is right.”

SIL fell about 1% in early Thursday trading.

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