Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing, but
it's clear that sentiment can change on a dime in this market.
That has certainly proven to be a good thing recently for the
shares of many precious metal miners and the ETFs that track
for dead as recently as mid-May
, it appears as though the miners not only have their respective
acts together, but that they want to participate in the upside
being offered by the metals they extract from the earth as
Since May 15, the returns offered by the three major precious
metal mining ETFs are nothing short of staggering and the numbers
are all the more impressive when remembering this is a risk of,
"let's discard anything high beta" market environment. Since May
15, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:
), the largest precious metals mining ETF, has jumped more than
18%. GDX's junior counterpart, the Market Vectors Junior Gold
Miners ETF (NYSE:
) is up more than 13% while the Globla X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:
) is flirting with a gain of 11%.
That trio is the "Big 3" of precious metals mining funds, but
there are other options to consider in this space, some of which
your broker is probably neglecting to mention.
Global X Gold Explorers ETF (NYSE:
For all the fanfare that mining ETFs have been subject to, the
Global X Gold Explorers ETF has flown under the radar since its
November 2010 debut. Today, the fund has almost $31.5 million in
assets under management and has surged almost 15% in the past two
weeks. As of this writing on June 6, GLDX is up almost 4% on
volume that's nearly double the daily average indicating
investors are starting to warm to this sub-$10 fund.
GLDX is in fact quite different than GDX. The Global X fund
offers no exposure to U.S.-based companies as Canada and
Australia combine for essentially all of the fund's country
weight. GLDX's top-10 holdings account for about 56% of the
fund's weight and the ETF has an expense ratio of 0.65%.
Global X Pure Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:
The "Quad G's" is now 15 months old and isn't all that large with
just $4.4 million in AUM, but this could be the time the
unheralded fund solidifies itself. Up 15.2% since May 15, GGGG
has outperformed GLDX and GDXJ over that time. GGGG is also
cheaper than GLDX with an expense ratio of 0.59%.
Home to almost 30 stocks, GGGG's country allocation is heavily
tilted toward Canada and South Africa as those countries
represent over 60% of the fund's weight. U.S. investors are
probably familiar with some of the fund's top-10 holdings such as
Eldorado Gold (NYSE:
), Kinross Gold (NYSE:
) and Allied Nevada (NYSE:
Perhaps the most important thing to note about GGGG is that it
one of the lowest correlations to gold of any
mining ETF, as ETFdb.com recently noted
PowerShares Global Gold and Precious Metals Portfolio
The PowerShares Global Gold and Precious Metals Portfolio has
been around for almost four years and since this fund is a direct
competitor to the dominant GDX, it often goes ignored. PSAU and
GDX do have plenty of overlap in terms of holdings. For example,
Barrick Gold (NYSE:
), Newmont Mining (NYSE:
) and Goldcorp (NYSE:
) are top-10 holdings in both ETFs.
PSAU's 14.1% jump since May 15 is impressive, but that lags
GDX, a situation we suspect is attributable to GDX's larger
weights to select gold miners. The aforementioned trio of stocks
accounts for over 43% of GDX's weight, but barely more than 25%
of PSAU's girth.
iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund (NYSE:
The iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund came to market earlier
this year as a direct rival to the Global X Silver Miners ETF,
but SLVP has struggled to attract assets. That should change as
sentiment towards mining funds improves and it should be noted
SLVP does have an advantage of SIL: The iShares product is
cheaper. Still, it can't be ignored that since May 15, SLVP is up
almost 6% (nice), but SIL is up almost 11% (better).
iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners Fund (NYSE:
Home to one of the more appropriate tickers in the ETF universe,
the iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners Fund debuted at the end of
January as a direct rival to GDX and PSAU. Competing with GDX's
first-to-market advantage is tough as that fund has almost $9
billion in AUM.
To RING's credit, it has almost $31 million in AUM and is
cheaper than both GDX and PSAU while holding many of the same
stocks. More importantly and almost completely under the radar,
RING has surged almost 18% since May 15, making it the
second-best performer of all the funds we've highlighted here
behind only GDX.
For more on gold mining ETFs, please click
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.