Silver has been the dark horse of the commodities and precious metals markets during 2009, 2010, having posted gains of 57.46% and 80.28% in those years respectively. In April 2011, silver fell by 10% within 3 days, but this has been greated by the silver bulls as a ‘necessary correction’ and many still talk up silvers long term prospects. Whether this is sustainable or not, I will leave to the commodity speculators, but netherless many retail investors are seeking to gain exposure to the prices of silver through physical and synthetic silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
Silver has many industrial and retail uses throughout the world. The industrial uses of silver include electronics, bearings, batteries and catalysts. For retail use, silver is found in jewellery and cutlery. What you may not know is that silver is also used in water purification.
Against the backdrop of practical uses, silver is also being demanded by speculators who wish to participate in rises caused by increased global demand (from both industry and investors looking for an inflation hedge). This has led to the emergence of new vehicles through which investors are investing billions of dollars of capital. These are the silver exchange traded funds.
What follows is a non-exhaustive list of different silver ETFs & funds which trade on developed stock markets/fund supermarkets around the world. ETFs do not charge initial fees, but you will have to pay trading commissions to a broker in order to place ETFs into your portfolio. Funds and Trusts often charge initial fees but incurr no brokerage costs. I have included the ticker symbol of each instrument to speed up your research efforts. Financial Expert does not provide professional investment advice, so we encourage you to do your own research. Read our disclaimer.
List of Silver ETFs
E-TRACS CMCI Silver ETN – (Ticker USV)
ETFS Physical Silver Shares ETF – (Ticker SIVR)
PowerShares DB Silver Fund – (Ticker DBS)
ProShares Ultra Silver ETF – (Ticker GQ) Leveraged
ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF – (Ticker ZSL) Leveraged
ETFS Leveraged Silver ETF – (Ticker LSIL-LSE) Leveraged
ETFS Physical Silver ETF – (Ticker PHAG-LSE)
ETFS Physical Silver Sterling ETF – (Ticker PHSP-LSE)
ETFS Short Silver ETF – (Ticker SSIL-LSE)
ETFS Silver ETF – (Ticker SLVR-LSE)
COMEX Silver Bear Plus ETF – (Ticker HZD-TSX) Leveraged
COMEX Silver Bull Plus ETF – (Ticker HZU-TSX) Leveraged
COMEX Silver ETF – (Ticker HUZ-TSX)
You will note that several of these silver ETFs are leveraged. This typically means that the daily returns of the spot price, or index are doubled. This is not the same as the long term returns being doubled. This confusion forms one of our Investing Mistakes Made by Beginners article. It’s also worth noting that silver ETFs which short the position of silver, may not produce returns that are the perfect inverse of the underlying index. To find out more read Schwabs article ‘Leveraged and Inverse ETFs: Not Right For Everyone.‘
For useful information on investing in commodities visit our web guide: How to Invest in Commodities.