ETFS Launches ‘White Metals’ ETF

December 03, 2010

Will ETF Securities’ new “white metals” ETF have the staying power in portfolios some fear gold lacks?

ETF Securities, the London-based firm specializing in physically backed metals ETFs, rolled out the first exchange-traded fund that wraps the so-called white metals—silver, platinum and palladium—into one package at a time when investors are looking to broaden precious metal safe-haven assets beyond gold.

ETFS Physical WM Basket Shares (NYSEArca: WITE), which has an annual expense ratio of 0.60 percent, joins other physical metals the London- and New York-based firm has launched, most recently the ETFS Physical Precious Metal Basket Shares (NYSEArca: GLTR). GLTR combines all four of the precious metals—gold, silver, platinum and palladium—and also has a 0.60 percent annual expense ratio.

ETFS has had a good run collecting assets this year. It now has $2.85 billion in U.S.-based assets, with $597 million of that gathered through November by its ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares ETF (NYSEArca: SGOL), according to data compiled by The white metals are a bit different than gold, however, because their allure goes beyond safe havens and into industrial demand.

For this reason, some analysts fear investors will quickly dump their gold holdings when the economy begins to recover strongly, but are more likely to hold onto their white metal holdings. SGOL has risen 10.5 percent in the past three months, while the ETFS Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SIVR) and the ETFS Palladium Trust (NYSEArca: PALL) have both risen about 45 percent over the same period.

GLTR, which launched on Oct. 22, has collected about $127 million in assets, according to data compiled by It has risen more than 7 percent in the past month.

Find your next ETF

Reset All