Discover the Best Gold ETFs for Your Investment Portfolio

Looking for the best gold ETFs of 2024? This no-nonsense guide identifies the key players, breaking down performance, costs, and liquidity to help you make an informed choice for your portfolio.

Key Takeaways

Top Gold ETF Picks for 2024

Top Gold ETF Picks for 2024

Gold ETFs present a multitude of promising choices for 2024. Among them, the top gold ETFs to consider are:

  1. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

  2. SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM)

  3. iShares Gold Trust (IAU)

  4. Goldman Sachs Physical Gold ETF (AAAU)

These ETFs have shown strong performance, hold sizeable assets, and offer low expense ratios, making them ideal for those seeking gold exposure in their portfolio.

With approximately $51 billion in assets under management and about 10 million shares traded daily, GLD, the largest gold ETF, provides both stability and liquidity. On the other hand, GLDM and IAU, with assets under management of $6.1 billion and over $1.2 billion respectively, are known for their high returns and significant assets.

Cost-conscious investors find the low expense ratios of the Goldman Sachs Physical Gold ETF (AAAU) and SPDR Gold MiniShares (GLDM) appealing. All these ETFs have demonstrated the ability to closely track the spot gold price, a crucial factor for those preferring exposure to the price movements of physical gold.

Highlighting SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), being one of the largest and most popular ETFs on the market, presents a compelling mix of size, performance, and accessibility. Launched in 2004, GLD had amassed a staggering $1.5 billion in assets under management by the end of its first month, a testament to the strong initial investor confidence and interest.

GLD’s central objective is to track the price of gold bullion. It achieves this by holding physical gold in secure vaults, reflecting gold’s market value and providing a transparent, direct correlation with gold prices. However, prospective investors should factor in an expense ratio of 0.40%, which affects the cost of investment in this ETF.

Insights into iShares Gold Trust (IAU)

The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) is another standout in the gold ETF space. It offers:

IAU also boasts considerable liquidity, with an average trading volume of 6.5 million shares and $24 billion in assets. For those interested in smaller order sizes, the iShares Gold Trust Micro (IAUM) is worth highlighting. With shares trading at 1/100th the spot price of gold and an expense ratio of just 0.09%, it provides an accessible entry point into the gold market.

Exploring VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)

As an alternative to physical gold ETFs, the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) offers a unique investment opportunity. The goal of GDX is to mirror the performance of gold mining companies worldwide. This allows investors to have a broad investment in the gold mining industry..

Although it carries an expense ratio of 0.51%, slightly higher than some physical gold ETFs, the GDX offers a compelling proposition with exposure to 51 gold mining companies. This diversity allows investors to tap into the potential of the global gold mining industry while mitigating the risks of single-company investments.

The Allure of Physical Gold Bullion ETFs

The Allure of Physical Gold Bullion ETFs

Physical gold bullion ETFs offer several advantages for investors:

Moreover, investing in physical gold bullion ETFs offers several advantages compared to holding physical gold bullion:

Gold ETFs vs. Gold Mining Stocks

While gold ETFs offer a direct route to gold exposure, an alternative approach is investing in gold mining stocks. These stocks offer the potential for leveraged gains as their performance is influenced not only by the price of gold but also by operational efficiency and gold production. However, this comes with additional complexities, as the prices of gold mining stocks can diverge from gold prices due to various market dynamics, impacting potential returns.

Gold mining stocks also introduce additional risks such as operational challenges and company-specific factors. For instance, shares in junior gold mining companies, which are included in some ETFs, present higher potential returns but come with increased risk from less diversified operations and weaker financial standings.

In contrast, gold ETFs, which are a type of exchange traded fund, offer a more straightforward approach to gold investment, tracking gold prices directly and offering diversity through a basket of different gold-related assets.

Strategic Investment in Gold ETFs

Strategic Investment in Gold ETFs for Portfolio Diversification

Investing in gold ETFs offers several advantages, including:

Investing in gold ETFs is not just about buying the precious metal; it’s about strategic portfolio management with the guidance of firms like State Street Global Advisors.

Furthermore, investors can employ dollar-cost averaging by investing a fixed amount in gold ETFs at regular intervals. This strategy reduces the impact of market timing and fosters disciplined investing habits, promoting long-term investment growth.

Identifying Your Investment Goals

Identifying your investment goals is a vital step before delving into the world of gold ETFs. Different funds cater to different objectives, ranging from long-term stability to speculative gains. To serve diversification purposes and act as a hedge against various risks, gold ETFs are recommended to comprise 5-10% of an investor’s portfolio.

Furthermore, it’s wise to select gold ETFs with lower expense ratios. ETFs such as the Aberdeen Standard Gold ETF Trust (SGOL) or the GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR) can aid in reducing costs and enhancing potential returns, proving that strategic investment begins with smart selection.

Assessing Market Conditions

Another important aspect of investing in gold ETFs is the evaluation of market conditions. Given that gold is considered a safe haven and is inversely correlated with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, it highlights its role as a defensive investment against recession and geopolitical uncertainty.

In periods of market turbulence when investors turn to bonds, driving U.S. debt returns down, gold tends to gain value, providing an alternative for risk-averse investors. Therefore, keen assessment of market conditions is necessary, especially when considering leveraged and inverse gold ETFs, which utilize derivative contracts to achieve their investment objectives.

Navigating the Costs of Gold ETFs

Navigating the Costs of Gold ETFs

Gold ETFs provide a convenient investment avenue, but it’s essential to manage the associated costs effectively. Gold ETFs can have wide-ranging expense ratios, with:

Lower fees contribute to improving returns, as seen with ETFs like GLDM and BAR, providing cost-effective exposure to physical gold.

Investors can further reduce fees associated with gold ETFs by utilizing commission-free online trading platforms, which do not charge trading costs for a suite of ETFs. Compared to physical gold, gold ETFs offer cost savings on dealer commissions, sales tax, and storage costs, making them an attractive investment avenue.

The Impact of Market Makers in Gold ETF Liquidity

The liquidity of gold ETFs is significantly influenced by the role of market makers. They contribute to the liquidity by:

Profit incentives for market makers arise from bid/ask spreads and arbitrage. Lead Market Makers, for instance, must meet exchange standards, such as best bid/offer and quoted spread requirements, to enjoy economic benefits like lowered transaction fees.

Furthermore, Electronic Market Makers employ algorithmic trading for high-volume, quick trades, helping to execute large trades efficiently.

How to Buy Shares in Gold ETFs

The process of buying shares in gold ETFs is quite simple. First, one must open a demat account through a stock broker. The process requires submitting necessary documents such as Permanent Account Number (PAN), address proof, and identification proof. Once the account is set up, investors can buy units of gold ETFs directly through the stock exchange.

Gold ETFs, also known as gold exchange traded funds, are traded throughout the trading day, just like shares of stock, providing flexibility for investors. After purchasing gold ETF units, the investor receives a confirmation message on their registered mobile number and email address, ensuring transparency and security. For those interested in staying updated on market trends, Yahoo Finance is a valuable resource to monitor gold ETFs performance.

Gold ETFs in Comparison: Performance Metrics

Performance holds significant importance in the realm of gold ETFs. Therefore, evaluating gold ETFs based on their historical returns provides invaluable insights into their past performance. For instance, in Q1 2024, leading gold ETFs offered the highest returns over the past year.

However, it’s worth noting that the performance of gold ETFs can differ from the actual gold prices due to factors like expense ratios, gold price tracking accuracy, and operational efficiency. Therefore, when comparing gold ETFs, it’s essential to consider these factors to make an informed decision.


As we’ve journeyed through the world of gold ETFs, it’s clear that they offer a compelling investment opportunity in 2024. From popular ETFs like GLD and IAU to physical gold bullion ETFs and gold mining stocks, there’s a gold ETF to suit every investor’s needs and objectives. By identifying investment goals, assessing market conditions, and navigating costs, investors can make strategic investment decisions and maximize their returns.

While the gold market continues to evolve, the allure of gold ETFs remains constant. They offer diversification, a hedge against market volatility, and a golden opportunity for growth. So, are you ready to shine bright in the world of gold ETFs?

Are you prepared to diversify your investments with the addition of gold?

Investing in gold and various other valuable metals can provide a means to expand your financial investment profile. Gold’s lack of correlation with stocks and bonds aids decrease total threat for capitalists. One alternative for buying gold is through specialized gold IRA suppliers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best ETF to hold gold?

The best ETF to hold gold is one that is among the best-performing gold ETFs. Choose an ETF that has a strong performance track record to ensure the best investment in gold.

Which ETF has the most gold?

The ETF with the most gold is the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which boasts nearly $56 billion in assets and is the largest and most liquid gold ETF available. It offers investors stability and reliability.

Is there a Vanguard ETF for gold?

No, Vanguard does not currently offer a gold ETF among its lineup of 82 ETFs.

What is a gold ETF?

A gold ETF is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of gold, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to invest in gold.

Can I buy physical gold through a gold ETF?

Yes, you can buy physical gold through a gold ETF by investing in physical gold bullion ETFs. These ETFs hold physical gold in secure vaults to reflect gold’s market value.