How To Invest In Gold | What Are Gold Exchange Traded Funds? The Best Gold Exchange Traded Funds For Individual Investors

Gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) offer investors a great alternative to investing in the gold market. From exchange traded funds continuously tracking the price of gold, to exchange traded funds covering the global gold mining industry, gold exchange traded funds have amassed significant assets and have become extremely popular with gold investors.

Gold continues to offer good returns, and investors who are interested in owning the precious metal may consider buying shares in a gold exchange traded fund (ETF). We have chosen the top five gold ETFs based on net assets. Every one of these picks has turned in positive returns year to date (YTD). None of them pays a dividend. Read the descriptions carefully, because each of these ETFs has different types of expenses. All figures are current as of Oct. 12, 2017.

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

This fund buys gold bullion. The only time it sells gold is to pay expenses and honor redemptions​. Because of the ownership of bullion, this fund is extremely sensitive to the price of gold and will follow gold price trends closely. One upside to owning gold bars is that no one can loan or borrow them. Another upside is that each share of this fund represents more gold than shares in other funds that do not buy physical gold. However, the downside is taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers gold a collectible, and taxes on long-term gains are high.

Average Volume: 7,600,275
Net Assets: $35.66 billion
YTD Return: 10.92%
Expense Ratio (net): 0.40%