4 Best Gold ETFs for July 2024

Gold ETFs can help diversify your portfolio and hedge against down markets.
Updated
Profile photo of Kevin Voigt
Written by Kevin Voigt
Writer
Profile photo of Chris Hutchison
Edited by Chris Hutchison
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Profile photo of Alana Benson
Co-written by Alana Benson
Lead Writer
Best Gold ETFs for July 2020

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

MORE LIKE THISInvestingFunds

Gold is popular among investors looking to hedge against stock market tumult. As gold prices rise, investors may be interested in gold exchange-traded funds rather than purchasing bullion itself.

Best-performing gold ETFs

Below is our complete list of best-performing gold ETFs. We exclude gold exchange-traded notes and leveraged gold ETFs.

Ticker

Company

Performance (Year)

SGOL

abrdn Physical Gold Shares ETF

22.08%

GLDM

SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust

22.05%

IAUM

iShares Gold Trust Micro

22.05%

FGDL

Franklin Responsibly Sourced Gold ETF

21.99%

Source: VettaFi. Data is current as of market close on July 1, 2024, and is for informational purposes only.

What are gold ETFs?

Gold ETFs are exchange-traded funds that give investors exposure to gold without having to directly purchase, store and resell the precious metal. Some gold ETFs directly track the price of gold, while others invest in companies in the gold-mining industry.

As with other types of ETFs, the issuing company buys stock in gold-related companies or purchases and stores gold bullion itself. Investors buy shares in the fund, whose value rises and falls with the underlying gold price or company stock value.

Gold is considered a safe haven investment, as its price often rises as stock markets tumble. Gold hit its all-time high of nearly $1,900 per ounce in September 2011, in the aftermath of the Great Recession. In recent months, the price of gold has been flirting with that record.

» Ready to invest? See our list of the best brokers for ETF investing.

Advertisement
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.4

/5

Fees 

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade. Other fees apply.

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion 

Get up to $1,000

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account

How to invest in gold ETFs

Here’s how to buy shares in a gold ETF:

Step 1: Find a gold ETF

You can typically find gold ETFs by searching for them on your broker's website. (No broker? Here's how to open a brokerage account.)

Step 2: Analyze the ETF

It's important to research ETFs before buying, just as you'd research stocks. Two things to check before purchasing shares in a gold ETF:

  • Five-year returns. Most (but not all) gold ETFs are pegged to spot gold price, so returns should align with gold price moves.

  • Expense ratio. This is the ETF's annual fee, paid out of your investment in the fund. The average expense ratio for gold ETFs is 0.65%, according to ETF.com. Look for a low one.

And two important cautions: The average investor should avoid buying leveraged gold ETFs — these use financial derivatives and borrowed money to make bets on future price movements. Also, avoid gold exchange-traded notes. ETNs are secured debt obligations that don’t actually own the underlying gold (unlike ETFs) and have a greater risk of credit default.

These investments are strictly for pros and unsuitable for a buy-and-hold strategy favored by many investors saving for retirement.

Step 3: Buy the gold ETF

You can buy ETFs just like you’d buy a stock, through an online broker. A good approach is to buy them regularly to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.

For more, check out our full list of the best brokers for ETF investing.

Learn more about sector ETFs:

Track your finances all in one place
Find ways to invest more by tracking your income and net worth on NerdWallet.
Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.
AD
Robinhood
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

on Robinhood's website

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.
Nerdwallet advisors logo

Get a custom financial plan and unlimited access to a Certified Financial Planner™ for just $30/month.

    NerdWallet Advisory LLC

    AD