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Guide to Precious Metals: Gold

Stocks in this article: GLD SGOL DGL

The two choices here are: PowerShares DB Gold Double Long ETN (DGP) and PowerShares DB Gold Double Short ETN (DZZ). Since the inception of the ProShares funds, these DGP and DZZ have slightly outperformed their counterparts.

Volume is ample in all four leveraged funds. In the past year, the leveraged long funds have delivered double the return of gold. The leveraged short funds, meanwhile, have delivered less than 2X the inverse, due to compounding.

As I've explained in the past, leveraged ETFs and ETNs should not be held as long term positions and are appropriate only for advanced investors. Additionally, like DGL, these products are currently under the scrutiny of regulatory bodies due to their use of futures and derivatives to meet their underlying investing goals.

Short. PowerShares also offers a short ETN, PowerShares DB Gold Short ETN (DGZ) , which does not use leverage. As the chart on the next page shows, however, it underperformed like the leveraged short funds and failed to deliver the full inverse return.

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