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Do Gold and Silver ETFs Make Good Investments?

SIVR, ETFS Physical Silver Shares

SIVR was born July 2009. The ETF has about $229 million and 10.7 million ounces of silver, which is up 17% this year. Its expense ratio it 0.30% but will rise to 0.45% in 2011. There is unallocated silver but according to the prospectus not enough to make up a whole bar of gold.

The trustee is Bank of New York Mellon, the custodian is HSBC and the silver is stored at HSBC's vaults in London. The last inspection by Inspectorate International was in December 2009 and at that time there were 9,583 silver bars of high purity, 99.90% to 99.99% and there were no problems found.

Portola Group owns 413,300 shares and is the largest holder followed by Goldman Sachs and Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management with 243,347 and 173,725 shares, respectively.

Silver and gold ETFs can be a smart way to diversify your portfolio including giving you an easy way to hedge risk or short the precious metal. They also allow you to track the spot price with limited hassle, but before you invest know the risks. If you want the physical metal, go buy it and store it yourself for limited downside.

More on Gold
Gold Price News
How to Invest in Gold

-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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