Due to the volatile nature of industrious metals like silver, palladium and platinum, WITE is best utilized as a short-term tactical play on market strength. By moving in and out of WITE while maintaining a long-term physical gold holding like GLD, investors can position themselves to benefit during market swings.
Despite its unique and eye-catching take on precious metals, however, WITE is a fund investors should approach with caution. Because the fund's daily trading volume remains low, it could suffer from liquidity issues down the road.
The PowerShares DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP) is a futures-backed fund that splits exposure across gold and silver.
Currently gold dominates the largest percentage of the fund's portfolio, accounting for three-quarters of its index. Although its reach across the precious metal spectrum is not as expansive as other options, by cutting out notably volatile players like platinum and palladium, the fund may appeal to conservative investors. Additionally, with an average daily trading volume of over 120,000, DPB is the most liquid of the precious metals basket funds.The advent of precious metal ETFs has made gaining access to these attractive resources as simple as investing in traditional stocks and bonds. Although the recent commodities shakeup has caused many investors to turn away from gold, silver, platinum and palladium, when the clouds clear and these resources fall back into favor, GLTR, WITE, and DBP will be funds to keep on the radars. Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.