Checking out what Robinhood account holders are doing is becoming something of a sport and I'll admit that I get caught up in the game.
Robinhood is responsible for such a tiny segment of the overall financial markets that it's not a needle mover, but it is useful in that it gives us some insight into what the smaller investor is thinking.
Despite the reputation, Robinhooders have actually done fairly well in capturing recent days. They bought low on airline stocks when they were at their low (although to be fair, they're still holding on the way back down). They bought the United States Oil Fund (USO) and the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil Fund (UCO) when the oil market was cratering.
They're perhaps a little late on the current precious metals rally, but whether they got in on time depends, obviously, on where prices go from here.
But there's no doubt that the interest is there.
Take a look at the biggest popularity changes on Robinhood over the past few days.
There's the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) at #14 showing a 24% gain in the number of accounts holding it. This isn't surprising given its recent price surge, but it is a little surprising that it's outpacing gold funds in interest right now. Gold tends to be the place that traders land when interested in precious metals.
But the two largest gold ETFs are just a bit further down the list.
The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is sitting just outside the top 20 with a still impressive 13% jump. What's interesting about the change in GLD ownership is how steady it's been. Products, such as USO and UCO, spiked in interest sharply and quickly. GLD has been getting slowly and steadily added throughout 2020. That's in stark contrast with SLV, which has seen the number of accounts holding it jump more than 300% over the last couple of months.
Further down the list is the iShares Gold Trust (IAU). GLD has about 2 1/2 times the assets of IAU, but IAU is showing similar growth to GLD on a relative basis.
One product much further down the list is the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 2x Shares ETF (JNUG). This surprises me a little bit since Robinhood shareholders haven't been hesitant in the past to add leveraged products to their portfolios (see UCO). JNUG, of course, is different than GLD and IAU since it invests in gold miner stocks instead of physical gold, so it's a different play on the trend.
The interest in precious metals products on Robinhood is consistent with the trend we've seen all across the marketplace.
The three precious metals funds mentioned here have already attracted more $32 billion in net new money just this year.
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