iPath Dow Jones-UBS Platinum Subindex Total Return ETN
was the had the biggest return among ETFs last month, rising 26%. Platinum climbed 9.7% in November, its biggest monthly gain since February 2008. The fund has almost doubled in the past year.
Jewelry aside, platinum is used in pollution-control devices such as catalytic converters in cars. The return to profitability by
, and the survival of
has helped boost demand for platinum.
The iPath Platinum ETN earned our highest "buy"-level rating of A-plus, outperforming all other exchange-traded products measured by our stock-rating model.
Platinum ended November at $1,453.75 an ounce. While
may be hitting record highs, the price of platinum is far from challenging its record of $2,301.50, which was set in March 2008. However, renewed industrial demand suggests that gap might become narrower.
The best performing
ETF in November was the
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
, up 21%. This fund has 14% of its assets in
, 11% in
, 8.8% in
and 5.4% in
Other metal and mineral funds also gained as the economy showed signs of improvement.
Market Vectors Steel Index Fund
, which invests in steel and metal producers, rose 15% last month. The fund benefited from outsized returns of 30% from
, 26% from
and 26% from
Coal-fired power plants remain the leading source of electricity in the U.S. The
PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio
, which bets on coal and energy-related mining stocks, climbed 17% in November. The
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF
increased 15%, bolstered by the 30% increase in
For the best rated exchange-traded funds, check out our
Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.