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Silver ETFs Outshining Gold

Investing in precious metals, such as gold and silver, grabbed immense investor attention last month on renewed expectations of U.S. interest rate cuts in June. A lower interest rate environment raises the demand for gold and silver, as the precious metals do not pay any interest, making them more appealing than alternative investments like bonds.

Both yellow and grey metals are considered as a store of wealth for investors. They are often used as a means of preserving wealth during times of financial and political uncertainty, and usually do well when other asset classes struggle. Factors such as the forthcoming U.S. presidential election, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict enhance both metals’ attractiveness to investors (read: Gold ETFs Outperform in March).

Gold is making a series of new all-time highs lately, whereas silver hit a new two-year high. The ultra-popular SPDR Gold Trust ETF GLD, which tracks the price of gold bullion measured in U.S. dollars, has gained 9.3% in the past month. In comparison, iShares Silver Trust SLV, the ultra-popular silver ETF, has outperformed its gold cousin, climbing 12.6% in the same timeframe.

The other two silver ETFs — abrdn Physical Silver Shares ETF SIVR and Sprott Physical Silver Trust PSLV — have outperformed GLD, having gained 12.7% and 13.6%, respectively, in a month.

Why is Silver Outshining?

Silver has an edge over gold, as the grey metal is used in a number of key industrial applications. As the global economy is improving, industrial and manufacturing demand is picking up, driving silver prices. The white metal is used in a wide range of industrial applications. About half of the metal’s total demand comes from industrial applications, while 30% comes from jewelry/silverware/coins and medal manufacturers.

The Silver Institute predicts 2024 to be a banner year for the metal, with prices potentially hitting a decade-high. Global demand is expected to reach 1.2 billion ounces this year, which would mark the second-highest level on record, given the continued strength of industrial end-uses, and a recovery in jewelry and silverware demand. The institute anticipates a 9% increase in demand for silverware and a 6% rise in jewelry demand this year, with India expected to drive the jump in jewelry purchases. A projected recovery in consumer electronics will also provide a boost to the silver market (read: Time to Buy India ETFs?).

Further, the global push for green energy, increasing demand in areas like 5G, a rebound in global computer shipments, the photovoltaics (PV) and automotive industries, and new sources of demand for sensors used in IoT and OLED lighting will continue to boost silver demand. Silver is largely used for manufacturing solar panels and electric vehicles, and will play a key role in the shift to 5G wireless network technology.

We have detailed the above-mentioned ETFs here:

iShares Silver Trust (SLV)

iShares Silver Trust offers exposure to the day-to-day movement of the price of silver bullion. It is an ultra-popular silver ETF, with an AUM of $10.6 billion and a heavy volume of 17 million shares a day. It charges 50 bps in fees per year from investors (read: 5 Best ETF Areas of March).

abrdn Physical Silver Shares ETF (SIVR)

abrdn Physical Silver Shares ETF has an AUM of $1.1 billion and trades in a good volume of around 812,000 shares per day on average. It tracks the performance of the price of silver less the Trust expenses. Its expense ratio is 0.30%.

Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV)

Sprott Physical Silver Trust is a closed-end trust that invests in unencumbered and fully allocated London Good Delivery silver bars. It charges 59 bps in annual fees.

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SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): ETF Research Reports

iShares Silver Trust (SLV): ETF Research Reports

abrdn Physical Silver Shares ETF (SIVR): ETF Research Reports

Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV): ETF Research Reports

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Zacks Investment Research