This story originally appeared on ETFdb.com. ETFs have emerged as popular tools for establishing exposure to a wide variety of asset classes, ranging from U.S. Treasuries to Vietnamese equities. But few corners of the exchange-traded product world have seen more explosive growth in recent years than precious metals, as investors have embraced these vehicles as the most efficient way to access assets that have turned in some monster performance numbers in recent years. The 21 ETFs in the Precious Metals ETFdb Category have more than $83 billion in aggregate assets, representing about 8% of the total ETP industry. That’s a massive total for an asset class that generally accounts for a relatively minor portion of long-term portfolios, reflecting the appeal of the low maintenance and low fees offered by the exchange-traded structure.
Palladium is an extremely rare element that was first discovered in the early 19th century. Despite a relatively short history, palladium and other platinum group metals (which include platinum, rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium) are used widely today. By some estimates, one in four products either contains a platinum group metal or uses one in the manufacturing process. Palladium, like platinum, is used widely in the manufacture of catalytic converters, creating a link between the price of the metal and the health of the global auto industry. As such, palladium as an investment vehicle has characteristics of both industrial metals such as copper and precious metals such as gold. There are a number of different options for investing in palladium, including exchange-traded futures contracts, stocks of companies engaged in the extraction and sale of the metal, and exchange-traded products [see also The Guide To The Biggest Companies In Every Major … See the full story here →