Silver ETF



An exchange-traded fund that invests primarily in raw silver assets, which are held in trust by the fund manager and/or custodian. Typically, silver ETFs are established as grantor trusts, where each share of the ETF represents the specific right to a precise amount of silver, measured in ounces.

Silver ETFs aim to track as closely as possible the spot price of silver on the open market.
The first to market was the iShares Silver Trust, managed by Barclays Global Investors and introduced in 2006.


The introduction of silver and gold ETFs in the early 2000s opened up an attractive investment vehicle for both individual and institutional investors. Precious metals like silver are seen as a hedge against inflation. ETFs allow for greater liquidity than holding the metal itself, and are easier for individuals to access than the futures markets.

Silver ETFs held in taxable accounts are subject to a higher long-term capital-gains rate on any holdings of more than one year. Because silver ETFs are considered to be investments in the raw metal itself, gains are assessed on silver as a "collectible" and are subject to a 28% long-term capital-gains rate. Silver ETFs held in IRAs are not subject to this higher gains tax, having been given a special clearance by the Internal Revenue Service.

  1. Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

    A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets ...
  2. Gold Fund

    A mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) that invests primarily ...
  3. Leveraged ETF

    An exchange-traded fund (ETF) that uses financial derivatives ...
  4. Spot Price

    The current price at which a particular security can be bought ...
  5. Index Fund

    An index fund is a type of mutual fund with a portfolio constructed ...
  6. Spot Market

    1. A commodities or securities market in which goods are sold ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    A Silver Primer

    Find out what affects the price of silver, the types of investments that can be made and the methods in which it is traded.
  2. Options & Futures

    Options On Gold And Silver ETFs

    Trading the commodities can mean extra expenses. These commodity-based ETFs give you the flexibility of trading like stocks.
  3. Options & Futures

    Trading Gold And Silver Futures Contracts

    If you are a hedger or a speculator, gold and silver futures contracts offer a world of profit-making opportunities.
  4. Options & Futures

    Commodities That Move The Markets

    Find out how the everyday items you use can affect your investments.
  5. Retirement

    Contemplating Collectible Investments

    Profit margins are slim, but that needn't deter those with a passion for eras past.
  6. Options & Futures

    Trading The Gold-Silver Ratio

    This method may seem arcane, but many well-established strategies rely on it.
  7. Economics

    Strike Gold With Junior Mining

    Learn what to watch out for to ensure your "sure thing" isn't another Bre-X.
  8. Insurance

    Futures Fundamentals

    For those who are new to futures but want a solid understanding of them, this tutorial explains what futures contracts are, how they work and why investors use them.
  9. Investing

    Time to Bring Active Back into a Portfolio?

    While stocks have rallied since the economic recovery in 2009, many active portfolio managers have struggled to deliver investor returns in excess.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Democratization of the Hedge Fund Industry

    The coveted compensations of hedge fund managers are protected by barriers of entry to the industry, but one recent startup is working to break those barriers.
  1. Can hedge funds trade penny stocks?

    Hedge funds can trade penny stocks. In fact, hedge funds can trade in just about any type of security, including medium- ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    The Vanguard mutual fund family is one of the largest and most well-recognized fund family in the financial industry. Its ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are hedge funds regulated by FINRA?

    Alternative investment vehicles such as hedge funds offer investors a wider range of possibilities due to certain exceptions ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does OptionsHouse have mutual funds?

    OptionsHouse has access to some mutual funds, but it depends on the fund in which the investor is looking to buy shares. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Should mutual funds be subject to more regulation?

    Mutual funds, when compared to other types of pooled investments such as hedge funds, have very strict regulations. In fact, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Flier

    The slang term for a decision to invest in highly speculative investments.
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center