Typically, a precious metals portfolio focuses on mining stocks. Some funds, however, purchase a small to moderate amount of gold or silver bullion. Though primary allocation is given to gold mining stocks, many funds do offer a substantial amount of exposure to other precious metals, such as platinum and silver.
Precious metals companies span the globe, with many of the major firms headquartered in the United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. Like most commodity funds, precious metals funds usually carry more volatility than the average equity fund.
Below are five funds that are engaged in precious metals investing with information available as of June 12, 2020.
1. Wells Fargo Advantage Precious Metals Fund
Michael P. Bradshaw, the fund's manager, seeks to accomplish this objective by typically investing 80% or more of the fund's assets in companies that actively participate in the exploration, mining, and processing of gold, companies that deal in gold and other precious metals and minerals, or companies that generate a minimum of half of their revenues from such business. The fund may invest up to 40% of its assets into emerging market countries' equities and up to 25% of its assets into debt securities related to metals. Any dividends or capital gains are distributed annually.
The net expense ratio for this fund is 1.09%, above average as compared to similar funds. The five-year total return for the fund is 11.5%. The total portfolio assets for this fund are just over $389 million.
The risk level for the fund is rated as just slightly above average. The fund's major portfolio holdings include Barrick Gold, Newmont, Kinross Gold, and B2Gold. The fund has a total of 34 holdings.
2. Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio Fund
The Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio Fund (FSAGX) was established in 2006 by Fidelity Investments. This precious metals fund’s main focus is to provide investors with capital appreciation.
Under normal circumstances, fund manager Steven Calhoun invests a minimum of 80% of the fund’s total assets in the common stocks of corporations that participate in various forms of gold-related operations, and in gold bullion and coins. Investments are also made in additional precious metals, instruments with a value that are connected to the price of precious metals, and the securities of businesses that distribute products, such as jewelry, that contain precious metals and minerals. The fund is invested in both U.S. domestic and foreign-issued stocks.
The Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio Fund has a net expense ratio of 0.79%. The five-year average total return for the fund is 11.67%. Total portfolio assets for the fund are $2 billion. This fund is rated as having an above-average risk level. Some of the fund's major holdings include Newmont, Barrick, Franco-Nevada, and Agnico Eagle Mines. The composition of the portfolio is primarily gold related, with 92% of assets dedicated to the metal, and 79% of assets are invested in foreign equities.
3. Gabelli Gold Fund
The Gabelli Gold Fund (GLDAX) was issued by Gabelli Funds in 1994. The long-term appreciation of capital is the fund's primary objective.
Fund manager Caesar Bryan achieves this objective by investing 80% or more of the fund's total assets, along with any borrowed investment capital, into U.S. domestic and foreign-issued equity securities of corporations engaged in operations related to gold, and in gold bullion. The fund has total portfolio assets of $256 million.
The Gabelli Gold Fund has a gross expense ratio of 1.52%, well above average for similar precious metals funds. The five-year average annualized return for this fund is 0.74%. This mutual fund's risk level is above-average. Top holdings for the fund include Franco-Nevada, Newmont, Barrick, and Agnico Eagle Mines.
4. USAA Precious Metals and Minerals Fund
Issued by the USAA Group in 1984, the USAA Precious Metals and Minerals Fund (USAGX), with total portfolio assets of approximately $691 million, has two primary investment objectives: long-term capital appreciation and preservation of purchasing power of capital against inflation.
The fund's manager, Mannik Dhillon, aims to accomplish these objectives by ordinarily investing at least 80% of the fund's assets in foreign and domestic companies with foremost operations in the exploration, mining, or processing of gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, or other precious minerals.
The net expense ratio for the USAA Precious Metals and Minerals Fund is 1.27%. The fund's five-year average annual total return is 10.55%. This fund is rated as having a slightly above-average risk level. Some of the fund's major portfolio holdings are Newmont, Barrick, Kirkland, and Kinross.
5. Invesco Oppenheimer Gold and Special Minerals Fund
The Invesco Oppenheimer Gold and Special Minerals Fund (OPGSX), founded in 1983, seeks long term capital appreciation.
The fund's manager, Shanquan Li, invests in the stocks of mining companies that are focused on gold and other precious metals. The fund has a net expense ratio of 1.17% and total assets of $1.9 billion. The fund's five-year average annual return is 12.49%.
Primary holdings include Barrick, Kirkland, Newmont, and Evolution Mining. Gold makes up the majority of the portfolio at 82% of assets. The fund has an above-average rating when compared to funds in its category.