Platinum is far rarer and less well-known to investors than other coveted precious metals such as silver or gold, but is also seen as a valuable option for many investors. Platinum, which looks like silver, is a chemical element, precious metal, and commodity all in one that manufacturers use primarily for products such as autos, jewelry, and electronics. Investors can gain exposure to platinum through investing in shares of a platinum exchange-traded fund (ETF), which tends to be more liquid than holding the physical commodity itself.

Platinum ETFs may be structured as grantor trusts, a typical structure for funds whose assets are comprised of a single commodity held physically in a vault on behalf of investors. Other platinum ETFs may be structured as exchange-traded notes (ETNs), which are unsecured debt securities that track an underlying index of securities and trade on a major exchange like a stock. Platinum ETNs invest in futures contracts that track the price of the metal, as opposed to holding it in its physical bullion form. While the price of platinum tends to be more volatile than that of gold or silver, platinum ETFs can still act as a hedge against inflation and a safe haven in times of market turmoil.

The platinum ETF universe is comprised of about 3 distinct ETFs, excluding inverse and leveraged ETFs. The best-performing platinum ETF for Q1 2020, based on performance over the past year, is the Aberdeen Standard Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT). We examine these 3 funds below. All numbers in this story are as of February 16, 2020.

Aberdeen Standard Platinum Shares ETF (PPLT)

  • Performance over 1-Year: 21.8%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: N/A
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 97,638
  • Assets Under Management: $727.2 million
  • Inception Date: January 6, 2010
  • Issuing Company: Aberdeen Standard Investments

PPLT is structured as a grantor trust, 100% physically backed by platinum bullion held in a vault on behalf of investors.

GraniteShares Platinum Trust (PLTM)

  • Performance over 1-Year: 21.7%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.50%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: N/A
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 23,811
  • Assets Under Management: $12.5 million
  • Inception Date: January 22, 2018
  • Issuing Company: GraniteShares

PLTM is structured as a grantor trust, 100% physically backed by platinum bullion held in a vault on behalf of investors.

iPath Series B Bloomberg Platinum Subindex Total Return ETN (PGM)

  • Performance over 1-Year: 21.6%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.45%
  • Annual Dividend Yield: N/A
  • 3-Month Average Daily Volume: 221
  • Assets Under Management: $4.3 million
  • Inception Date: January 17, 2018
  • Issuing Company: Barclays Capital

PGM is structured as an ETN, which invests in futures-based platinum contracts providing exposure to platinum without any physical holdings.