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15 Best Precious Metals ETFs in Canada (2024): Hold Gold and Silver

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Investing in precious metals companies and ETFs in a mineral and resource-rich country like Canada is a great way to diversify your portfolio. 

Many Canadian and US-listed precious metal ETFs can provide portfolio stability, some capital growth, and dividend distributions. 

Precious metals for Canadians to invest in include gold, silver, and rare earth minerals, which have become crucial ingredients in creating batteries for things like electric vehicles.

With so many great precious metal companies to invest in, buying ETFs is a great way to gain exposure to baskets of different stocks. 

You can also invest in precious metals through individual stocks, futures contracts, and even physical bullion. 

In this article, I will review my top 15 choices for Canada’s best precious metal ETFs for April 2024. 

  • iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF (TSE: XGD)
  • BMO Junior Gold Index ETF (TSE: ZJG)
  • BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF (TSE: ZGD)
  • Horizons Gold ETF (TSE: HUG)
  • Horizons Gold Yield ETF (TSE: HGY)
  • Harvest Global Gold Giants Index ETF (TSE: HGGG)
  • Sprott Physical Silver Trust (TSE: PSLV)
  • Horizons Silver ETF (TSE: HUZ)
  • iShares Silver Bullion ETF (CAD-Hedged) (TSE: SVR)
  • Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: SIL)
  • ETFMG Prime Junior Silver Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: SILJ)
  • iShares S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index ETF (TSE: XBM)
  • Global X Lithium and Battery Tech ETF (NYSEARCA: LIT)
  • Abrdn Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares ETF (NYSEARCA: GLTR)
  • Horizons Global Lithium Producers Index ETF (TSE: HLIT)

Note that all facts and figures are accurate as of April 2023. 

Best Precious Metals ETFs in Canada

Gold ETFs

1. iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF 

Here are some key facts for XGD:

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:XGD
  • MER: 0.61%
  • Investment: Global Gold Stocks 
  • AUM: $1.19 billion
  • 1-Year Performance: -10.10%
  • Inception Date: March 23, 2001
  • Distribution Yield: 1.70%
  • Number of Holdings: 42

XGD is one of Canada’s largest traded gold ETFs. This fund holds 42 different global gold producers and miners from around the world. 

Geographically, 67.96% of XGD’s holdings are from Canada, and 19.68% are from the United States. 

The three largest holdings in the ETF are Newmont (TSE:NGT), Barrick Gold Corp (TSE:ABX), and Franco Nevada Corp (TSE:FNV). These three holdings make up about 42% of the allocation of the ETF.

2. BMO Junior Gold Index ETF

Here are some key facts for ZJG:

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:ZJG
  • MER: 0.61%
  • Investment: North American Gold Stocks 
  • AUM: $81.40 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -3.68%
  • Inception Date: January 19, 2010
  • Distribution Yield: 0.68%
  • Number of Holdings: 38

ZJG is a Canadian-listed gold mining ETF that tracks gold companies that trade on the US or Canadian markets. 

This ETF holds 38 of the largest junior gold miners in North America. The three largest holdings are Royal Gold Inc (NASDAQ: RGLD), Kinross Gold Corporation (TSE: K), and B2Gold Corp (TSE: BTO).

It comes with a high-risk rating, according to BMO Global Asset Management, and pays out an annualized distribution of 0.68% on an annual basis. 

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3. BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF

Here are some key facts for ZGD:

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:ZGD
  • MER: 0.60%
  • Investment: Global Gold Stocks 
  • AUM: $69.85 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -1.78%
  • Inception Date: November 14, 2012
  • Distribution Yield: 0.61%
  • Number of Holdings: 31

ZGD is another gold-related ETF from BMO Global Asset Management that trades on the TSX. 

This fund holds 31 of the largest global gold companies, including Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (TSE: AEM), Gold Fields Ltd (NYSE: GFI), and Pan American Silver Corp (TSE: PAAS). 

Geographically, ZGD has a 66.65% allocation to Canadian stocks, followed by a 9.69% allocation to US-listed stocks. 

4. Horizons Gold ETF 

Here are some key facts for HUG:

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:HUG
  • MER: 0.29%
  • Investment: Gold Bullion Futures
  • AUM: $15.1 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -0.74%
  • Inception Date: June 24, 2009
  • Distribution Yield: N/A
  • Number of Holdings: 1

HUG is different from the other gold ETFs on this list. It tracks the futures contracts of gold bullion rather than investing in gold stocks. 

It is Canada’s only non-physical gold ETF and allows investors to have exposure to gold bullion without having to actually own physical gold. 

5. Horizons Gold Yield ETF

Here are some key facts for HGY: 

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE: HGY
  • MER: 0.90%
  • Investment: Physical Gold Bullion
  • AUM: $69.2 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -1.08%
  • Inception Date: December 17, 2010
  • Distribution Yield: 6.08%
  • Number of Holdings: 1

HGY.TO is a unique gold ETF from Horizons that trades on the TSX. The only holding it has is the SPDR Gold Minishares ETF (NYSEARCA: GLDM), which provides a low-cost way of owning exposure to gold bullion. 

The difference between HGY and an ETF like HUG is that Horizons also writes covered calls on its GLDM holdings. This provides a monthly income distribution yield of more than 6.0% to unitholders. It also explains the high MER of 0.90% as this ETF is actively managed. 

Silver ETFs

6. Sprott Physical Silver Trust

Here are some key facts for PSLV: 

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:PSLV
  • MER: 0.58%
  • Investment: Silver Bullion
  • AUM: $4.38 billion
  • 1-Year Performance: -3.78%
  • Inception Date: October 27, 2010
  • Distribution Yield: N/A
  • Number of Holdings: 1

PSLV is a Canadian-listed ETF that allows investors to gain exposure to silver bullion. The official bullion custodian for the silver in PSLV is the Royal Canadian Mint. 

To redeem for physical bullion, you must have the equivalent units of ten 1000 oz silver bars. 

7. Horizons Silver ETF 

Here are some key facts for HUZ: 

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:HUZ
  • MER: 0.78%
  • Investment: Silver Bullion Futures 
  • AUM: $28.25 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -6.01%
  • Inception Date: June 24, 2009
  • Distribution Yield: N/A
  • Number of Holdings: 1

HUZ is another Canadian-listed ETF that provides exposure to silver bullion, this time through futures contracts. 

It is the sister ETF to the HUG Horizons Gold ETF and tracks the Solactive Silver Front Month MD Rolling Futures Index. 

8. iShares Silver Bullion ETF (CAD-Hedged)

Here are some key facts for SVR: 

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:SVR
  • MER: 0.66%
  • Investment: Spot Physical Silver
  • AUM: $83.9 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -5.48%
  • Inception Date: July 15, 2009
  • Distribution Yield: N/A
  • Number of Holdings: 1

SVR is another Canadian silver ETF that holds physical silver and trades around the spot price of the commodity.

The fund has over 2.4 million ounces of silver in trust. It is also hedged to the Canadian dollar to avoid any currency volatility. SVR.C.TO is the unhedged version of this ETF. 

9. Global X Silver Miners ETF 

Here are some key facts for SIL: 

  • Ticker Symbol: NYSEARCA:SIL
  • MER: 0.65%
  • Investment: Global Silver Mining Stocks
  • AUM: $1.02 billion
  • 1-Year Performance: -15.36%
  • Inception Date: April 19, 2010
  • Distribution Yield: 0.07%
  • Number of Holdings: 34

SIL is the first US-domiciled ETF on this list, trading on the NYSEARCA exchange in US dollars.

This ETF holds 34 of the world’s largest silver mining companies, with 62.9% of the allocations being Canadian stocks. 

The three largest holdings in SIL are Wheaton Precious (TSE:WPM), Pan American Silver Corp (NASDAQ:PAAS), and SSR Mining Inc (NASDAQ:SSR). 

10. ETFMG Prime Junior Silver Miners ETF

Here are some key facts for SILJ: 

  • Ticker Symbol: NYSEARCA: SILJ
  • MER: 0.69%
  • Investment: Silver Mining Companies
  • AUM: $728 million 
  • 1-Year Performance: -21.02%
  • Inception Date: November 28, 2012
  • Distribution Yield: 0.05%
  • Number of Holdings: 59

SILJ is a popular silver miner ETF that trades on the NYSEARCA exchange in the United States. It holds 59 different silver mining and other precious metal stocks. The three largest holdings in SILJ are First Majestic Silver Corp. (NYSE: AG), MAG Silver Corp (TSE: MAG), and Capstone Copper Corp (TSE: CS). Six of the top ten holdings in SILJ are Canadian companies. 

11. iShares S&P/TSX Global Base Metals Index ETF 

Here are some key facts for XBM: 

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:XBM
  • MER: 0.61%
  • Investment: Global Base Metal Stocks
  • AUM: $279 million
  • 1-Year Performance: -12.43%
  • Inception Date: April 12, 2011
  • Distribution Yield: 4.69%
  • Number of Holdings: 32

XBM is one of my favourite base metal ETFs that provides exposure to the 32 different miners and producers of metals like gold, silver, and lithium. 

This fund has a 44.05% allocation to Canadian stocks and a 28.62% allocation to US stocks. It also pays a solid 4.69% dividend yield that pays shareholders on a semi-annual basis. 

The three largest holdings in XBM are First Quantum Minerals Ltd (TSE: FM), Teck Resources (TSE: TECK.B), and Freeport McMoran Inc (NYSE: FCX). 

Rare Metals ETFs

12. Global X Lithium and Battery Tech ETF 

Here are some key facts for LIT: 

  • Ticker Symbol: NYSEARCA:LIT
  • MER: 0.75%
  • Investment: Global Lithium Stocks
  • AUM: $3.17 billion 
  • 1-Year Performance: -17.27%
  • Inception Date: July 22nd, 2010
  • Distribution Yield: 0.01%
  • Number of Holdings: 40

LIT is a US-domiciled ETF that tracks global Lithium producers, specifically those involved in battery technology. 

This ETF holds only a 1.5% allocation to Canadian stocks. China leads the way with a 36.5% allocation, followed by the US with a 22.1% allocation. 

The fund holds popular stocks like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Samsung, Panasonic, LG, and BYD. 

13. Amplify Lithium and Battery Technology ETF

Here are some key facts for BATT: 

  • Ticker Symbol: NYSEARCA:BATT
  • MER: 0.59%
  • Investment: Global Lithium Stocks
  • AUM: $153 million 
  • 1-Year Performance: -16.41%
  • Inception Date: June 6th, 2018
  • Distribution Yield: N/A
  • Number of Holdings: 106

BATT is another Lithium-based ETF that tracks battery technology, especially for the electric vehicle sector. 

This fund holds 106 global lithium and battery companies, with a 29% allocation to Chinese companies and a 4% allocation to Canadian companies. 

Its holdings include stocks like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), BYD, LG, and Albemarle (NYSE:ALB). 

Here are some Lithium stocks you can consider.

14. Abrdn Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares ETF 

Here are some key facts for GLTR: 

  • Ticker Symbol: NYSEARCA: GLTR
  • MER: 0.60%
  • Investment: Precious Metal Bullion
  • AUM: $1.05 billion 
  • 1-Year Performance: -4.96%
  • Inception Date: October 21, 2010
  • Distribution Yield: N/A
  • Number of Holdings: Various Amounts of 4 Metals

GLTR is an ETF from abrdn that provides exposure to 4 different precious metal bullions: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. 

The basket size for this ETF is 185.5 oz, and it trades in USD. As with most other bullion ETFs, GLTR does not pay out any distributions to unit holders. 

15. Horizons Global Lithium Producers Index ETF 

Here are some key facts for HLIT: 

  • Ticker Symbol: TSE:HLIT
  • MER: 0.85%
  • Investment: Global Lithium Stocks
  • AUM: $29.9 million 
  • 1-Year Performance: -15.54%
  • Inception Date: June 22nd, 2021
  • Distribution Yield: 1.87%
  • Number of Holdings: 27

HLIT is a Canadian lithium ETF that tracks 27 of the world’s largest lithium producers. It trades on the TSX in Canadian dollars.

This fund has a 47.55% allocation to Australian companies and just a 5.83% allocation to Canadian companies. 

The largest allocations in the ETF belong to Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN), and Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX: PLS)

Precious Metals ETF Explained

A precious metals ETF is an exchange-traded fund that holds stocks or assets from the precious metals industry.

These can focus on the gold industry and hold gold miners or gold streamers, and the same for silver or rare earth minerals. Other precious metals include lesser-known metals like platinum and palladium.

These ETFs can hold specific stocks from the Canadian, US, or global markets. Some even invest in physical metals or futures contracts for these commodities.

How To Buy Precious Metals ETFs in Canada in 2024 

Precious metal ETFs traded on the TSX are available on most Canadian brokerages.

I like to use discount brokerages to save on commissions that big banks charge. Here is my top choice:

Questrade

Canada’s oldest discount brokerage, you can use Questrade to buy precious metal ETFs for free. If you decide to sell those positions, you pay a low selling fee of $4.95 min. per trade.

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Are Precious Metal ETFs a Good Investment?

Precious metals are a fixture on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in the Canadian financial market. 

Gold, silver, and rare earth ETFs offer investors price stability, with the potential for long-term capital growth and a solid dividend distribution. 

These precious metals can act as a hedge against inflation and market volatility as well. 

If you are looking to invest in the TSX, then precious metal ETFs are a great way to add diversification to your portfolio.

Keep in mind that this article is just a frame of reference and not investment advice. Always do your own research into stocks or ETFs you wish to invest in.  

Downsides of Precious Metal ETFs

The downside for these precious metals is that the stock and ETF performance is always tied to the commodity’s price.

While they can certainly provide long-term capital growth, precious metal ETFs and stocks are not often seen as high-growth assets. 

Precious metal ETFs with global stocks and futures contracts will often have a higher MER due to more involved portfolio management by the ETF providers.

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Top Precious Metal Stocks

Looking at individual Canadian precious metal stocks instead? Here’s a list of 10 you can take a look at.

  • Barrick Gold Corp (TSE: ABX)
  • Alamos Gold Inc (TSE: AGI)
  • Franco Nevada Corp (TSE: FNV)
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (TSE: AEM)
  • B2Gold Corp (TSE: BTO)
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc (TSE: FVI)
  • Wheaton Precious Metals (TSE: WPM)
  • Pan American Silver Corp (TSE: PAAS)
  • Avalon Rare Metals (TSE: AVL)
  • Lithium Americas (TSE: LAC)

FAQs

What is the best precious metal to invest in? 

At the end of the day, it’s hard to top gold as the top precious metal to invest in on the TSX. Gold has the highest number of stocks and ETFs for you to add to your portfolio. 

What is the best gold ETF in Canada? 

Personally, I like the iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF (XGD) as it gives exposure to the global gold industry. It has a great selection of stocks, a competitive MER, and a decent distribution yield.

Does Vanguard have a precious metals ETF? 

Vanguard Canada does not have a precious metals ETF that trades on the TSX. If you are looking for a Canadian precious metals ETF, I suggest looking at Blackrock iShares or BMO.

What are the other ways to invest in precious metals?

In Canada, investors can buy precious metals stocks at any discount brokerage like Wealthsimple Trade or Questrade. You can also invest in futures contracts or physical bullion as well. 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The investing information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual investment advice or recommendation to invest in any specific security or investment product. Investors should always conduct their own independent research before making investment decisions or executing investment strategies. Savvy New Canadians does not offer advisory or brokerage services. Note that past investment performance does not guarantee future returns.

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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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