Silver ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are useful for gaining exposure to the price of silver while also enjoying diversification benefits.
Like Gold ETFs, silver ETFs may perform better than the general stock market during turbulent market conditions or periods when inflation gets out of hand.
Investing solely in commodities, either directly or using ETFs, is not a sound investment strategy, as these assets often go through prolonged periods of poor or negative returns.
At best, silver and other commodity ETFs should comprise only a small portion of your overall portfolio.
Below, I cover the best silver ETFs in Canada in 2023 and how to buy them using a discount brokerage account.
What are Silver ETFs?
A silver ETF refers to an exchange-traded fund that holds physical silver bullion or that invests in the stocks of silver miners.
Some Silver ETFs also provide exposure to the price of silver by using derivatives.
The benefits of owning a silver ETF vs. the actual precious metal include:
- Silver ETFs are liquid, meaning buying and selling is easier than physical silver bullion.
- Silver ETFs that hold multiple silver mining stocks offer some diversification.
- Transaction and storage costs of physical silver are higher.
Buy ETFs with Questrade and pay $0 trading commissions. You also get a $50 free trade credit here.
Best Silver ETFs in Canada
Here are the top silver ETFs available in Canada. Many of them are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE Arca) and are denominated in U.S. dollars.
1. Sprott Physical Silver Trust
- Ticker symbol: PSLV
- MER: 0.58%
- Investment: Physical silver
- AUM: $3.98 billion
- 1-Year performance: +20.27%
- Inception date: October 27, 2010
Sprott Physical Silver Trust is one of the few physical silver ETFs you can buy in Canada that’s also available in Canadian dollars on the TSX.
It offers investors exposure to the price of silver, with The Royal Canadian Mint serving as its bullion custodian.
You can redeem your units for the physical bullion if you have at least ten 1000oz silver bars.
2. Global X Silver Miners ETF
- Ticker symbol: SIL
- MER: 0.65%
- Investment: Silver miners
- AUM: $877 million
- 1-year performance: 0.34%
- Inception date: April 19, 2010
Global X Silver Miners ETF exposes investors to 36 different silver mining companies, including Canadian miners like Wheaton Precious Metals (24.22%) and Pan American Silver (14.17%).
From a geographical allocation perspective, 65.8% of net assets are in Canada, 11.7% in the United States, and the rest is divided between Britain, Peru, Mexico, South Korea, and Australia.
SIL aims to replicate the performance of the Soloactive Global Silver Miners Total Return Index, net of fees, and expenses.
Related: Best Canadian Dividend Stocks.
- Ticker symbol: SLV
- MER: 0.50%
- Investment: Physical silver
- AUM: $10.26 billion
- 1-Year performance: +9.52%
- Inception date: April 21, 2006
The iShares Silver Trust is not your typical ETF, even if it appears packaged like one.
It offers exposure to the price of silver bullion and tracks the LBMA Silver Price Index.
SLV is listed on NYSE Arca in USD.
- Ticker symbol: AGQ
- MER: 0.95%
- Investment: Silver Futures Contracts
- AUM: $356 million
- Inception date: December 1, 2008
- 1-year performance: +29.60%
AGQ is a silver ETF from ProShares that trades on the NYSEARCA exchange in the United States.
This fund is a 2X leveraged ETF. It will provide two times the gains or losses depending on the performance of the price of silver futures contracts for that session.
It has a high MER of 0.95%, but its long-term capital appreciation can be magnified compared to the actual performance of silver.
5. Horizons Silver ETF
- Ticker symbol: HUZ
- MER: 0.78%
- Investment: Silver futures
- AUM: $23.8 million
- 1-year performance: +21.05%
- Inception date: June 24, 2009
Horizons Silver ETF is the second TSX-listed ETF on my list of the best Canadian Silver ETFs.
It aims to replicate the performance of the Soloactive Silver Front Month MD Rolling Futures Index ER and is denominated in Canadian dollars.
HUZ invests in silver futures contracts and has a 0.78% management fee.
In addition to HUZ, Horizons also offers leveraged silver ETFs, including:
- BetaPro Silver 2x Daily Bull ETF (HZU), and
- BetaPro Silver -2x Daily Bear ETF (HZD)
- Ticker symbol: SVR
- MER: 0.66%
- Investment: Silver bullion
- AUM: $72.5 million
- 1-year performance: +19.59%
- Inception date: July 15, 2009
The iShares Silver Bullion is offered unhedged in Canadian dollars (SVR.C) and hedged (SVR).
It provides exposure to the price of silver bullion, less expenses.
The fund utilizes CIBC Mellon Trust Company as custodian for its silver bullion holdings.
How To Buy Silver ETFs in Canada
Want to invest in Silver using an ETF? My top choices to save on brokerage fees and commissions are Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade.
This independent brokerage platform offers free Silver ETF purchases and low trading commissions ($4.95 minimum) when you sell.
You can also use Questrade for stocks, currencies, precious metals, bonds, and more.
This no-commission broker allows you to buy commodity ETFs (e.g. silver and gold) without paying a commission. For the Silver ETFs denominated in US dollars, standard currency exchange fees apply.
You can also use Wealthsimple Trade to buy and sell dividend stocks for free. Open a free Wealthsimple Trade account and get a $25 bonus.
Read my detailed review of Wealthsimple Trade.
CIBC Investor’s Edge
If you prefer to do all your banking and investing with a big bank, CIBC Investor’s Edge offers some of the lowest trading fees of the five largest banks in Canada.
Here’s a CIBC Investor’s Edge review for more details.