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ETF Spotlight on ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL), part of a weekly series.

Assets: $695 million

Objective: Seeks to reflect the price performance of gold bullion, minus expenses

Holdings: Gold bars, held in vaults in Zurich, Switzerland

What You Should Know

  • Bar numbers held in the vaults are updated daily on ETF Securities’ website
  • All gold purchases made by the trust are made by third parties; the gold is then delivered by those parties to the custodian
  • Bank of New York/Mellon oversees all movements of the metal in and out of the trust
  • When a creation or redemption in the fund is done, the physical metal is moved in or out, and it can’t be moved without the trustee’s approval
  • The gold bars are inspected by an external auditor every year; one audit is done on Dec. 31, the second is done at random
  • If you’re worried about the bars being destroyed, it’s virtually impossible for that to happen

The Latest News

  • SGOL is nearing its first anniversary – it launched on Sept. 9, 2009; since then, it’s up 23%
  • Gold prices have hovered around records since the height of the European debt crisis
  • Gold is primarily a safe-haven tool, known for holding its value and as a hedge against inflation
  • On Aug. 11, SGOL hit record trading volume of 1.7 million shares

Gold ETFs

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Source: ETF Spotlight: ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares