Best metals ETFs to buy in 2022

Metals are a valuable commodity with a broad range of uses and are often seen as a safe haven. This page picks the best metals ETFs for the year ahead.
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Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Ranging from miners to physical reserves, ETFs give investors exposure and easy access to stocks that operate in the metals industry. This page picks the best ones for the year ahead. 

What are the top metals ETFs to buy?

Our expert analysts have picked five of the top metal ETFs for this year listed in the table below. To find out more information about each one, continue scrolling to learn more.

#ETF symbolETF nameWhere to Trade
1DBBInvesco DB Base Metals Fund
2PICKiShares MSCI Global Metals & Mining Producers
3GLTRAberdeen Standard Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares
4REMXVanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals
5XMESPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF
List chosen by our team of analysts, updated 09 March 2022

1. Invesco DB Base Metals Fund (NYSEARCA: DBB)

The Invesco DB is a fund designed for investors who want a cost-effective way to invest in commodity futures. It seeks to track changes in the level of the DBIQ Optimum Yield Industrial Metals Index and is composed of futures contracts on some of the most liquid and widely used base metals. 

Its holdings are spread fairly equally across three base metals: aluminum, zinc, and copper. As it consists of futures contracts, its performance is directly linked to its managing owner and their trading principles and ability. The futures market is volatile and even small movements can result in large losses, meaning this fund is higher risk than others in our list.

This is confirmed through its performance. Since its inception in 2007, the fund lost over 60% in value in the two years following. However, it has recovered somewhat since then although has seen more of a range bound price rather than a trend. Its up and down price movements means it’s most suited to a more experienced trader or investor. 

2. iShares MSCI Global Metals & Mining Producers (BZX: PICK)

PICK tracks the performance of an index called the MSCI ACWI Select Metals & Mining Producers Ex Gold & Silver Investable Market Index. It invests in companies that are involved in the extraction or production of diversified metals, however does not include gold and silver. 

While it contains stocks from around the world, it has a stronger focus on companies based in either the UK, US, and Australia where over 50% of its holdings reside. The top two companies in this ETF belong to the first and second largest mining companies in the world, BHP and Rio Tinto. 

It dropped in value in the four years following its inception in 2012, losing over 70% from its opening price. However, following the covid pandemic, it has performed very well, gaining over 100%. Its well diversified portfolio and mostly equal weighting offers investors easy access to the world’s best metal miners and producers. 

3. Aberdeen Standard Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares (NYSEARCA: GLTR)

Unlike many ETFs, the Aberdeen Standard Physical Precious Metals does not track an index. Rather, it seeks to reflect the performance of physical assets including, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. The fund is designed for investors wanting a cost effective and convenient way to invest in physical metals. 

Its largest holding out of the four metals is gold, where almost 60% of the total fund is focused. Second is silver which makes up nearly 30%, with platinum and palladium making up the last 10%. All of its metals bars are held in a secure London vault at JP Morgan and Chase bank. 

Since its inception in 2010 it has risen and fallen inline with the price of the metals it owns. When gold prices started to rally in 2016, so did GLTR, increasing by nearly 100% in value. Its price was further bolstered during the pandemic when investors moved to safe haven metals adding 60% to its price. 

4. VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals  (NYSEARCA: REMX)

The VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF seeks to replicate the performance and yield of an index called the MVIS Global Rare Earth/Strategic Metals. The index tracks companies involved in producing, refining, and recycling of rare earth and strategic metals and minerals. 

The fund only includes companies that are pure plays in the rare earth/strategic metals industries and offers global coverage. However, the majority of its holdings reside in China, Australia, and the United States. Its two largest holdings are Liontown Resources and Zhejian Huayau Cobalt, both of which amount to about 15% of the ETF. 

The weighting and size of the fund is what makes it different to many others. It spreads its money around its 20 holdings fairly evenly meaning it’s a more diverse way to invest in the rare earth and strategic metals industries. 

5. SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (NYSEARCA: XME)

The SPDR S&P employs a sampling strategy, which means that it is not required to purchase all stocks belonging to the index it tracks. Instead, it is able to pick and choose which stocks to buy with the aim of tracking the index. It seeks to track the performance of the S&P Metals & Mining Select index. 

Similar to the VanEck ETF above, XME holds only a small number of companies while offering an equal weighting across the board. It currently consists of 30, small, medium, and large cap companies from around the world. 

It offers exposure to a broad range of metal sectors, including gold, silver, aluminum, and copper. Although steel stocks currently make up over 40% of its total holdings. Its equal weighting and diversification mean investing in this ETF is a good way to gain exposure to all sizes of companies operating in the metals market. 

Where to buy the best metals ETFs

To buy ETFs you will need to register with an online broker. ETFs work in the same way regular stocks do and you can buy and sell them at any time. The table below lists some of the best brokers around offering metal ETFs. Click through to any of the links to get started in just a few minutes. 

1
Min. Deposit
$ 10
Promotion
User Score
10
Up to $240 bonus!
Deposit with ACA, Wire, Pay with my bank
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
CySEC, FCA
Investoo Ltd is compensated if you access certain of the products or services offered by eToro USA LLC and/or eToro USA Securities Inc., as applicable. This compensation incentivizes Investoo Ltd to describe those products and services in favorable terms. Any testimonials contained in this communication may not be representative of the experience of other eToro customers and such testimonials are not guarantees of future performance or success.
2
Min. Deposit
$ 100
Promotion
User Score
10
Trade out-of-hours on over 70+ US stocks
Get exposure to a wide range of popular UK, US and international stocks
Enjoy flexible access to more than 17,000 global markets, with reliable execution
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FINMA, is a licensed bank (IG Bank in Switzerland)
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
3
Min. Deposit
$ 0
Promotion
User Score
9.5
$0 commission and $0 Options contract fees
Upgraded research with advanced charts
Smart Menus for faster trades
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Full Regulations:

What is a metals ETF?

It’s an exchange traded-fund that holds shares in companies that operate in the metals industry. Being such a large and diverse sector, these companies can include miners, producers, and physical holders among others. The metals industry is vital for most  economies around the world and is crucial for many industrial sectors. 

Are metals ETFs a good investment?

Yes they can be and are a good way to diversify a portfolio. The metals industry is large and provides resources required for other industries to operate. Metals are essential for manufacturing, power generation, and construction. Technological advances have resulted in less labor intensive production and cleaner and more environmentally friendly practices. 

Generally, these ETFs offer stability and slow movements. Although volatility can arise, especially as many closely resemble the prices of the most popular metals such as gold, silver, copper, and steel. Any wild price swings in a specific metal, can sometimes lead to erratic moves in some of the ETFs. 

However, metals and especially precious metals are often seen as a hedge against inflation and a safe haven. This makes them particularly popular among investors seeking an aspect of safety in their portfolios. Whatever you decide to do, it’s key to keep up to date with the latest news and developments, which you can do so by clicking the links below. 

Latest metals news

Risk disclaimer

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Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.